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My first column of 2010: Lying to kids about being grown

Welcome back to Burnettiquette, friends and frienemies. If you haven't been keeping up, don't worry. You haven't missed much 'cause I haven't been posting much to the blog (only two or three times over the past couple of months).

Things, both good and meh, have happened over the past couple of months. And in time, I'll fill you in.

For starters though, a few of you have emailed me to ask how my column is coming.

If this is your first time here or your first time in a long time, then you may not know that I added "columnist" to my repertoire back in September.

Most of you know the difference between columnists and reporters. But for any who don't know, a reporter is tasked with gathering and writing the facts - telling them, and breaking them down and explaining them where necessary. A Columnist reports fact(s) and shares his opinion of 'em.

So in addition to writing feature stories on trends in popular culture, urban living, sometimes entertainment, sometimes race/culture issues, and sometimes politics, once a week I write a column, an opinion piece. It publishes every Friday.

So my first column of 2010 was about the subconcious descriptions and definitions we give to kids about "adult" behavior, and how those can inadvertently convince kids that irresponsible = adult.

Example: If you're in any sort of authoritative position, have you ever scolded kids - teenagers maybe - about the dangers of unsafe sex and dropped the "adult" bomb on the kids? If so, I have a theory: You're well intentioned, I know. But I'm convinced that some kids draw a literal correlation between your scolding and the action you don't want them to do. In other words they don't hear your warning and think "I'll leave sex to the adults, period!" They hear your warning and think "I'll have sex. But I'll just wear a condom!"

You can substitute sex for playing with guns, driving drunk, etc.

So, I'd argue that if you want your kids - especially your teenagers - to act more "grown up," don't give them those bogus old arguments about what behavior is childish and what behavior is adult-like.

Anyway, if you want to check out my column on the subject, just click here.

PS. Follow me, please, at twitter.com/jamesburnett.

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insomniac

welcome back and happy new year
rather than describing behaviour as adult or not adult it should be described as appropriate or not appropriate for someone of that age, so for your example above when talking to a young teenager about sex you can say that sex is not an appropriate behaviour for someone of their age.
of course you could always run the argument that if inappropriately aged people do make mistakes by trying behaviours more suited to older people then that is what does the growing up in those people

Tony

Educating your kids on whats right and whats wrong is tough. They are all ready getting a "bad"education from the Media, neighborhood, life in general. I think the real issue is to first be able to have an excellent foundation your self in life. Many of these abused children are learning from abused parents. This problem of bad parents is now a cultural problem and this is a problem that the Govt. wants to do now. This is sad because true parenting is parent to child. Not social worker to child. I think Love and communnication is a very big factor also. Hey but what do I know!

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