Will I Let My Kids Go Next Time?

Will I let my kids go to the next high school dance?

That’s truly a tough one.

It’s the question I keep hearing now that I’ve had this inside peek into a public high school dancemy own kids’ high school dance!!

High school dances are an American “rite of passage” to many. I’ve seen good and bad. Sadly, the lack of clean music has made the situation much more difficult.

For those who are curious of my two cents… I pour my heart out and answer the above question in this brand new Youth Culture Window article: IN THE DARK– A Sobering Peek into a Public High School Dance.

Here’s just a snippet:

Her date wrapped his arms around her front and she backed up, pushing herself against him, moving in a motion that would have made her blush in any other context, but the darkness and the safety of this crowd covered any embarrassment. Tonight this dark room was no place for second thoughts.

This is what he wants, she thought to herself. He’ll like me if I do this. He’ll notice me when I wear this. After all, if I don’t do this for him, there are a hundred other girls who are willing to.

Blame it on the music or the company she keeps or a dad who didn’t give his little daughter enough hugs. Regardless of the cause, another young girl has given up her innocence in exchange for a lie. It’s the norm to give your date a lap dance.

Sexualized
I’ve read dozens of articles and studies about the “sexualization” of today’s young girls. I’ve written about it and cited it in the media. But Saturday night I was surrounded by it. Literally hundreds of girls played the part our culture has written for them: Be a sex object.

I’ve always thought I had a pretty good finger on the pulse of youth culture. I know what goes on at school dances. After all the articles I’ve read on the subject, as well as the ones we’ve written on our own site, not to mention the plethora of MTV Video Music Award shows I’ve reviewed… I really didn’t think I could be shocked. But last night I was flabbergasted. It was sobering to see the effect of sexualization first hand— young girls with dresses so short that their underwear often peaked out from underneath, and literally hundreds of girls “backing up” into guys and rubbing up against them throughout the evening…

CLICK HERE FOR THE ENTIRE ARTICLE

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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2 Responses to Will I Let My Kids Go Next Time?

  1. Carl Eliason says:

    Our youth actually host a middle school dance every month and have been doing so for 14 years, I have been here the past three years. A dance can be a lot of fun without the overt sexualization if the DJ is willing to play music with some value and avoid songs with raunchy content. We don’t even allow the clean version because, yes, kids will sing the four letter words over the “cleaned” sections. When picking new songs we look at the lyrics AND watch the videos to learn the intent of the artists. Because of this we play very little hip hop, not because the style is bad, but the language and topics in 90% of it is unacceptable. We do strive to provide a safe place for students from multiple area schools to socialize and kids you have gone to the dance as middle schoolers now come back to chaperone as high school youth and move from there into our high school youth ministry. Blessings on you your website and speaking engagements. I greatly appreciate your service to youth ministry.

  2. Mary Hickcox says:

    What an excellent article!

    As Youth Leaders, we often find ourselves repeating to parents, “Be the parent!” Too many times, parents want to be buddies or peer-ents.

    Thanks for not only exposing the problem but offering a solution – “work on a relationship” with your teen!