Saving the World One Teen at a Time - Column on Parenting Tweens and Teens

The Emotional Blindside.

by Kristy Campbell

 

“Mom, what’s an affair?” asked my 9 yr old daughter after catching a news headline on television about Tiger Woods. “It’s when you have sex with someone you’re not married to,” said her twin brother not even looking up from his homework. “Oh really, when did you become an expert?” I asked, rather curiously.

 

“It’s in the news. I heard that he had sex in all of the rooms in his house with his girlfriend, except the bedroom,” my son continued, still not looking up from his paper. How nice. Another male seemingly nonplussed about the whole situation. I did one of my deep inhalations since I felt the need to not let this one go. “Hey guys, can we talk a second?” I said as I took the pencil out of my son’s hand and pulled a chair out from the table motioning for my daughter to join us.

 

I began to launch into my whole morality=values=respect speech. I told them that sex is a special part of a couple’s life and reflects a commitment, and whether you are married, single, gay or otherwise, you don’t blow up that commitment just for the chance to have more sex. “He has a sex addiction,” said my know-it-all son.

 

I wondered what he’s been reading or seeing until I realized that the story has been on every news/sports/entertainment channel as well as splashed on the cover of everything published in the Western Hemisphere over the past couple of weeks.

 

“Yeah, well, I have a salt and fat addiction," I said. "I’d butter my potato chips and eat every bowl of nuts from here to Milwaukee if I could. I’ve had to learn to control my urges and cravings. I don’t know that much about sex addiction, but it doesn’t sound like a solid excuse for ruining a career, a marriage, and his image as a role model, do you think?"

 

“He’s the world’s greatest golfer, Mom. I don’t really care about the other stuff,” said my son, ready to be done with the conversation.

 

My daughter who had been quiet and taking it all in finally said, “I think that if you pretend to be a really good person, and then it turns out you are lying to everyone and doing things you shouldn’t be doing, you shouldn’t even ask people to forgive you. You should just move to another country.” I love that girl. She’s pretty black and white about certain things. I’ll save this article for her husband.

 

We talked a little more about what it is to be a role model and how important it is to always choose good behavior when you put yourself in a position of leadership. As the kids went back to their worlds, I thought about how many men of late have absolutely ruined their marriages, careers, and reputations over sex. And so many of them quite stupidly, I might add. Some of my personal favorites:

 

John Edwards. I knew the truth about this story when he was photographed visiting a baby in a hotel room at 2am. Not his? Yeah right. If it weren’t his, he’d have had his intern send a gift from babyGap and would have gone back to running for President with his cancer-stricken wife at his side.

 

vlarson
03.29.10

Infidelity is an important topic to discuss with our kids because most likely it has impacted their own little worlds, never mind the celeb culture at large. Most people can separate the golf pro or political career from the idiotic husband; that's what your son is doing. Tiger's own children however, can't; I feel more for the kids who are immediately impacted by an affair. Those just can't be happy households right now.

But please don't castigate men alone: there are just as many women who cheat, too. And, let's not forget that the mistresses of these men knew they were married! Are those women in no way accountable? I hope we're having that discussion with our daughters, too.

That aside, MamarazziKnowsBest, I just cannot believe you would call Elin a hero for chasing Tiger out of the house with a golf club. Imagine if a man did that! Spousal abuse is never — ever — OK.

MamarazziKnowsBest
03.25.10

I wholeheartedly agree with your perspective on the latest cheaters getting the headlines. I hate it, especially when the evening news opens with the latest extra-marital affair of a scale and lowest moral character I hadn't heard of in decades (well, excluding our ex-President Clinton's debauched behavior while at the head of our Country!)
When News stations start their broadcasts with Tiger Woods as the most important item of the day (like the day of his long-awaited press conference), I am repulsed. What's happened with Haiti? Can we start we these important current WORLD events?
Morbid curiosity drives everyone to watch what this low-life 'super human' had to say to try to get us to move on (which I'm afraid he did). Now, the Masters Golf Tournament will be the media circus of the decade and he'll get the ratings, again.
I don't want Woods as a role model, we didn't choose him. He was thrust upon us and our kids via the media, ads and products. It's easy to say we 'don't hold celebrities up to be role models', but just ask any kid or adult who Tiger is and they'll know - and secretly even admire the guy. Sick!
Fortunately, we can have our own heroes, but the Tiger debacle reached even the darkest corner of our society, and perhaps shed light on the base morality perpetuated by our celebrity-driven culture.
PS. Elin is my hero for chasing Tiger out of his house with a golf club!!

Linda24
03.25.10

Dearest lengeft1,

I have noticed that your comments are quite negative. I don't know Kristy, and I don't know you, but from what I have read on her blog (including your nasty comments), makes me in complete awe of her. I am appalled and even offended that you would one) accuse her of what you have in your novel above, two) find the time to write such completely unhelpful and condescending comments on her articles, and three) that you would even elude to the fact that her children's role models are anything but role model material. She seems like a magnificent mom to me - I would even go so far as to call HER a role model. And, last time I checked Mommy Tracked was a place that "strives to provide time-crunched, over-extended and multitasked-out moms a much needed and well deserved escape from the chaos of modern motherhood." Your comments are not relaxing me, they are making me simply upset. Please keep your negative comments off this site, and especially off such an amazing woman's articles!

Keep at it Kristy! You are a fabulous mother and an amazing writer! I absolutely LOVE your articles. Don't let mothers like lengeft1 get you down!

Cheers!

Linda24
03.25.10

Dearest lengeft1,

I have noticed that your comments are quite negative. I don't know Kristy, and I don't know you, but from what I have read on her blog (including your nasty comments), makes me in complete awe of her. I am appalled and even offended that you would one) accuse her of what you have in your novel above, two) find the time to write such completely unhelpful and condescending comments on her articles, and three) that you would even elude to the fact that her children's role models are anything but role model material. She seems like a magnificent mom to me - I would even go so far as to call HER a role model. And, last time I checked Mommy Tracked was a place that "strives to provide time-crunched, over-extended and multitasked-out moms a much needed and well deserved escape from the chaos of modern motherhood." Your comments are not relaxing me, they are making me simply upset. Please keep your negative comments off this site, and especially off such an amazing woman's articles!

Keep at it Kristy! You are a fabulous mother and an amazing writer! I absolutely LOVE your articles. Don't let mothers like lengeft1 get you down!

Cheers!

lengeft1
03.23.10

I have noticed that your columns seem to focus heavily on the negative aspects of your son(s) and the positive aspects of your daughter. From time to time you mention that your husband has a certain lack of sensitivity, ability to partner, mmm, creatively, and parent in an even-handed, thoughtful, consistent manner (if at all). If your son is displaying a certain indifference to Tiger Wood's multiple affairs, it could be because, like so many people, he has become utterly numb to the drama and angst. Or, and I've heard women say this too, he doesn't care about what should have been a private matter unless it affects Tiger's golf game. Or maybe he does have an unfortunate attitude toward infidelity, and women. You've definitely given voice to your doubts about your sons before, and their status as testicle-bearing, testosterone driven troglodytes. If their father won't step up to the parental plate, isn't it your responsibility to have taught them, and to continue to teach them, about ethics, relationships, honesty, the emotional and physical baggage that goes into sexual relationships...and the breaking of trust in such commitments, and that women are to be respected, as are all humans? I'd say that, if hubby has objections, he needs a firm kick in the buttocks, perhaps all of the way to the curb.

My husband, and the men I know, don't think much of your favorite philanderer's. These men don't have "sexual addictions" (I am completely disgusted with people of both genders using addiction to anything as an excuse for miserable behavior. And yes, I've broken four very heavy habits...alcohol, cigarettes, pot and pain pills...with no support whatsoever, no rehab or detox, and no 12-stepping. It can be done, and it's never an excuse to be a loathsome human being), they've got power, and available women, and sometimes complicit wives (Elizabeth Edwards, for all of her cancer and misery, remained a "devoted wife" as long as her cheating husband had a chance at the presidency). They may me intelligent, but they are arrogant and bone stupid as well. Not all other men look up to them, but then, not all other men would cheat, or do cheat, or treat their wives like objects, or allow their sons to behave like little barbarians.

As for Tiger Woods and Elin, there would be a lot less drama if she had not chased him out of the house with a golf club at 2:00 am. Even the EMT's who responded would not let her ride in the ambulance because they suspected her of domestic violence. No, it was never proven, because obviously Tiger did not want her to go to jail. At this point in the sordid mess, Elin, I think, is playing on people's sympathies in order to control her philandering and remorseful husband. I would say that love has little to do with it, but continuing the marriage to insure her fortune does. If she truly wanted to preserve the relationship factor, she need only make a brief, but strong and positive statement that neither she, nor Tiger, were going to listen to anymore ridiculous texts or e-mails, answer anymore questions about his extra-marital encounters, entertain anyone's sad attempts at lawsuits and that they were putting the past behind them and working toward a future as a couple and a family. She hasn't done anything even remotely close...which leaves the situation entirely volatile and open for drama, and her own position questionable. Either try to make it work...or divorce the man quietly and end it. And no, I don't respect Tiger for his infidelity, I think he was an idiot and I have to wonder what he was thinking. And I detest golf too, and I don't hold up celebrities as "role-models" for myself or my children. Our heroes are everyday people who extraordinary things.