If you care about being part of your children’s lives, especially in their critically important decisions, you best pay attention to continued attacks on parental rights. There’s a frightening trend with products and laws, which usurp parent roles, thus undermining families. It’s clear where this is taking us.
The latest challenge to families is the Plan B One-Step pill, recently approved by the FDA for sale to girls as young as age 15. The fatal, small print on this product: Your daughter can pick it up at the store without parental or doctor approval.
There are all kinds of questions surrounding how this pill actually works to block pregnancy after intercourse; that’s a discussion for another column. But, leaving mom and dad out of this apparent, easy solution to the huge problem of a sexually activity teen, carries grave insult to injury. And, even worse if she’s raped.
We know not all teenagers are close to their parents in a season well documented for its push and pull. Sharing sensitive issues among generations is a predictable conundrum. Even if the child is close to her parents, she most likely won’t want to “disappoint” them if she’s sexually active. And, there are multiple reasons why she would fear reporting a rape to them.
Then, of course, many don’t get along, no matter whose fault it is. All the more reason for parents to be part of reproductive issues with their daughters; solutions sought rather than greater chasms created. Most parents really do strive to understand.
But, if courts and commerce work against the ancient norm of the parent/child bond, the system, which is already failing unmercifully, is forever doomed. We must not remain quiet. Its destructive potential is enormous.
I recruited an East Valley mother who can talk about this issue. Not only does she have a daughter who will soon enter the tender, teen years, but this woman as a teen suffered division from her parents to the point that when she was molested, then raped, she did not feel she could discuss the trauma with them. In later maturity, she recognized her parents wanted to do better, but they were sadly inept.
Years later, she suffered a major, marital crisis, during which she turned to her mother and they walked the path together. Persistence, by both, in regards to their relationship, paid off.
In picking through the pieces of her childhood, this woman is developing her own paradigm for parenting: “My plan is to communicate with my daughter, know her highs and lows each day, ask her opinion, have her think through her choices, help her develop empathy and compassion, address judgment so when she fails, maybe just maybe, I am a safe place for her to turn and cry. I plan to be active with her and keep her busy.” Then, as doubt sweeps her heart, she adds, “It is just one mom’s plan that will be coupled with hope and prayer for her.”
It’s safe to say, this mother represents most parents who need society’s support. And, it’s fair to ask for and to receive it. All children deserve parent partners.
What about those who don’t have parent partners? Handing out pills to supposedly fix sexual activity, without parental or doctor oversight, leaves this giant problem in the hands of wisdom-less teen peers and predators with agenda. Thus, living nightmares are compounded.
Young women deserve better, which rarely includes emancipation in regards to their bodies. Look around, sexually active children are drowning in adult problems. We must keep doors open to caring parents and, yes, when needed, other suitable surrogates.
• East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.