Tuesday, February 05, 2008


On Friday, my son's private Christian school is having a half day. Being the nearly adult that he is, my 7th grade son asked me if he could walk with his other 12 year old friends across town, a busy highway, and a massive parking lot to the movies after school.

me: uh, you are 12.
Spence: so, yeah?
me: well, I am not open to negotiation on you walking there, but I could be convinced to drive you and some friends there since I am not busy Friday. But you will need to get me more information- what movie, who's going, etc. (thinking it's pretty cool that I am willing to let him go in a theatre without me since I have not yet allowed this to date- the boy does not notice this)

He took it like a man, but then brought me a list of movies:
He would rather see I am Legend or Meet the Spartans. Both PG-13

Me: uh. these are PG-13
Him: yeah?
Me: You are 12.
Him: yeah?
Me: you want to go with no "PG" and despite the fact you are not 13.
Him: will you at least check the reviews? please?
Me: that's reasonable. (looks up review) uh. no. just no.
Him: *sets jaw set quietly, and silently walks away*
Me: I would be mad if I were you too, I never thought things like that were fair either. But my job is not to be the coolest mom on the block, it's to keep you safe... not just physically, but mentally and spiritually. When you're done being mad, if you want to talk, I'm all ears.

15 minutes later, he reappears, holding it together pretty well

Him: Um, is the reason just because of language?
Me: uh, yeah, and homosexual situations, sex, violence, and nudity
Him: *Knowing he's been beat* I suppose the 'everyone else gets to go' argument is not going to be effective here, is it?
Me: afraid not, son. Would you like me to take you guys out for pizza instead?
Spence: no thanks. I guess we'll just watch Alvin and the Chipmunks :(
Me: sorry dude.
Him: that's okay. *deep sigh*


I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
Psalm 101:3


Sing4joy said...

Wow. Um. Yeah. I would have blown my top at this situation. (I actually was while I was reading it.) I feel rather victimized when my children come to me with requests that they KNOW are outside the bounds and force me to tell them, "No". Little weasels. And then there is the proper approach, which is calm, rational, level-headed teaching of "why's". Perhaps some day I will evolve like you!

Tracy said...

My son will be 17 in April, and we still review what he's going to see. He's got all A's and the school takes them to movies at the end of the year. And he has been the only one not allowed to go. Know what? He still loves us! And no ranting. Hang in there. A little bit of an explanation does help them to understand.

Teri said...

My son is twelve too. I understand fully.

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Sounds like you handled it well. I'm not looking forward to those days!

Lysa TerKeurst said...

He he he he. Laughing in an "I've earned the right to laugh like this" kind of way. I'm mean like you. And I love it. Secretly, I'm convinced they love it too.

As a matter of fact my 19 year old just recently thanked me for being a meanie mom. He said it made him feel loved on the inside even if it sometimes frustrated him on the outside.

Oh sigh. Do you think that's the modern day version of "they will rise to call you blessed?"


PJ said...

Do I remember those years!!! It's uphill from here. The older they get, the less THEY think they need that kind of guidance -- but truthfully, the MORE they need it!!! Keep up the good work! (And Rant to us all you want!!! I used to have a friend I'd call and say, "Am I off the edge and unreasonable and emotional here???" He was honest enough that sometimes he'd say, "Just a bit." Other times I was right on!)

And I'm with Lysa T on "Rise up and call you blessed!" One day He'll admit it!

Linda said...

I am on my 3rd teenager. It's a challenge. What it made it more difficult for us was that other Christian families to whom we were close and respected very much allowed their kids to see movies we didn't want ours to see. So our kids really didn't get that at all. We're not prudes, either. It's just tough.

Alana said...

You go, girl! What a great Mommy you are! When I grow up I want to be just like you! Except I don't want to grow up in just six short years...yikes!

Gretchen said...

I'm so proud of you both. It's their job to push limits and our job to uphold them. What good strategies you used. He'll be disappointed, sure, but he knows you love and care for him.

You rock.

Jessica said...

this was great. i mean, sometimes i feel so insecure as a mom...but i love this example of seeing how confidently you handled this!



Fran said...

Oh wow! Good for you momma!! Good for you!! Its hard being a mom to these kids isn't it?! Thanks for sharing your strength with us. And....what a great kid.
The fact he came back to talk to you....thats awesome.


lovemyraysons said...

my oldest son turns 9 this saturday...and i thought i had it rough on "discussing" issues. what a glimpse of the future! way to go on keeping your boy a "kid" in this world that wants to grow them up WAY too fast. and to set an example for the rest of us along our way.

Julie said...

Yep, currently with 3 teenagers AND a 20 year old, I have had dozens of these type of conversations.
It is so hard when so many of their peers are allowed to watch things, go places, date young...etc....

You are doing a fabulous job!


PS. I am fairly new to blogging and I found you through my friend, Meredith!

Jenn said...

Great job! Your guy handled your decision well.You and your hubby must be doing something right.

At almost 8 we have had issues come up where we have had to say no to things that his friends parents say yes too. The pre-teen years are just around the corner - kind of scary.

I hope you are taking good notes! I may be calling on ya for advise. :o)

PS- I do not think I have told you but I love your button "Looking for Jesus in Everyday Life"! What a motto to live by as a family.

T said...

When my two oldest were in jr. high I had to fight the school a few times because they would show PG13 movies to the kids on days they watched movies or had fun days. It was SO infuriating.

Way to go! Be a meanie if you have to!

Ann said...

You handled that really well!

Jenster said...

I've so been there, done that! You handled it very well. And so did your son. Props to both of you!!

There are PG-13 movies I don't allow my nearly 16-year-old to see. He's not always happy about it, but he does get it. By the same token, there are some (very few) R rated movies he has been allowed to see.

My prayer is that by the time he's on his own he'll still make wise decision on what he allows to come into his mind.

You're such a good mom and I'm so glad to know you!!

Becky said...

Good mom! I so admire how you handled this situation. Taking notes, here, because my son is 11, and this stuff is not too far off, I'm sure.

Oy. I'm so glad the Lord gives it to us in stages!