Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Times do change

Perhaps it is me getting older. Perhaps it is being the mother to teen-age girls. Perhaps it is my past experience. Perhaps the world is going upside down and sideways.
Perhaps it is a bit of 'all of the above.'

I was at the mall last night with Gracie, our 8 year old. It was our mommy/daughter night. She requested a trip to to Barnes & Noble and the Disney Store. I put on my smile and pointed the van in the right direction. Truthfully, I don't much care for the mall. It just isn't 'fun' anymore.

I lived in Southern California during my mall rat years. I knew all of the area malls from memory. Which mall had Judy's? Which mall had the least amount of pesky security guards, that for some reason, did now see the humor in escalator jumping? Which mall had the best soft pretzels? Which mall had the best mix music over the loud speakers? Which mall drew in the cutest boys?

My friends and I would spend countless hours trying on clothes we had no intention of buying (many apologies to those sales clerks), eating massive amounts of junk food, giggling at boys, and sizing up our girl peers. In my later teen years, I had my first jobs at the mall. Yep, many years of my life revolved around mall hours - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Times change. People change.

Last night, I looked around and felt frustration and sorrow.
I witnessed girls no older than 13 behaving like a 25 year old on her honeymoon.
I witnessed boys missing the mark on how to behave like a young man.
The lack of shame when it came to chosen words, music, clothing styles, and personal impressions were alarming.

I'm not that old. I do understand that I view things from a conservative pair of glasses, but I'm not a prude, nor am I naive. I 'get' that a lot of these kids are testing limits and expressing newfound ideas. I 'get' that a lot of what I witnessed was not life altering for their future, but when you put their behavior with current (messed up) societal messages, it becomes a dangerous mix.

Our mall is the biggest in the state, but compared to the malls I grew up around, it is modest in size and attendance. I saw 4 large "Pregnant? We can help" billboards and numerous store fronts/signs that, in my opinion, sent the wrong message for any person, much less an impressionable teen-ager. When did all of this become OK?

I know. I know. Every generation thinks their generation is the roughest, but Heaven help us, if that is true, what kind of world can I expect for my grandchildren?


Blogger Gina said...

((((Kim))))) Come live over here. We do see some scantily clad girls and hear some raw language, but overall it's like the clock has been turned back about 25 years here.

It is truly scary the way American culture is going. Our moral compass has gone haywire and the things people value are just ridiculous. (keeping in mind I know I'm sometimes in that category too!)

What a blessing to know we can offer our kids a strong foundation and use those mall trips to point out the acceptable & not acceptable. Being a teen, or pre-teen, is never easy, but this generation has got some really scary waters to navigate.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

Oh, it is just terrible. I fear for my daughter and my sons.

We just have to teach them to go the road less traveled.....not follow the masses. And pray..

1:58 PM  

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