How Much Information is too much/or not enough
Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006:
How Much Information is too much/or not enough
My DD is a very naive 7yr old.Has never watched anything not age appropriate.She's very smart but naive.She was at a friends(boy) house on Saturday playing video games.When my friend went downstairs to check on them they had a blanket over them.She took the blanket off and asked what they were doing.They were fully dressed and said animals hibernating.My friend told them they didnt need to be under the covers together.My DD couldnt understand why.Her son has been caught kissing another child before.When my DD got home I asked her how her day was and I mentioned the blanket incident.I asked her if they kissed and she made a funny face and so NO.I totally believe her.I told her some kids her age like to kiss so I was wondering is she did.I then went on to explain this little boy gets cold sores and if she was to kiss him she could get one.I explained we don't know what kids have cold sore germs or not and that it wouldnt be wise to kiss.She said I know mommy thats why I cant share cups,or my chapstick.We've already had talks on good/bad touch and that we respect ourselves.I know kids experiment but I have a problem thinking mine is.Do I leave things as is?Do I need to mention anything else?Should I have worded it differently?I just dont want to put anything in her head if we're not there yet but I want to be the first one to talk on this topic.
I know they say Knowledge is Power, but I think like you do. I put off having "the talk" with my now 12yo son because he's the type of kid that like to use his knowledge and I SO didn't want to go there! Thankfully, with that he was pretty grossed out, though. lol I think you've done pretty well with your explanations for good touch/bad touch and germs and such. Very age appropriate for your dd. I'd just continue with the way you're doing things, along with lots of adult supervision. Maybe next time you and this boy's mother want them to have a playdate you can have them at your house and keep a close eye on them, or kindly suggest to this boy's mom that close supervision is a must, especially given his history (not saying it's a terrible history because it is pretty normal). Jmho, of course. You sound like you're doing a great job.
Oh, I'd start talking if I were you. Once they hit 1st grade other kids will enlighten them before you get the chance to.
Since the mom said the boy has been caught kissing, I wouldn't trust him at all anymore not to do that or something else to your child. I have a boy (now 11) who is very social with lots of friends who have spent a lot of time at my house and I watch them and only 1 of them did stuff like this (and worse stuff, I caught him with his nose in my son's buttcrack when my son was 4 and this kid was 5).
The sneakiness under the cover is a big concern. I know people say kids play doctor and stuff, but I am starting to think that most kids DON'T play doctor at all. Except for my butt-sniffer, I haven't seen a hint of it, nor has any other mother I have talked to.
I may be paranoid after our buttsniffer neighbor, so feel free to ignore me. I know what you mean about not putting stuff in their heads. I hated all that anti-drug stuff my son was exposed to in lower elementary school. But in the end having the knowledge then didn't hurt him. We talk a lot about everything now.
My son is 9 and I have had the drug talk, the adult beverage/alcohol talk, the sex talk, the predator talk, the stranger talk, the stripper talk, the dating talk, the choking game talk, all with him in the past 2 years.
You will not be able to avoid it. I HAD to have the drug talk with him. One day he came home from playing at his friend's house, and I asked him what they did. He said, "We put mini-m&ms in a pill bottle and pretended they were drugs and we were running from the cops!" (oh-KAY! Time for a talk!)
I HAD to have the sex talk with him. He kept asking questions. Over a month's time, he asked more and more questions. Come to find out, he was getting information from a neighbor kid.
He told me about a "book" that his friend showed him of girls who almost had no clothes on, and they were pointing and laughing at them. I asked him where the "book" was, and he said they hid it behind our garage. We went to get it, and it turned out that it was a circular ad (that I had put out for recylcling) from Marshall Field's and they were pics of the lingerie models. So, we had the talk about how these women are doing a job and you shouldn't poke fun at women in those ads. We also had a talk about morals, and about how women should have self-respect.
He saw on the news a story about a group of citizens in another part of our city getting together and supporting and ordinance regulating strip clubs. "Mom, what's a strip club?" I said, "Well, it's a place where women take their clothes off." He asked, "In front of their husbands?" I said, "No, in front of strangers. It's like a restaurant where they serve alcoholic beverages and anyone can see a woman dance and take her clothes off for men she doesn't know." Again, the self-respect issue and a lesson in the morals that I want him to grow up to have towards women.
He also saw a news story about a man who has been arrested for being an internet predator. So, I told him how when people are on the internet they can talk to anyone around the world, and people they talk to can lie and get them to think that they are a friend, and they will want to meet in real life. But internet predators are only interested in having sex with the people who they want to meet, and sometimes worse.
I do understand that too much information can also lead to curiosity and maybe even more danger. But just warning kids of dangers isn't all we need to do. We need to make the dangers seem more real. (EDITED*** I believe that the more real the danger, the more seriously the kids will take the warnings. At least - mine does.) I watch a lot of local news (I don't do network news) and read a lot of the internet. The news stories are about REAL PEOPLE who have been affected by the actions of people who do bad or stupid things. I have exposed my son to a lot of reality. Yes, it has disturbed him. Yes, sometimes I wonder if I am doing the right thing. But in this day and age, we parents can't afford to be re-active- we can't afford to wait until our kids ask all the questions. And when they do ask those tuff questions, we have to give straight facts, and even lace them with lessons of consequence and morality.
I do put fear into her.I give her so much information at a time.(Age appropriate)As she matures so do our conversations.I want her to be aware whats going around her at all times but I also want her to be a kid and have fun.She's not allowed to watch the news or read the newspaper.I tell her what I think she needs to know. I always tell her if I know the kids at school are going to talk about it.I want her to feel safe and secure when I'm not there.This year will be a learning year for her because she is also becoming self aware.
That is why i don't watch the news when my kids are around. To much bad stuff on.
The only thing i have really told our kids is that no one but them is allowed to touch their private parts. And of course they know not to talk to strangers or to get into a car with strangers or anything like that.
Sherri, it sounds like you handled that situation very well.
Thx Patti-I want her to be scared but not as scared as me.There's alot of unstable people in this world today
Yes, there is a lot of bad stuff going on, and my son is a little older now (9), and he can handle it better than a couple of years ago. I do turn it off sometimes when it comes to the reports of shootings and rapes and murders... and the reports of the child sexual abusers. Even I can only handle so much of that stuff.
But I have been able to use a lot of things in the media as teaching tools. I do believe that knowledge is power, and I understand that it has to be in balance with all the good things life has to offer. As a parent I can't be an alarmist and allow things to become an obsession. But as I said to my son, the most important thing is that you know about it, and that you know and do the right thing.
Lisa-You're right.I've used media for teaching tools also.On the front page of the newspaper there was a child predator(raped and killed child)I asked my DD if he was a good/bad guy.She said good and I asked why,she said because he looked nice.I told her that he hurt a little girl and we cannot assume, because people look nice, that they are nice.I told her we dont know which ones are good/bad they all seem nice until they get you by yourself.I practice what I preach also.I had some guy knocking on my door and my DD was surprised that I wouldnt answer the door,I told her that if I needed anything that I would get it.I told her he was a stranger and I didnt know him so I wasn't going to answer the door.It actually made her more aware that rules dont just apply to her.Knowlege is definatley power.Thanks for sharing