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Thursday, October 07, 2010

What I learned from Sunday's sessions of General Conference:

Um, so yeah. Aspen will never go on a sleepover without me or Kev (or one of her Uncles) present.

Apparently kids get into the most trouble when sleeping over at someone else's house.

The thing is, I don't remember having a single sleepover during which I was tempted to drink, have sex, smoke (cigarettes, marijuana, etc). Perhaps I was simply fortunate enough to have lovely friends with lovely parents who taught them to stay away from such things at a young age.

Kev listened to me talk about this a lot on our drive home from Sandy on Sunday night. I told Kev that although in high school I was often surrounded by under-age drinkers and smokers, I never had any interest in participating myself. I just didn't do what the other kids were doing. I didn't judge them either; it was just something they did that I didn't. Being the only LDS student in my high school (in Maine) was a little strange, but I never felt pressured to go against my personal beliefs. I'd made the decision long ago to abstain from certain activities, and I stuck with it. One friend used to tell me that when I went to college, he was 100% sure that I would finally cave and smoke pot. Sorry friend, never happened. I was the girl who cleaned up after everyone else when they got wasted. Then I finally stopped hanging out with those people altogether because I was sick of being the "responsible" one.

I remember in elementary school when a friend pulled a beer out of the fridge and asked if I wanted to taste it with her. I said no and watched her take a sip (probably not the first time she'd done that). She made a face, spit it out in the sink and threw the bottle away. That was the end of that. She never asked me again and I never felt like I missed an opportunity to be considered "cool."

I told Kev that I hope Aspen will grow up to be strong in her beliefs- and that her beliefs will include respecting her body and putting good things into it. I hope that she will learn from our examples that there is no need to give into peer pressure. Yes, life may feel lonely if she decides not to participate in certain groups, but she will be blessed in the long-term. She'll make friends who have the same values and who will stick around for years.

When I was still in college, I received my Patriarchal Blessing. It states that my home will be a place that my children's' friends will enjoy being in. I hope to fulfill that promise and keep the Spirit strong in our home at all times. Maybe Kev and I can be the fun parents who invite Penny's friends over for sleepovers and we can go into her room 800 times a night to make sure everyone has enough snacks... and is staying out of trouble :)

I know I can't be with Penny at all times, but I hope that my influence can. I hope she'll be happy to be her own person and stand up for herself. Or better yet, perhaps she'll just have to settle for having sleepovers exclusively with her cousin who will only be 8 months younger than her. That way she'll be under the watchful care of my younger brother and I won't have anything to worry about (except that he might try to convince Penny to attend BYU someday).

4 comments:

  1. caleb and i talked about this too, the stark contrast of our experiences with sleepovers. the only sleepovers i had were at abby's house, and we'd like, make chocolate chip cookies and then get in the hot tub. once we got old enough we'd fill our glasses with ice water and go on a drive. the end.

    caleb was a boy, and got into boy trouble. something with rolling a pumpkin down 1800 South.....and such.

    i think it's going to have to be something we decide as our kids get older. it was such a fun part of my growing up, but i know we were probably one of the few...

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  2. hahaha. if the worst that can happen is she ends up at byu, i think you'll be ok. :]

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  3. Before I became a Christian, I never got into drugs or alcohol, which is a downright miracle considering the home I grew up in. I always attributed it to being too afraid of getting in trouble in school and/or blowing my chances of scholarships and stuff for college. But now looking back, I know it was because God had already written his law on my heart before I even knew Him. We are made for His love and His love alone. Like you said though, I don't believe He abstains His love from those who do smoke, drink, etc. but I am so glad I didn't get into underage stuff ever.

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  4. Most of the sleepovers I attended were with good friends and we did things like eat popcorn with melted M&M's in it (yum!).
    But once I started hanging out with a different group of friends, I went to sleepovers where I toilet papered for the first time, played poker, played with ouija boards, and we went to some "questionable" chat rooms.
    I should have made better choices on my own, but I can understand where that guy was coming from. It's more difficult to make good decisions when it's 1:00 in the morning, you can't walk home, your friends parents are asleep, and you'll wake your parents if you call them.
    I just think you should really check into the houses where you're letting your kids stay and always communicate with them that you'll be happy to pick them up whether it's 10:00 at night or 2:00 in the morning.
    Even though I knew my parents would pick me up at any time, it was still the time when I felt the most peer pressure. I'm not saying I won't let our kids have sleepovers, but I will be more vigilant about checking into the places where they'll be staying.

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