Saturday, June 6, 2009

Teen Trends - Hugging, Sexting and Hooking Up

What’s worse – hugging, “sexting” or “hooking up”? Middle schools across the nation are now banning the trend of hugging between students on school grounds. Hugging seems to be the latest form of greeting between kids from middle school up. We’ve seen it on the streets and in the malls, but educators appear to have come to their limit with seeing physical contact between students.

Some kids may not wish to have their personal space violated by hugs from anyone and everyone. But is it as harmful as being “sexted” on their cell phones or getting “hooked up” to “friends with benefits”?

If you’re a parent and you’ve never heard of “sexting,” “hooking up” or “friends with benefits,” then you need some fresh sight into what your child is dealing with out in society today.

“Sexting” is the new trend of sending revealing and even nude photos to each others’ cell phones through text messaging. It may start as a private thing between two people, which already isn’t so good, but then one party may pass the photos on to other viewers. Pretty soon, the photos of these pre-teens and teens are as popular as if placed on the Internet…and some of them do get transferred there.

“Hooking Up” is the popular term for having casual sexual encounters within a circle of friends, or with newly met "friends," with no strings attached. No boyfriend-girlfriend or dating commitment, no promises, just friends. This is also called “friends with benefits.”

Within the trend of “hooking up” comes the impetuousness of having sex with no protection, loss of self-esteem, feelings of emptiness and heartbreak. One or both of the hooked up partners may like each other enough for a relationship, but they are not supposed to voice that. So later in life, there can be an inability to form intimate lasting relationships.

Yet another trend has to do with “breaking friendship bracelets” – sometimes called sex bracelets. These are bracelets made from the same jelly-resembling substance as the shoes called jellies. The bracelets come in different colors. For example, if a boy can grab and break the girl’s bracelet, the color red may mean she supposedly owes him a lap dance and the color black may mean she owes him sex.

Sometimes the bracelet breaking is a joke and kids don’t intend to go through with it. Other times, these boys are going to hold your daughter to it…if she was wearing the bracelet that must mean she wants it, right?

Kids have always come up with ways to greet each other and get close to other kids. But we need to choose our battles wisely. The hugging trend probably passes less germs than even holding hands. Aside from making sure our kids know that they have the right to tell someone not to hug, I’d rather try to be sure they’re not hooking up, sexting and breaking bracelets.


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