Thursday, September 25, 2008

Subway Commercial

This is the new Subway commercial.................verbatim!

A young girl, 13/14ish is narrating:

"Everything is decided for me- when to get up, what to wear, what to read, and, of course, when to go to bed. But, at Subway I have the power to choose and I EAT IT UP!"

Sadly, this is the reality for most kids. And we wonder why teenagers rebel. I can't imagine how I would feel if my husband tried to make those same decisions for me. Why is it that we think kids feel so much different than ourselves and why, even more, do we feel that kids aren't capable of making their own decisions? Especially when it comes to their own bodily functions! I hear so many parents state that if they allowed their teens to make their own decisions that they won't make good ones. The problem is that these same kids have never been allowed to make their own decisions so they have no self-control or self-discipline to pull from when they are allowed to make their own decisions.

My kids have been allowed to make their own decisions about their lives. The only decisions that they don't have a lot of control over is things like going places when they can't drive, etc. On those things, we decide together so that everyone is happy, at least mostly happy. We try to come to a middle ground on all things. I don't deal with teenage rebellion, thank goodness! True democracy exists in our household and it works pretty darn good.

I'm thankful that, through a series of life experiences, I begin to examine how I was doing things, how it was when I was a child; how I felt when I had decisions made for me and was treated unfairly, and how I wanted them to be different for my family. And, starting with my sister, Ren, thank you to all you wonderful people (mostly unschoolers) who challenged me to think outside the box. Because of you, and my willingness to listen, I enjoy a joyful family life and I REALLY, REALLY enjoy my teens!!!

I'm sorry to everyone out there dealing with "teenage rebellion". Maybe you should back up and start living in their shoes for a day and see how it feels. Remember how you felt when you were a teen and all your life decisions were made for you, down to sitting in that prison we call school when you had to ask to even go to the bathroom, when you were told when to eat, how to learn, when to learn, what to learn, and all those other decisions that the adults in your life made for you. Think how different things could have been for you had the adults in your life trusted you and allowed you control of your life. Just imagine!


sonnier tribe mama said...

You know, the girls and I were watching this commercial together and my oldest (almost 10) says 'mom that is so sad, i'm glad you and dad aren't like that' It made my heart sing.

I find that when my kids have the choice on what to eat, what to wear, when they get up, etc, they are much more willing to help out without having to resort to guilt or punishment. They even take an active role in pursuing what they want to learn about. It's amazing for us, but so sad that most kid's lives are like that girls on the commercial.

Ren said...

It IS so sad.
I'm thankful to have been a part of your "shift".:) I couldn't have imagined through all those lovelyish debates that I didn't make you hate me! lol

It's been pretty cool for my kids to have cousins who are so respectfully parented, even the schooled one (Ry,Ry) because when our families get together it is so seamless.

I miss you guys a ton!

OH, and not to nitpick, but I'd say you aren't democratic at all because the majority doesn't outvote the minority. I think you're all more consensual overall.;)

Snavleys said...

Yes, you are right Ren! We definitely live more consensually. Hadn't really thought about the majority rule part of democracy.

suchlovelyfreckles said...

It really is sad. Of course they can't make decisions. They're not allowed to... and it makes them totally incapable of thinking for themselves. Great post.

Wilder Tribe said...

I wonder what other adults, who are not unschoolish think when they watch those commercials? Do they give it a second thought? Does it cross their mind that things don't have to be that way for kids? Does a commercial like that 'turn on the light' for anyone? Do the makers of the commercial realize they are hinting at the fact that children's rights are being violated all the time.. simply because they are young? Do kids need a civil rights movement? Is it about time that kids be treated like human beings.. rather than pets, or free labor, or tax deductions, or status symbols, or "the future?"

Deanne said...

That commecial really makes me sad, because there are soooo many kids whose lives are like that. They probably don't even get to choose Subway vs. Burger King( or some other place). Even then, there are plenty of parents who won't allow their kids to choose what to order at a Subway!
Sad, sad, sad.

I think many, if not most parents, wouldn't think twice about the implications of what's presented in that commercial.

So glad my eyes are open! ;)