Home > Main > Why the reaction to Bristol Palin shows what’s wrong with our society…

Why the reaction to Bristol Palin shows what’s wrong with our society…

I’ve been annoyed, amused, and frustrated at the coverage of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy.  For me it shows the fundamental flaw in our society when it comes to how we regard teenagers.

For some reason, we are naive enough to think that 17 year olds are children, but we don’t treat them like children.  Want proof?  We give them power over life and death: we license them as drivers.

In our society we take our teenagers and make them adults when we allow them to drive.  In a very simple action, we give them the power to kill themselves and others.  They go from children to peers – peer drivers that is.  So while we are willing to license Bristol Palin to be a driver, we’re going to hold her mother accountable for her sexual behavior?  Come on, we’re only fooling ourselves.

One of the first things I learned in doing youth ministry was that you had to treat adolescents the way you expected them to act.  Turning any blame on Bristol’s parents, regardless of their values, only demonstrates that our society enables teenagers to make poor life decisions because we shield them from the consequences by blaming their parents.  The very way our educational system in this country is structures encourages (as it should) adolescents as early as 12 and 13 to become more independent.  Why are we suddenly surprised when they do exactly that?  Are we really so naive as to think that magically over night when you turn 18 you’re an adult who can go off and live on your own but at 17 you’re a child that is under the beck and call of your parents?

No matter what the values of a parent, kids will do the strangest things.  I know kids who have come from strong homes with parents who teach all the right things who have gone astray in every way imaginable.  Yet they have siblings who have stayed on the narrow path.  I also know kids who are the total opposite story as well.

Until our society recognizes adolescents for the adults they really are, with power to create life and destroy it, we’ll only continue to enable stupid selfish adolescent behavior.

Categories: Main
  1. November 9, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Yeah I was upset about that too. If she was the golden age of 18, I doubt it would have gotten the coverage it did. The people who kept the media coverage focused on her probably never raised teenagers, and I can imagine the parents of teenagers all across the country cringing when reading the media because they know exactly what Sarah and Bristol are going through and wouldnt dare judge another family by it. Seems like the people who would judge the Palin’s are those who arent parenting teenagers, or they’re so out of touch with their teenagers that they have no idea what their kid is doing…

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