“I cannot believe they allow that on television; what’s the world coming to!”
When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, Ricky and Lucy Ricardo were required to sleep in twin beds and to keep one foot on the floor on “I Love Lucy.” When we watched TV and a kissing scene came on there were snickers and my older brother would express his disgust.
“Oh yuck – that’s nasty,” Mickey would squirm.
We lived in a bubble back then but hey – we were all in the same bubble. We all watched “Lassie” and wondered how Beaver would get out of a jam on “Leave it to Beaver.” Scary movies consisted of low-tech tricks to scare the pants off us. White-hatted cowboys always won out over the bad guys and each show left us with a moral lesson that made us better people.
Sweetness was the order of the day.
Almost every dwelling consisted of two parents and – shhh – the very mention of divorce was reason for raised eyebrows. There were no boys who liked boys and any that were deemed effeminate were shamed and bullied. There were no women in battle and WACs were looked upon with curiosity. ‘Women belonged in the home,’ was a common refrain. Priests, preachers and policemen were your friends and to think that one would sexually abuse a child would be dismissed as a childish imagination.
While we were not paying attention our world changed.
Parents raising children now have a much tougher job than Lucy and Ricky and it takes enormous amounts of energy to keep up. – Phew! – I am out of breath just thinking about it!
The good news is that we still only face one day at a time; one problem, one headache and one emergency. We are not superhuman – we – are – parents. There is much we can do inside our homes to control what comes inside and stays. We can teach our children how to be safe and to get help when it is needed.
As parents we can monitor media in our homes and set parental controls on our televisions. Computers can block websites and content. We can limit social media by restricting time by age or chuck it altogether. Electronic games are a privilege and we can restrict them by age and limit the length of time spent playing.
It’s a tough world out there and we can protect our children by educating them. We can teach them about their carbon footprint by showing them how to make it smaller. We can teach our children advocacy to build a better world for themselves and their children. As parents we can teach civic duties like serving on jury duty, voting and volunteering.
As busy as parents are and as tight as budgets are, how do we do all this? We live it and model it one day at a time. Any job, broken down into manageable portions, can be accomplished.
One day at a time, just like Lucy and Rickey.