Picking up messages


    Give me a break! The message is what’s important here not the messenger! Suzi Landolphi’s message is about kids — female and male — respecting themselves and each other. It’s about self-esteem and values. It’s about choices and decision making. It’s about peer and media pressure and the ability to understand that ultimately, the responsibility and consequence of any action is our own. Do I care who gets these points across to my child? No! Not as long as he gets the point! Do I care if a little green Martian with tiny antennas sticking out of its head, opens my son’s eyes to all his options and alternatives when it comes to sexual activity? No! Not as long as it keeps my son’s attention. So if the messenger has to stride up and down the aisles, has to act, has to beg, plead, or stand on her head – I don’t care! So long as she/he gets their attention. So long as they sit still long enough to focus and actually hear the message. And making our kids listen, focusing their minds is imperative because the truth of the matter is that most kids of high school age tune out their parents (remember how we were not supposed to trust anyone over 30)? Do I care if the messenger has degrees from 16 universities? No! Not if they are dull and righteous and unrealistic (like the “Just Say No” groups). Do I want a messenger with a message that is fear-based? No! I want a coherent, accurate and humane message.

    I won’t dignify a response to the silly Beavis and Butthead reference to my abilities as a mother. I won’t dignify a response to the even sillier notion that I view sexual education as “entertainment.” And for sure I won’t dignify a response to the insulting reference to my lack of deep spiritual beliefs — all because I have made the choice that my son will hear what I perceive as smart, intelligent and to the point presentation. I read on the Internet the SEICUS pages and I found that Ms. Landolphi adheres to them — perhaps with a bit more compassion and humor — but she still follows these sensible guidelines. I do agree that there should be a broader sex education program with more presentations. But we have to start somewhere, we have to start sometime and yesterday is not soon enough.

    I want my son, and all sons and daughters, to hear the message that above and beyond anything else, their safety, their health and ultimately their lives are the most precious thing for them to have and ours as parents to guard.

    Nili Eli Leemon