How To Talk To Your Kids: My Daughter & I Discuss Racy Ads in Sin City
Raising kids here in Las Vegas can be great for so many reasons, but it definitely has its challenges. There are not many cities in America where flyers are being shoved in your hands bearing images of naked woman, where sidewalks are crowded with guys wearing bright green T-shirts that read “Girls! Girls! Girls!” or where you see billboards with sayings like “Girls Direct to You”. Having a teen daughter here in Vegas, I have had to think long and hard about the way to approach this conversation. The best thing I could come up with was to try to humanize the women who are being sold. When we are walking down the Strip or driving in the car and we see something that is objectifying a woman I try to have my daughter see her in a different light. I explain to her that most likely that woman somehow got herself into a bad place in life. Whether it had to do with bad decisions, drugs, or unwilling circumstances, I try to have my daughter see that this woman is a valuable person and that we should care about her and feel sorry that she has gotten herself in this situation. Most likely, given the choice, this woman would not have chosen this kind of rough life for herself. Without giving too many details, I explain to my daughter that the woman in that picture is selling herself to men. I say that this lifestyle is something that this woman will always feel pain over. I don’t want to raise my daughter to hate or judge other women, even women who are doing the wrong thing. I hope that I can raise her to have compassion for others and realize that she has been given a great gift in life to be able to live in a stable home. I always try to teach her not to judge other people because you don’t know what kind of life they have been dealt. I also want her to know that there are a lot of people who are desperate and are willing to do anything to get what they need. While I would love to think her safety is guaranteed, I always remind my teenager to pay attention to her surroundings and be aware of people’s behavior. It is a fine balance trying to raise her to be sweet and compassionate, but at the same time mindful that people can be dangerous and you have to be careful who you trust. Vegas is definitely a unique place with a lot to offer, but at the same time, this city has a very dark side that we need to protect our children from. I would love to know if you address these issues with your kids. If so, how?