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Every generation pioneers a new phase in humanity. The baby you’re raising will be part of a generation that will see and do things differently than anyone ever has before. As their parents, you’ll have a big say over what your baby experiences, but the world will have just as great an influence. So muster up your pioneer spirit. It’s going to be interesting.
Several events in recent weeks have brought the concept of pioneering home:
That concept of warning versus inspiration applies to everyone, but more so to new parents than almost anyone else. The way you model your life and raise your child makes the difference between being the family, parent and child who warn others what not to do or the family that models inspiration. As you raise the next generation of pioneers, ask yourself if your daily choices are creating the family you want? That’s what pioneers do – day by day.
In the age of runaway social media and "sexting," raunchy rap songs on pop radio and hardcore pornography at the click of a mouse—what's it like to be a woman? A girl? A teenage boy? A parent? Following a former porn star, a young woman undergoing a controversial surgery, and a 12-year-old girl who's growing up faster than her parents can handle, Sexy Baby is a startling look at the first generation to grow up [in the digital age].
As the mother of an adolescent daughter, I found the storyline about the 12-year-old girl to be heartbreaking. This little girl calls herself a pioneer because she’s among the first generation to grow up with sex everywhere – in her music, on her TV and computer…everywhere.
Who knows what digital and social challenges your child will grow up with. It’s hard to believe they’ll face overt sexuality before they’re old enough, but they will…they definitely will. That is unless you keep the radio, television and computer turned off, and that’s probably not going to happen. You’ll be the pioneer parents who learn by trial and error how to balance between teaching your children how to live in a rapidly changing digital world and protecting them with old-fashioned common sense. Bottom line – the world may have changed because of technology, but kids really haven’t.
My own commitment to pioneering comes via my involvement with CARE (my favorite global humanitarian organization) and their focus on girls and women. While many of their programs are decidedly old school, CARE’s slant at alleviating extreme poverty by promoting basic rights, education, healthcare and opportunities for women is part of a pioneer movement dubbed The Girl Effect. Using some of the digital generation’s best tools including social networking and film, combined with good old fashioned person-to-person networking, we’re the generation that’s recognizing that women - mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, grandmothers, businesswomen, teachers, politicians, doctors…(I could go a long way here) – are changing the world. We’re bringing our families, friends and communities along for the journey and exploring uncharted territories.
As a new parent that’s raising the next generation of pioneers, all you have to do is decide: Will you be a warning or an inspiration? No pressure, right?
Jeanne Faulkner, R.N., lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and five children. Got a question for Jeanne? E-mail it to email@example.com and it may be answered in a future blog post.
This Fit Pregnancy blog is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace medical advice from your physician. Before initiating any exercise program, diet or treatment provided by Fit Pregnancy, you should seek medical advice from your primary caregiver.