Saturday, January 5, 2008

**Parental Alert**This post contains adult subject matter...or so I thought.

I just finished watching this show on HBO Family called "Middle School Confessions". It was like a reality version of the movie "Thirteen".

Both of these shows are such a reality check, as a parent. It wasn't too long ago that I was in middle school. I origionally thought to myself, "It wasn't like that, when I was that age." But, in reflecting on it...I am wrong. My best friend, at the time, lost her virginity in 6th grade. I knew people that drank. I guess that it just never crossed MY mind to do these things.

On "Middle School Confessions", girls were discussing many facets of sex, as though they were as harmless as hand holding. I was shocked at how easily a 12 year old described her first sexual encounter. At how candidly a 13 year old discussed oral sex and the "sex scene". She says, "I think I feel more comfortable with somebody that I wouldn't know because if I didn't wrong, it's okay! Because I'm not going to see them again."

It showed scenes of parties where girls were rubbing up against boys. Scenes where girls were dirty dancing with other girls, while the boys watched. Where are the parents during these parties? Seriously, why are these parties allowed? It frustrates me, as a parent, that all parents don't want the same morals for their children, that I want. It saddens me, that I can be as responsible as I should be, I can make sure an adult is present when my child goes somewhere, but if that adult doesn't find these actions wrong...I haven't protected my children from anything.

My oldest is in 1st grade, so one would think that I have a while before I need to be worrying about these things. But, when you live in a community with an extremely high teenage pregnancy rate and a community where a 5th grader became pregnant last year...I need to worry. Sex has never come up (other than a slight mention of the Spears pregnancy) and I honestly don't know when the appropriate time for that is. She knows how babies are born (because I have watched a lot of "A Baby Story") and I have honestly answered any questions about birth.

So, I question have you approached seemingly "adult" subject matter with your children?


Pam said...

What?? NO?? I don't want to think about having that la la la la, I can't hear you with my fingers in my ears! Seriously, I don't know when the time is...I'm scared to even think of it!

Andrea said...

Oh yeah...the talk. I have a few years before we need to deal with that, but I honestly don't know exactly when the best time is either - I've heard other parents say that when they start asking about stuff like that, then it's time. Sigh. I dunno though - good luck...and yes! It is scary thinking about all the bad stuff they encounter SO early now!!

Sniz said...

Wow, this is such a wake up call. I homeschool, so my kids are very innocent for their age. My oldest is 14 and he knows what sex is but since he isn't exposed to sex every day, he really has no interest in girls. I don't see anything wrong with that.

BTW, there's an award with your name on it at my place. Pick it up any time!

Mom said...

As an old mother and now a grandmother, in these days there is no wrong time to talk to your kids about sex. The younger, the better! But please don't be surprised when it happens, cuz boy it will happen. My best advice to you is be open about it and let them know that they can come and talk to you about it. I actually did that myself and only one of my girls would talk honestly to me about sex. One out of three is better than none. The two that didn't talk to me about sex have 2 or more children. Love ya Leeann!

Steph said...

EEEK! I second Pam's comment...I don't want to think about it! But seriously, my daughter is in K (in a K-1 class), and has older cousins, so I am sure this talk is just around the corner. I am dreading like you wouldn't believe!!! I don't think it's ever too soon though...when they ask, answer! So much easier for me to say! :)

Leeann said...

Hey MOM--Don't lump me in with my sister...I AM MARRIED...and have more than 2 children...all by the SAME father.

Regina said...

Hey Leeann,
Interesting topic and post! I find that with me and my kids no subject is taboo. And I have been that way with them all for as long as I can remember.
We sit down and have those very frank open discussions and I allow them to talk openly because I know that if they don't get the truth from me they are going to get garbage from the world and I rather they know the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth! And I can always bring it back home to God's word!
What they do with that truth is their choice but at least they wont be ignorant.
I have on occasion gotten flack from people (especially some in the church) who feel that there shouldn't be so much open talk. I ignore them because kids who are over sheltered and ignorant to the world tend to get caught in the traps that satan sets simply because THEY DID NOT KNOW!
So I say educate your kids, don't let the world educate them for you!

TheVasquez3 said...

well with my daughter she has just started asking questions. last year they had the 5th sex ed film at school i went to the preview before i allowed her to watch it. it was super clinical and mostly about changes happening in their bodies. i knew Jordan would come home with lots of questions and i just made sure to stop and think before answering them i ONLY asnwered her specific question, i didn't elaborate where maybe i could have. i realized that if she wanted more info she would ask another question, but i also realized that she was mauybe testing me to see if i would answer such hard questions. i tried really hard just to keep it cool and simple.

as you know Jordan is not biologically mine (even tho i forget all the time). she went to her "mom" with the same questions and when her mom told her she was "too young" to talk about "that stuff" Jordan told her that i had answered her. she said "HolleeAnn is just trying to scare you." i found out through her grandma that J's mom had started her period at age 10. Jordan is 12...we have been talking about it for a few years and J carries a pad in her backpack just incase she starts at school. every now and then i see her replacing the pad because a friend started, or her "mom" took it out on a visit. oy vay! so i am up against a few obstacles...but its cool i can jump them and if need be knock 'em down.

i have seen the middle school confessions too..shocking. i am like you and wonder where the parents are. i worry that J's "mom" will be one of those 'parents' allowing those kinds of parties. and i PRAY that Jordan will know better by then and wont be tempted to partake in such activities.

for now i just keep all lines of communication open. J knows she can come to me with anything. and she does...even if i feel like i need a stiff drink after a hard i keep my cool and answer.

oh and she watches a lot of Baby Story too...that and Jon and Kate plus 8...the kid is a TLC junkie. but it all does spark some interesting conversations.

ok forgive the BLOG on your blog...sheesh. it ended up being longer than i thought it would. i wish these comment boxes has spell check...happy deciphering all my typos!

Andrea said...

Ugh! I am TERRIFIED of this. What is the world coming to...seriously??

The other day I watched a few sickening moments of some show on MTV where they were actually making FUN of stars who were "boring" -- you know, NOT into drugs, NOT promiscuous, NOT into the party scene.

And HOW exactly is that a bad thing???

Sheesh...yes, as a parent, I'm completely terrified for my children to be growing up in this world!!

Candygirlflies said...

My girlies are 11, 6 and 3... and I firmly believe that while "knowledge is power", it needs to be age-appropriate. I answer any and all questions, but go into more detail with my eldest.

I think the most important thing is to try and be relaxed and open during this type of discussion. I have made it clear to all of my girls that they can come and talk to me about ANYTHING. And, further to that, I have told them that if they have questions, it is important that they come to ME, before they go to their friends, for answers.

Knowledge IS power... but it is important that children receive accurate information from their most trusted source: their parents!!

Good luck! I know you're going to do great.

xo CGF

Common Mom said...

When the kids ask me a question, I answer it as best I can for their ages (5 and 7). They've asked about older kids they see at the park or mall, etc. It's tough! My kids do say things like "Those kids shouldn't be doing that. They're not married!" :-) We talk about anything and everything and no subject is taboo . . . but at the same time, we try to keep the dialog appropriate for their ages. It's just not like it was when I was a kid in school! My mother had my brother when she was 18 and me when she was 22 . . . I just made decisions not to do "anything" - no drugs, drinking, etc. I can only hope my kids make the same decisions. It's just so tough with everything so readily available now days and kids pressured to grow up so friggin' fast!

Melanie said...

I'm with Pam- la la la la I can't hear you....... But really- I have a bit of time to figure this out. It's very scary though with all that children are exposed to so young. I think just answering their questions very honestly is the best way to do it.

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