Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bedroom Visits

Our ward does a strange thing. At least I consider it strange. I'm curious to hear what you all think of this.

Brent was recently called as the priest advisor/venture scout leader. Last night was mutual and the Laurels & Priests had an activity planned to do what's called "home visits". My 1st impression was that maybe they'd be going to visit those who need help, service, the elderly, etc. That's not even close to what they do. Apparently, they choose a laurel and a priest to go visit their....bedrooms. Does that seem strange to you??? They say that the point is to promote a good environment in their rooms and to help these kids get to know each other better. They asked questions about the photos on the walls, etc. Everyone (leaders and all) cram into the room and ask the youth questions about themselves.

My question is this: Seriously, isn't there an more appropriate way to get to know each other? Why not meet in the living room and ask the youth to bring special items out of their bedrooms to share? I can't believe the leaders don't think this is a strange thing to be doing.

BYU won't even let the men down the hall (except for bathroom use) in girl's apts. Why do parents not seem to care? I don't think I'd be comfortable with all the ward's young men hanging out in my daughter's bedroom. Maybe I'm old fashioned and a prude, but I'm really bothered by this.

Let's hope I never get called to the YW in this ward. I don't think I'd be able to support this. Does that make me weird? (Don't answer that!) Even Brent said he thought the whole night was really strange. He didn't get the point of it either.

Oh-- and not to mention that the Priests just had a lesson on sex last week (we have a girl who's prego in our ward) that Brent felt was totally inappropriate. The leader made light of the situation and didn't even bother to bring in the sacredness of intimacy. His whole point in the lesson was this: 1. the right time, 2. the right place, & 3. the right person. The priests had a field day with #2. Try and figure that one out. Brent and & couldn't. Why is there a discussion with priests about the right "place" for sex?? We're seriously hoping the leader just didn't know how to state it correctly. Yikes! Not a lesson to try and teach unprepared.

Anyway, just curious if we're old prudes out here or if perhaps we should say something. What do you think?


Jess and Jen said...

A little odd, yes. However, I imagine it's also a deterrent for some of the kids that if they know their YM/YW group and leaders will be in their rooms, they ought to 1) clean up a bit and 2) not have inappropriate things laying around or on the walls.

I think the sex talk in priests is a tough assignment. A lot of leaders try to be chummy or friends with their kids instead of leaders and I think that influences the way they teach. Instead of having an uncomfortable lesson, they may choose to make light of the situation simply because they don't know how else to approach it.

I don't know if that's really the case in this situation, but it's a thought.


Papa Doc and the Duke said...

I can see a side of the bedroom thing that could be useful. If parents were there and if other restrictions as you mentioned, at other times were firmly in place, it might be the only time for a long time things get really clean and appropriate. Take Xxxxxxxxxxxx for example. I have seen a few times when it would be nice to have some motivation to get things cleaned up.

The priest thing is troubling. First, a member of the Bishopric should always be in the Quorum meeting. That would mean that things get back to the Bishop, hopefully. A mild question, as Brent is well able to ask, could then be asked by way of follow-up to the Bishop. If no response is given, or if you are unhappy with the response, you have the right to ask a member of the Stake Presidency to look into it carefully. I suspect that the Bishop was not and perhaps is not at the meeting like he should be. Holding the meeting in his office often works.

This whole thing is a big red flag about just about the most significant thing there is for young people. It is like an atomic bomb in peoples lives.

Thanks for sharing your concerns.

I would be interested in a personal call about this later to know what happened.

Dad Clark

chelsey said...

The bishop wasn't in the lesson. His family was out of town. I've heard from others that our bishop is really "strict". I wonder if it's all gotten back to him already...

Jason said...

The right place? That's easy - any place is the right place, right? Seriously, I think the whole situation is completely inappropriate. Visits to bedrooms? I don't need YM/YW leaders to police what is in my children's bedrooms or to encourage my children to clean their room. That's my job and one I certainly will not abdicate. Although Caleb does not like it, he knows that at any time Michelle or I have the right as his parents to go through his stuff. Since he is a pretty good kid, I rarely feel the need although I have done so several times. Some of you may disagree and that is fine. I say wait until you have a teenager who thinks the world revolves around girls (or boys as the case may be). I think being a responsible parent means keeping an eye on your children. That does not mean that children should not be given privacy or trust but that at the tender age of teenagehood our children need to be guided as much as they did when they were learning to walk. The line between too much guidence and too much trust is a fine one to walk and is different for each child.

I appreciate the YM advisor that speaks frankly about sex. Tiptoeing around the issue only makes it worse. Our teens need to hear words like pornography and masterbation and petting so that they know what to avoid. As each of us knows, our children don't need more friends, they need good parents and leaders who have already navigated the minefield they are trying to pick their way through.

If I were you, Chelsey, I would raise a stink.

Papa Doc and the Duke said...

Holy cow, so would I!!! I'd never (!) let a group like that go in our kids rooms -- and not because I wish they would clean up the pig pens, but because I think it is completely, absolutely inappropriate!!
I'd raise a stink, too.

Mike and Adrianne said...

I'm surprised they didn't cover #4: The right way. I made another comment on this topic, but decided to remove it. Basically, I agree that lessons on chastity and intimacy need to be carefully planned out and led by the spirit.

In my house, with the exception of family members, only boys were allowed in boys' rooms and only girls were allowed in girls' rooms.


Michelle Clark said...

I feel that the bedroom visits are extremely inappropriate.

When I was growing up, no one was even allowed upstairs where the bedrooms were unless they were a member of the immediate family. And definately not a member of the opposite sex. My parents made that clear, this wouldn't have ever flown with them. I would definately question who made up this grand idea to do visits of this sort. What a dumb idea, does the Bishop know this is going on? And if he is on board with this, does the Stake president know?

About the sex lesson/talk in church, be frank or not at all I say. If you can't talk about it openly then get a sub that can. Teens need to be told how it is and to brush aside the fact that there's a pregnant teen and that seems to be "okay" not okay. I thought the church stand on teen pregnancy was to give it up for adoption. That should be brought up where the church stands on single parents/teen parents etc. I think the Bishop should definately step in with these teens and teachers of these teens and have some intervention soon.

Having taught difficult subjects for lessons, I've been told you go by the book, use church material only and nothing else, not to add in your own opinion if it's not church doctrine.

chelsey said...

The girl who is pregnant is going to place the baby up for adoption thankfully. She's 17 and knows she's not ready, let alone responsible enough.

The bishop has a 16 yr old boy and I would guess that because he's present for BYC that he'd know about the visits. It's all just so wierd!

I wonder why the leader in YM didn't invite parents to the lesson on Sunday. That might have been a good way to get the topic going if it wasn't already at home too. Then the leader wouldn't have come so unprepared also! Frustrating....