May 2009


Back in the ancient history of the year 2000 journalist Nancy Updike wrote an article in Salon.com reporting on a phrase that was becoming popular within the gay community.  She stated that the phrase, “that’s so gay”, was part of a “small linguistic revolution” and was “part of the tradition of groups using derogatory names among themselves”.  She suggested that it was an “insult as a pick-me-up” and that for those using it within the gay community it would possibly evoke a childhood memory that may have been painful, but was now long past, the distance making it possible to “not only reclaim the phrase but also to reclaim it as an insult.”  

Way back in the year 2000 she also said, The reason “That is so gay” can still startle is because its comeback has been so private, by word-of-mouth only; it hasn’t saturated the culture.”

Well, flash forward to the future.  In 2009 this phrase has permeated the culture, and teens, straight teens, are tossing the phrase around as though it has no negativity attached to it.  

When I confronted my own teen about using the phrase, he rolled his eyes at me like I was SO STUPID, and claimed that the phrase had no homophobic weight to it whatsoever.  

“It’s just an expression mom – EVERYONE says it”.  

We had a rather heated discussion about it, and I’ve banned the phrase from our house.  

Can I stop him from using the phrase with his friends, at school, at the skatepark?  Probably not, but he and his friends are going to be hearing a lot more from me on this topic, and I hope that other parents will join me in raising awareness in their homes that this is not okay.

It wasn’t okay for Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover.  Last month 11 year old Carl hung himself after being taunted by school-mates, calling him gay.  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/story?id=7328091

http://www.necn.com/Boston/New-England/2009/04/09/Mother-calls-for-change-after/1239313440.html

Trying to parent a teen without losing one’s temper is a daily challenge.  Sometimes it’s a moment to moment challenge.  

not-listeningEvasiveness, delaying tactics, homework and chore avoidance, and outright lying.  Sigh.  What’s a parent to do?  

qq1sgyellingatkidsIs yelling really effective though?  

There’s so much written on this topic, obviously I’m not the only one who loses my temper and then questions whether or not my outburst totally obliterated the underlying message I was trying to get across.

http://www.risingwomen.com/arcsuttle1.htmhttp:// 

http://www.parenting.com/article/Toddler/Behavior/No-More-Yelling 

Jeez – just google parenting/yelling yourself.  I came up with almost half a million sites.  That’s more than enough info to ally my guilt, but I didn’t read ANYTHING that affirmed that it’s an effective parenting tool.

Sigh.  

sullen-boy…..so, my teen was dropped off this morning by his dad who had just “torn a strip off him”.  

Did our son hear that his dad loves him and worries about him and wants him to succeed in life?  

Unfortunately no.  

I tried to translate, but there was a LOT of reactive resistance up in my boy.

Understandable.  

I know how I feel when someone yells at me.  

http://parentingteens.about.com/od/talktoyourteen/qt/yellingatteens.htm 

This link really got to me.  This article states that when a parent begins to yell they lose credibility.  

I really HEARD that this morning so clearly.  Easier to witness it in someone else’s heated exchange and analyze my ex-husband’s behaviour than my own, but regardless – a HUGE wake-up call for me.  

Hopefully I’ll remember this the next time I’m feeling the blood pressure rise.