Do you know what a grind line is? Twelve-year-olds do. I'm not talking about the forward line of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League. I'm talking about the "urban" definition as follows: 1. The vulgar dance where people rub their body parts against each other, usually to rap or techno. 2. A form of the most sexual dancing imaginable - and becomes even more explicit.
I recently heard a rumor that a local school was actually letting 7th-and 8th-grade children do this at their "mixer" dance, so I arrived 35 minutes early to pick up my daughter. From a distance it all looked so innocent. These young kids were happily dancing together, a far cry from standing at opposite ends of the gym from the boys as we did at that age. But upon looking harder, a flush of adrenaline rushed through my body as I saw that the rumor was true! It was actually worse than what I have seen college kids do at night clubs. Along with grinding was a boy firmly groping a girl's breast while sticking his tongue in her mouth. I went in and did what the chaperones weren't - I pried my arm between them and told them they were dancing too close. It wasn't hard to do, in fact it was quite easy. So why weren't they doing it? Are adults afraid of children? I just don't get it. I trusted wrongly that this school and its parent chaperones were watching out for my child. I have since learned that this is happening at junior high dances everywhere.
Why does today's society seem so eager to have sexually active children? One million teens in the USA will become pregnant over the next twelve months, with more than one-third ending in abortion. One in four teenage girls now have STDs. Almost 40% of women raped are teenagers, usually by their date. And not least, let's not forget the life-altering emotional turmoil a child endures when they are exposed to sex at such a young age.
I'm going to tailor my favorite quote by Marianne Williamson to challenge all of us parents and adults who work with children: "We ask ourselves, who am I to be children's keeper, protector, teacher, advocate? Actually, who are you not to be?" And if, because of your unpopular actions, your children's friends say to them, "I wouldn't want to have your parents.", know that in your child's heart and best interest, they are saying, "Actually, I wouldn't want not to".