How to handle kids telling your kids about sex?

A reader shared with me that she had some young neighborhood kids talking about sex to her 8-year-old son! Some little 2nd-grade girl told him she wanted him to rip off her clothes and have sex all over her.

(Where has this kid been hanging out?? Who is she hearing this from – older sibling, TV? Is she watching “Dynasty!”)

Later, some other boys in the neighborhood started describing to her little guy the actual act. This poor kid is just trying to ride his bike! He’s not the least bit interested in all this!

I really think this mom handled it well.

She talked to her son about what it meant and told him the act was only part of it. She also had her husband talk to the boys. He told them he didn’t want them talking to their son about sex anymore, and they said OK.  She said she’ll say something to the little girl as soon as she sees her.

She told the big group of neighborhood kids that when they were playing at their house there was to be no touching anywhere a bathing suit would go. That was all off limits. Apparently the kids have starting “pantsing” each other – pulling down a kid’s pants as a joke.

I’m sad that her son was exposed to sex at such a young age and in such a way. But I think she did a very good job opening up lines of communication with him about sex. I also think she did a good job setting limits with the neighborhood kids about what is acceptable behavior around her children and in her house.

Have you had kids tell your kids about sex? How old were they? What did you tell your child? Did you confront the other children? Should you tell their parents or give them a chance to cut it out? Should you tell the offending kids your child can’t play with them anymore? (This would be all the kids in her neighborhood.)

39 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

May 13th, 2009
8:00 am

I have been told before…”we do not read your psts mjg…”

So, I will repeat what I have said before…”little ears are big listeners….”

Young children with profound knowledge about sex are in an environment where parents or siblings freely talk about it and/or it available on their TV’s or DVD’s. ( a pre-K teacher told me she observed a 4 year old asking a boy if he wanted oral sex….yikes!) Children are viewing movies they need not be seeing. I am old fashioned about this. When they are pre- teens ( 10-12 ish), THEN it is time to be frank with them, unless they are asking questions earlier and you need to be honest and forthright.

For those who are not intelligent enough to figure this out….a child will not come home speaking fluent Japanese, unless he is in an environment where it is spoken…same with speaking fluent sex.

motherjanegoose

May 13th, 2009
8:02 am

sorry for the typos…i am out the door….

DB

May 13th, 2009
8:14 am

Confront the other children? With the 2nd grade girl that invited the boy to tear her clothes off, I would have confronted her MOTHER!! That is so disturbing and way out of line, I can’t even begin to imagine where that came from, although my first thought is that a 7 or 8 year old being that aggressive may be facing far more serious issues at home. And, unfortunately, the mother probably isn’t going to take it well, unless you can manage to let her know in a non-confrontational and kind way — something along the lines of “This is really hard for me, but I know that if I were you, I’d want to know about this . . .”

I don’t think I would have confronted the kids directly, because all that does is a) make your child look like a mama’s boy/girl and subject him to more teasing, or b) sends the teasing/info sessions “underground” where you aren’t aware of it any further. Plus, you can’t really control kid’s conversations unless you are willing to monitor them 24/7. They’d just change the subject when you came within hearing distance — and your child IS curious, regardless of what you think.

This is the opportunity to open complete lines of communication between you and your children. If they know you can unflinchingly and matter-of-factly answer questions on topics that cause most parents to blush and squirm, then you are ahead of the game. I think it’s a great idea to declare bathing suit areas to be “no touching” zones.

But, basically, it’s impossible to control other kids’ conversations. First time would be a warning. A repeated offense would be “time to go home, kiddo” and no invite back.

JJ

May 13th, 2009
8:47 am

Haven’t we already covered this topic? I’ve always talked openly around my kid about drugs, sex, crime, etc. Nothing is taboo in my home. Open and honest communication…….

Some people are so uptight about sex and the naked body.

HB

May 13th, 2009
8:50 am

DB, I completely agree about confronting the other mother, in part, because it’s entirely possible that the child did not learn this language at home, or at least not from anything mom and dad knowingly exposed her too. She could have a babysitter/day care worker who says inappropriate things or lets her watching inappropriate TV or movies, an older sibling, another relative (uncle, cousin). Even worse, she could be being abused by someone the parents trust. They need to know so that, if she’s not learning it from them, they can find out what really is going on.

jct

May 13th, 2009
9:04 am

I am kinda with JJ on this. Honest and open communication is the policy of our household. That being said, this is way deeper than sex. What you have described is about boundaries and this example just happens to be sexual.

It’s obvious that something is missing in this little girl. She has been exposed to highly sexual situations that she shouldn’t be exposed to. It’s good that the adult spoke with her but someone needs to speak to her parents as well. As a survior of sexual abuse during my childhood, that statement from the little girl reeks of someone who could have been abused (not necessarily by her parents but by a trusted family member or friend).

This little girl needs her parents involvement NOW! If this little girl does not establish healthy boundaries now, her teenage years are going to be a nightmare.

Cammi317

May 13th, 2009
9:41 am

My daughter was a little less than 8 1/2 when she asked. Prior to asking she knew that you had to have “sex” to have a baby, but she did not know what sex was. I tried to put it off for like 2 weeks, but her questions became a major problem at home AND at school during those 2 weeks. At home she typed in http://www.sex.com and got an eyeful of porn, and at school she started writing down all of her questions about sex and a teacher found it in her desk. In the end we had an indepth discussion wherein she informed me “Mommy that is too much information and I don’t ever want to discuss this subject again.” She is 11 and she hasn’t asked me a thing since then. She actually tried to get me to opt her out of Sex Ed at school this year, but I told her no because they may address a subject that I forgot to touch on.

Michelle

May 13th, 2009
10:51 am

It’s interesting that this topic should come up! I don’t think sex talk should be taboo in anyone’s household. HOW you talk about sex is a whole other issue though. When adults and sexually active teens are talking explicitely about sex around small children, I think that is totally inappropriate. My step sons are 17 & 18 and they sometimes talk with their dad and forget that the little ears are listening. I have to do damage control and explain why some words can’t be used or why some things shouldn’t be said outside of the house!

My mother (who I didn’t live with) talked about sex pretty in depth with her kids. I think she was a little overboard and probably encouraged the kids to have sex at a MUCH younger age than was necessary. We all know that sex can be an enjoyable experience, but she didn’t follow up with all of the emotional STUFF that goes along with the act! These are the kinds of things that should be talked about with kids along with talking about the act!

Kids are learning things SO early these days. They don’t even know how their body works before they are experimenting sexually! It’s frightening.

Men need to be educated too. Men are “macho” when they are sexually active, but girls are “easy, sluts, etc.” I’m not sure why this is so acceptable. The fathers should be explaining to the sons about respecting the women! I see this in my own house! I try to talk to the boys about the effect that this has on girls and them. I try to bring emotions and maturity into the conversations, not just talk about how fun it is.

I agree with the others though about talking to the other childs parents. I would not directly confront a child unless I heard them talking with my own ears. I would then let them know that I don’t appreciate it. I would also clarify if they truly knew what they were saying or just repeating something they had heard from someone else!

I know my son (who is 6) will repeat things that his dad or brothers have said. I’ll ask him if he knows what it means, and he has no clue!

Just my 2 cents!

Stacey

May 13th, 2009
11:00 am

I have an 8 year old boy and my husband has had to talk to him (on his level) already. He said the kids at school talk about “it” (he won’t say sex, he spells it out) and now he dreams about it. He was distraught a literally in tears one day because he said that he dreamed he did “it” with a little girl in his class and now he thinks he is nasty. When I asked him to specify what they did, he said the girl pulled her shirt off and pulled off all of his clothes and they got under the cover and did “nasty stuff”. He said he doesn’t know what the “nasty stuff” is because they are under the covers where he can’t see. He said he saw that on “Family Guy” which is a cartoon that he used to watch with my husband until I found what it was about (my husband thinks it’s a funny show and I’m overreacting).

While we try to have an open and honest relationship with our son, we also try to limit what we (knowingly) expose him to. We answer his question honestly though we usually limit the answer to the question that he asks and don’t elaborate. I listen to oldies R&B music and my husband rarely listens to music at all but my son hears a lot of radio versions of hip hop songs at places like day camp, skating rink, friends/family homes, etc. It’s reached the point now where he wants to hear the songs and watch videos and a lot of the videos are darn near pornographic (in my prudish opinion). I can’t always control what he hears and sees away from home but I try really hard to limit what I expose him to.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 13th, 2009
11:11 am

The mom said some of the neighbors wanted to contact the school and get the school counselors involved. That seemed extreme but I don’t think it occurred to them that maybe some sexual abuse could be involved. I think they assumed like I did upon hearing the story that it was just a case of a kid being exposed to bad TV or sibs talking about it. HMM — I am definitely going to email that point back to the reader.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 13th, 2009
11:13 am

if you search talking with your kids about sex there are so many articles with advice — I’m thinking we need to start reading some of these now so we’re ready when out 8 year old is ready — I don’t think she’s thinking about it and after spending a birthday party and time at the zoo with her classmates it doesn’t seem like this particular group is there yet either.

jack5656

May 13th, 2009
12:04 pm

I volunteered as a big brother about a decade ago. The director of the program informed me that studies showed that generally speaking, 7-9 year olds have a full functional knowledge of the mechanics fo sex. I think this situation in your neighborhood illustrates the obvious, as parents, you better start talking about it on your terms early and often to send the right message before someone else beats you to it. I have a 5 year old, I’m not relishing the idea, but I’m ready. On a side note, I think there is a point to be made that Americans make WAY to much about sex. I have never seen an article, Theresa, where you’re up in arms and your readers are suggesting an intervention with parents when a kid points a fake gun (or lightsabre) at another kids head during play time (maybe after watching star wars) and portrays an execution. That’s just good old fashion fun. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson, it’s a pretty big dichotomy that in the movies when you cut a member off, you get an R-rating, but when you kiss one, you get an X.

Nadia

May 13th, 2009
1:35 pm

Rather than telling the girl’s school counselor, I would probably just ask the counselor or other professional about it, without giving the girl’s name. Is what the girl said reason to believe anything more than her trying to be cool and talking like she knows about sex? A professional would be able to determine if what she said is a warning sign of abuse. “Have sex all over her.” That sounds like she does not really understand sex. I might watch the girl more and see if she is always talking about sex. In my opinion, eight years seems pretty young to be preoccupied by sex, so if she is overly sex sex sex sex all the time, I would be concerned. I also would not hesitate to talk to the mom. She needs to know what her daughter is saying. Maybe she has no idea. Maybe the girl has older siblings who talk about sex a lot. That would seem more likely to me. Either way, the girl needs to be told by a parent that what she said was inappropriate.

My girls are 6 and 7 years old. We live on a street where the kids play outside together all day long. Unfortunately, a couple of the children they play with are around 10 years old. They are girls. There are also a couple of 12 year old boys that are always outside. It would be nearly impossible to keep our girls away from those kids (if we wanted to). The downside to the kids being a few years older is that right now, at the ages our kids are, that age difference is a big deal because of their topics of conversation. My kids hear things directly and indirectly. If I hear the kids using bad language, I ask them to please not talk like that in front of my kids. If I hear them talking about sex, I ask them to please not talk to my kids or in front of my kids about that. I also talk to their parents, but I am friendly with my neighbors, so it is not uncomfortable. I have told the neighbor kids and my own kids that they will not be allowed to play with each other if they continue to talk about inappropriate subjects or use bad language. I just explained that they are older and my kids are not old enough for those topics and that if they are going to talk about that stuff, do it when they are not playing with my kids.

My kids have not been told what sex is from other kids, but they definitely hear things of a sexual nature from the others. Sex is not a dirty word in my house, though. They do not know what sex is yet. I remember being told to give the minimum information to answer your child’s question about sex, no need to overload them with information they cannot fully comprehend. That has worked, so far. I have not and am not going to freak out if they hear some stuff from other kids. I fully expect it to happen. Unfortunately, it has happened younger than I would have liked, but oh well.

This might seem silly, but I was more upset that one of the neighbor kids confirmed that Santa was not real than I would be if she told her what sex was. I could not talk to my daughter afterwards and undo what was said about Santa, it was too late, she was already convinced he was not real. At least, with sex, even if another kid tells her first, I can talk to her and straighten out fact and fiction.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 13th, 2009
1:41 pm

Hey Jack – we have talked some about guns before — i’m personally very anti guns!! I am bothered by the light saber play in the Lego Star Wars game — the lego guys break apart in the video game like they;’re just falling apart but my son says “oh I killed him” so he knows what it’s representing. I think those Lego Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Batman games are just “gateway” games into the more violent. Just because they are Lego men doesn’t mean kids don’t understand what’s really going on there,.

My problem is I don;’t want to introduce a topic that she has no interest in and isn’t ready for but the problem is you may get beaten the the punch. My 8 year old shows nooo interest in this topic – She ’s just turned and may get more interested next year — It’s sort of like the discussion about race we had a few years ago — My kids have always played with children of all colors and didn’t think anything about it so I didn’t want to introduce the topic of race and then them become conscious of it. A professor from Columbia said that was wrong — that we needed to talk about it and introduce the concept . I guess it’s the same with sex. — don’t know what I would say to her though at this point -

JJ

May 13th, 2009
2:00 pm

I think we need to quit reading what all the “experts” say, and just go with our gut feeling……..information overload.

When your kids are ready to discuss major topics, they will come to you. They will start the conversation…….then you give them age appropriate information. However, I believe in open communication and I discussed sex way before my daughter ever brought it up. That way, she was very comfortable talking to me about it.

I’m for guns. I own a gun. I know how to use it, so does my daughter. We have been to the shooting range numerous times.

jack5656

May 13th, 2009
2:23 pm

Hey Theresa, you say your problem is that you don’t want to introduce a topic that she has no interest in and isn’t ready for, but let’s be real, it’s not just about her interests and readiness level, it’s about yours too. If you were to apply the logic of “I’ll discuss it when SHE’S intersted” then you’d be acting it the same manner as some of the subjects you disagree with. For example, my son has NO interest in hearing about strangers who want to harm him….but I make a very real effort to explain to him the dangers that strangers can pose. He also has NO interest in guns, but I hammer into him that if he’s at a friend’s house and his friend wants to show him his gun without adult supervision, to get an adult as quickly as he can. I imagine that you started discussing religion with your children before they really had an interest in trying to figure out what behaviors in life will earn their admission into an eternal afterlife in heaven (and presumably, what will get them sent to hell). So why is this one any different? It certainly can have just as important of an outcome as any of the examples I mentioned. My only point is that you’re cherry picking the issues you will address with your children before they show an interest in discussing them with you. I think it’s more than a coincidence that sex(GASP!) is the topic that really should be off limits without an initial interest from your daughter when there are presumably so many others that are not verboten. If you take the position that you’re going to wait until your child is interested in something that will have a profound influence on how they view important issues they will face…you’re probably going to be the behind the eightball when they finally decide they’re interested. What if your daughter NEVER shows an interest in talking to YOU about it….I’m sure you wouldn’t advocate just leaving it alone.

Nadia

May 13th, 2009
2:27 pm

Theresa, I agree with you about not bringing it up until your kid expresses an interest or concern. That is exactly what happened with us with race. It was not until my youngest was three that we had to talk about race, meaning we went for five years without them asking why people were different colors. I did not want to bring it to their attention for the same reason you gave. They were not stupid, they noticed that their friend was another color, but it did not concern them, so we did not need to discuss it.

As parents, I do think we need to explain to our children at a young age that it is never okay to let someone touch them inappropriately. There is no set age at which we need to have the birds and bees discussion, though. We know our own children, and we can make those decisions accordingly. There is no need to base it on what others do. Now, if my kid was 14 and still had not asked me, I would have a talk, you know? But, at eight? No hurry.

Stacey

May 13th, 2009
3:06 pm

I agree with JJ that parents should look for a follow the clues that kids give and have discussions then. My son is very comfortable talking to me and asking me things that he wouldn’t dream of discussing with his dad. He often asks “deep” questions while we are riding in the car or he will come and lay in my bed to talk right before he goes to bed. The conversations generally start out “If I ask/tell you something, do you promise not to tell Daddy?”

Other conversations start with comments that he makes while watching TV or telling me about his day. One day he made a very casual/matter-of-fact comment that a character on a TV show was gay. I asked (also casually) why did he think that and what does gay mean. He said that he was repeating what a classmate said and that gay means that he wants to grow up to be a woman. My simple, age appropriate response was just that gay means that he wants to marry a man. He responded that (the character) couldn’t possibly be gay because he has a crush on a girl on the show. I told him not to repeat things, especially if they are meant to be mean, just because someone else says them because not only could that person be wrong about the accusation, they could also be wrong about the meaning of the word.

jack5656

May 13th, 2009
3:10 pm

Nadia is absolutely correct when she says there is no set age at which to have the birds and the bees discussion…unless it’s 14…then you’ve passed the set age…which by the way, doesn’t exist. All I’m saying is that Theresa’s daughter has already had her first introduction to the birds and the bees from the neighborhood kids. The genie is out of the bottle and there is no putting it back. But I’m sure a good talking to the other kids in the neighborhood will stop the topic from ever coming up again to her daughter..I mean what kind of kids would be told not to do something and then do it anyway? Quick question though, how are you going to keep the kids from OTHER neighborhoods from violating that rule?

Stan

May 13th, 2009
3:16 pm

I have nothing to offer on the topic but I had to laugh at ““gateway” games”

LOL

MomsRule

May 13th, 2009
3:20 pm

“Pantsing” has been around forever. I remember boys doing that when I was a child. My boys went through a stage of doing that both to each other and with neighborhood boys/friends. No big deal. It has got nothing to do with sex as I recall and as I witnessed. They just thought it was great fun. I don’t recall this being something the girls ever took part in…

My oldest, now 13, was exposed to sex talk in school starting in the 2nd grade. The teacher told me all the kids were participating in the talks and she finally had enough and told them she didn’t want to hear another word about it. While parents “think” that’s incredibly young and frightening (I did too at the time) now that I’ve had time to think about it, I really don’t believe it is much younger than what most of us were exposed to as children.

I remember conversations from around this same age group as a child. And I was not molested or being exposed to all of the programming and games of today. I remember kids “playing doctor” at young ages. I remember my little brother, probably 8 or 9 at the time, playing doctor with a neighbor girl. The parents involved didn’t freak out or assume that the other was a bad parent or try and blame it on tv. It was kids doing what kids do…experimenting. That’s not to say that the involved parents did not speak with the children, they did. But the parents didn’t make a huge deal out of it.

My point…this stuff is not new. Keep it in perspective. It is part of parenting. Don’t panic. Kids pick up on that and are less likely to bring things to your attention if they think they’ll get a negative reaction. Use these things as opportunities to educate your children. Keep the lines of communication open.

Most of the time with the little ones…they say the words with no idea what they mean. But parents freak because they heard a word.

My youngest, 9, asked me the other day, “Mom, what is a “c**k sucker.” Unfortunatley, he heard the term while passing a television. He thought it had something to do with cocking a gun. Yeah, let’s go with that. LOL

Razz

May 13th, 2009
3:47 pm

I would definately say that 14yrs is too old, maybe 11-12yrs at the latest…just my opinion

sd

May 13th, 2009
4:14 pm

I laugh now at all of the things that were told to me as a kid about sex by other kids.

I remember as soon as I saw my dad’s stack of playboys when I was about 7 that there was something about that magazine that I didn’t understand, but I KNEW I had to learn more.

HB

May 13th, 2009
4:22 pm

Theresa, I’m just curious — if you think those games desensitize kids to bigger violence, why do you let your kids play them? I don’t really have an opinion on the games myself, other than not being crazy about video games in general, but I don’t understand why if you think they’re harmful, you’d have them in your home.

motherjanegoose

May 13th, 2009
5:03 pm

jack5656…surely you jest:

“I mean what kind of kids would be told not to do something and then do it anyway? ”

Did I stupidly miss your humor in that statement? It is hard to tell when I cannot see you rolling your eyes, as you share this fascinating tidbit.

Anyone who thinks this is remotely possible has NEVER been a parent or has the kind of kids the rest of us only dream about.

Stacey….my own son asked me the hardest questions when his Dad was at work. I did my best to answer them honestly and without hem hawing around…so glad I am past that stage.

HB good points in your 8:50 comment. As I said, children who are versed in sexual terms have heard it SOMEWHERE and I did not even think about babysitters but that could be it too!

JJ…I am all about honest and open but certain language is appropriate. If I had a 8 year old over, that asked me if I escrow my homeowner’s insurance or pay the premium outright…this would be odd to me….not something kids usually talk about.

Same way the red flags go up when :

Some little 2nd-grade girl told him she wanted him to rip off her clothes and have sex all over her.
( per the opening comments by Theresa…)

this is NOT normal behavior and more than parents being open about sex…unless Mom says this every day to Dad or the other way around. Not my business but a little to graphic for children….if you ask me…..LOL.

jack5656

May 13th, 2009
5:17 pm

hey motherjanegoose…I wouldn’t say you “stupidly” missed my humor..you’re too hard on yourself. You did miss my humor though, I’ll try to add an eye rolling emoticon next time. Of course I said it in jest..just trying to sarcastically emphasize my point that it is laughable to think that a “talking to” is going to keep those conversations away from our kids until we are ready to address them ourselves.

DB

May 13th, 2009
6:07 pm

If personal sexuality is a casual topic of conversation between parent and child from the beginning, then there is no need for “THE talk”, because the child has been learning in small, age-appropriate bits since they were old enough to ask the question “why do mommies have breasts and daddys don’t?” Our best conversations have been in the car to and from school, or when my child comes to me after hearing something shocking at school and asks “What do you think of this?”

Theresa, letting your child play Lego video games and then decrying “violent” video games is sorta like being “just a little bit pregnant”. Boys will take almost ANY game you can dream up and make it “violent” – it’s called “testosterone poisoning” :-)

I’m not anti-gun. I know how to use a gun, my kids know how to use a gun, and I’m not at all worried that they are going to turn into crazed, gun-wielding maniacs that go around shooting up college campuses. It’s just a gun — take away the mystique and the hysteria around it, and it’s a tool. A gun in untutored hands is far more dangerous than a gun in the hands of someone who has been trained on gun safety and use.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 13th, 2009
8:59 pm

HB and DB — I am really torn on the video games. They are in the house because Michael loves video games and that is how Walsh has gotten started on them. he never, ever plays anything considered by a normal person to be violent. he’s never even seen the really violent games. He’s interested in Star Wars now and Indiana Jones. We have watched together part of those movies with me editing a lot or telling him to turn his eyes. He will NOT see any of the Batman movies for quite some time — way too violent. My husband thinks I am being WAAY oversensitive on the Lego vidoe games because they are Lego. I’m not sure if I should make a big stink about them and outlaw them — Michael would not support that decision and would fight me on it — I mainly try to encourage him not to play video games in general and to go outside to play!! I’m not sure on it.

HB

May 13th, 2009
9:59 pm

First, Theresa, finding the games to be too violent does not make you abnormal or extreme. I know many parents who don’t like their children to play games or watch cartoons where characters fight each other, and kids do have a tendency to imitate those games and shows in their play. The little boys I’ve known who wrestled too roughly with their friends were the ones whose parents let them watch wrestling on TV! I’ve also known several families who banned Power Rangers after their under 7 year olds started kicking and hitting each other pretending to be the characters. Same goes for Star Wars and playing too rough with toy swords/light sabers. Young boys aren’t good at figuring out what lines they shouldn’t cross and see no reason not to imitate their heroes. On the other hand, young boys I’ve known who took karate lessons or participated in real wrestling (wrestling boys were at least 9 or 10) really focused on developing their skills and didn’t translate it into overly rough play — they were being taught well what is and isn’t appropriate.

Personally, I think it’s sad that Michael wouldn’t support you on at least waiting until Walsh is older on the games. Parents don’t always agree, but they need to present a united front. In general, if one choice could be harmful in one parent’s eyes (and you’re really not crazy here in your opinion on the games) and the other choice clearly has no actual benefit even the other parent doesn’t think it’s a bad thing (maybe Michael’s right and it’s no big deal, but where’s the harm in not playing?), then the parents should come together on the side of caution. And it doesn’t have to be a permanent ban. In a few years, you may not feel that a cartoon game will influence his behavior as much.

Jesse's Girl

May 13th, 2009
10:05 pm

You must have an age appropriate conversation with your kids. My girls have come to us…or ME…for all of their answers. They have heard snippetts here and there from friends on the playground….most of it is just silly and I have had to give corrections. I have no issues at all talking to them about sex…what it is…saving themsleves for marriage and the consequences of making a choice for that or against it…and all the little nuggets in between:) If mom and dad can’t handle it….there is some young man or woman just waiting to handle it for them. And that AIN”T happenin’ in my house baby…

As for that little girl….GOOD LAWD!!!! She’s either watching Cinemax or mommy is a freak!!!

Nadia

May 13th, 2009
10:11 pm

Jack…. “Quick question though, how are you going to keep the kids from OTHER neighborhoods from violating that rule?” Obviously, you cannot. That is why I have explained that if they continue to do so, my kids won’t be allowed to play with them.

DB

May 13th, 2009
10:15 pm

Theresa — soo, this is going to be interesting: Your husband plays video games. Do you consider *him* a maladjusted and violent individual? :-)

Walsh will probably grow up to be very much like his father, who has been his example of parenting, work ethic, discipline and fun. The question is: Is that ok with you? And is it possible that Michael is taking your stand on video games personally and as a reflection on his gaming? Food for thought. It’s tough to disagree on a point like this, because you will constantly be on the defensive, and that’s no fun.

Walsh is what — 6? My son started watching “Star Wars” when he was 5, it ended up being our “trim the Christmas tree” movie. I’d let him watch the Star War movies, and watch them with him. Indiana Jones, I’d probably wait a couple of more years, because some of the scenes are pretty scary (opening the Ark of the Covenant was creepy!). And Batman (the Jack Nicholson version), I figure they are PG-13 for a reason — a lot of scary stuff for little ones. But Star Wars — those are great movies, full of literary archetypes, good vs. evil, princesses and knights. IMHO, either let him watch a movie, or not. The half-way “avoiding” certain scenes, etc. is, again, a little like being a little bit pregnant! For example, my kids didn’t see “Titanic” until they turned 13, even though everyone in their 3 and 4th grade class had already seen in. I personally thought “Titanic” was too intense for an 8 year old — too much death, nudity and implied sex that was beyond the understanding of a child.

ohno......not..Imean, Ithougthyouweregone...wow

May 13th, 2009
10:17 pm

I was horrified to find this blog in the ajc.com. I thought they axed it months ago. Its funny that the same 6 people keep responding throughout the day and they end up with 30 or so comments (thats including the lady that types it). Well. at least the ajc buried it.

Jesse's Girl

May 13th, 2009
10:27 pm

DB…you and I share the same philosophy on movies. My oldest is 12 and a 6th grader. There are things her friends have been exposed to for a few years now that she is just now allowed to watch. I am currently tossing around allowing her to watch all the Brat Pack stuff….I don’t see too much of a problem with 16 Candles…but after re-watching Breakfast Club, I don’t know. Maybe I am too freaky about it….I don’t want my kids to be naive about life. But keeping them “innocent” for as long as I can…well, I guess thats just the momma in me:)

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 13th, 2009
10:41 pm

Hey DB — I don;t think Michael is maladjusted or violent. He actually prefers sports games to shoot em up games but he does play those on occasion. That’s what I’m trying to figure out — is it good clean boy fun or something to worry about — not sure.

motherjanegoose

May 14th, 2009
6:48 am

oh no…not…I mean….if this blog horrifies you, then you are the one who is buried and need to get a real lifel. There is so much more out there that is really troublesome. Please feel free to contribute something clever and perhaps they will invite YOU to have a blog. There are other AJC blogs whose posters are also a select group ( new posters are invited too) of those who are committed to the blog…nothing new here and many have fewer than 30 comments per day. Please tell us who put you in charge…..we can’t hear you.

DB

May 14th, 2009
11:03 am

Theresa — I personally wouldn’t worry about. However, I say that from the perspective of having an 18 year old and a 20 year old, and looking back at all the things that I *did* obsess over, and realizing, now, how unimportant most of those things I obsessed over really were. (One of these days, I’ll tell you about my son’s organic first birthday cake . . . !)

There are so many things in life to worry about — IMHO, video games are down near the bottom of the list. Walsh sounds like a normal, active little kid who enjoys a lot of different things. They are healthy, happy and active. Life is good. There will be enough problems to solve as they grow, there’s no reason to go looking for more. (Rereading my post, I didn’t mean to imply that Michael was “maladjusted” — just trying to point out that he probably isn’t, in spite of the video games!)

In the 20’s, people thought that jazz was going to be the downfall of civilization. In the 30’s, it was alcohol. In the 40’s, people were more worried about war than they were music or drink. In the 50’s, it was rock-and-roll that was going to be the ruin of youth. Today, it’s video games. Somehow, we all survive. :-)

Penguinmom

May 14th, 2009
3:14 pm

Kids will believe whoever they hear the information from first. If you want to be the expert in their eyes, you need to prepare to step up and give them the information before you think they will be exposed to it. For public school kids, that probably means no later than 8 years old. Even 30+ years ago, I learned about sex in 3rd grade on a Girl Scout camping trip. So you definitely need to begin talking about it in general terms as early as possible.

There are excellent books out there that will help you through the topics. Some are designed to be read together, some are just for the parent. I’ve had several friends use the ‘Passport to Purity’ program. It’s a weekend away and doesn’t focus on just sex information, it’s also covers the emotional and moral part of the equation.

As far as video and TV, I’m more likely to limit viewing based on sexual content and language than on general violence. I believe my kids are more able to process good versus evil fighting than they are to process adult relationships and the consequences. Especially when the lines between what is morally right and what just ‘feels right’ get so blurred.

catlady

May 17th, 2009
5:25 pm

As a teacher I see red flags everywhere on this one! In fact, a teacher would have a duty to report things of this kind.

Early sexualization should be a cause of concern for any parent or parent of a friend of the child’s.

True story: I walked into the open (not the stall) part of our single boy’s bathroom when I taught kindergarten and found a child trying to copulate with a hole in the wall. Warning sign!! He was in jail before he was 15, and his older sister at 14 had a baby by mama’s boyfriend and has been in jail multiple times.

I would NOT allow my young child to play with a child who has such knowledge beyond the typical. It does not mean I won’t answer questions, or am afraid to talk about things, HOWEVER the kid is learning this somewhere, be it movies or observations in the home. There are things that are age- or situation- appropriate (mother is pregnant, for example), but precocious sexual knowledge or behavior is a big warning sign.

I also did not allow my kids to have play guns, soldiers, books, magazines, or violent shows. I knew they would hear and see enough of that as they got older and better able to process and discuss it. They did not suffer from it or the severely resticted amount of TV/video they were allowed. Just the way I decided to do it, and it worked for us.