I just read an interesting article this morning called "El Mirage nudism case raises parenting questions". Apparently, an Arizona woman and her husband are being investigated for living the life "al fresco" around her two adolescent boys from a previous marriage. The best line of the article is this one:
"Arizona's indecent-exposure statute technically applies, but prosecutors had to decide whether they wanted to intervene when it was unclear the boys were traumatized...".
Being the parent of a young teenager myself, I recognize that this is a tricky question to answer. Pretty much anything you do traumatizes your child. Sing along to the radio? Check. Accidentally get an actor's name slightly wrong? Check. Take her to the mall in your tennis skirt? OMG!!! Check! Check! Check!
Look, I'm all for embarrassing my kids in the long standing tradition of the generations before me. It's one of the great joys of having kids in the first place. But a line must be drawn. When your own preferences (even those perfectly within the law) really do disturb your child, it's time to make other arrangements. Our kids are with us for such a relatively short time. Why not do what we can to create an environment where they'll want to come back to visit? Where they feel safe and welcome? Where they know that your main job is not selfishly doing whatever makes you happy at the moment, but rather, doing whatever makes your family healthy in the long run.
Just a thought.