Dear Grandparenting: I need your advice about what to do with my youngest grandchild. Beth is 6. She has an older brother and two older sisters.
Beth is doing all kinds of sexy show-off stuff that she must have picked up watching TV and videos. I scolded her the first time, but that didn’t make a dent. She was right back doing it later that day.
Beth thinks she looks terrific doing this thing called “twerking” where she thrusts her hips back and forth with her knees bent like some sex-craved lunatic. Twerk is for jerks. It’s sleazy and downright sickening when your 6-year old granddaughter talks about “shaking my booty.”
Of course Beth needs an audience, which her brother and sisters conveniently provide. She won’t act like that around her parents but thinks I’m too old to matter or something. How do I get her to drop this little routine before she gets some kind of reputation? That would really make my day. Lindsey Short, Lake Stevens, Washington
Dear Lindsey: As defined by Dictionary.com, twerking is to “dance to hip hop or pop music in a very sensual way…thrusting or shaking buttocks and hips while squatting,” usually by females.
Twerking hit the big-time earlier this decade when pop celebrities and role models took it to the limit, delivering highly sexualized performances and videos that can resemble stylized pornography. Now we have twerking contests, “twerking professionals” and a wealth of twerking videos in circulation.
Impressionable young grandchildren exposed to these images can grow up way too fast. But it’s challenging to shield youngsters in today’s digital world. The best defense is a strong family value system that buffers grandchildren against adopting such behavior or thinking it makes them popular for the right reasons.
But that’s not what’s happening in your situation. Your granddaughter is being rewarded by a powerful set of influentials, the set of older siblings she tries to impress.
Serving as her audience is tantamount to giving your granddaughter their tacit approval. In turn, she is emboldened to trot out more risque imitations. Instead of admonishing their youngest child, someone needs to read the riot act to her older brothers and sisters. That should do it.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Mary Johnson from Sidney, Ohio, reports that her husband, Richard, recently met the father of a newborn jabbering about the joys of becoming a first-time father.
After the father stopped speaking, Richard spoke up saying, “Congratulations. I have more good news. It actually gets better. Just wait until you become a grandparent!”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.