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6 Bumps

How naive were you REALLY as a child? How sheltered do you expect your child to be? (long)

This isn't from any specific question today, though I've seen it happen here quite a bit. It's even more common in a couponing fb group I'm in.

In the 70's, most family's watched All in the Family every week, with every racist and misogynist slur intact - a lot of those homes still agreed with it, too. In 4th grade, one of the girls would steal her older brother's Cheech and Chong tapes and bring them to school. We had our first (of many) sex-ed sessions with the gym teacher, covering basic reproduction and why it wasn't nice to tease the girls who had to use the pad machine in the bathroom. When I was 11, Porky's was on HBO, and I saw it, and understood it. Along with quite a few other movies on HBO and Cinemax.

The music on the radio included oldies, like the Beatles singing about killing a girl if she dared look at another man, current songs like Til Tuesday lamenting about emotionally abusive husbands, right up to Suzanne Vega matter of factly sing songing the story of a child being brutally beaten.

There was a really disgusting underground Atari game about Custer raping Indian women, everyone knew someone whose parents had a copy, and had snuck in to see it when they could. Nobody understood the bigger social issue, it was mainly a game to get the naked guy from one side of the screen to the other to have sex with the naked woman, at which point everyone giggled.

In jr high, there were already kids smoking, drinking, doing drugs and having sex. The first teen pregnancy in our class was in 8th grade. Everyone knew how it happened, because we'd all had 2 more rounds of sex ed by then. People used the money they saved up from their Confirmation gifts to go to R rated movies, because the theater didn't care as long as they were selling tickets and popcorn.

So knowing this was all going on 30 and 40 years ago, why are people shocked, stunned and appalled when their child repeats a dirty word or makes an off-color reference they don't fully understand? Do they forget what they saw and heard as a child, or do they have some impossible standard for a bubble to keep their child locked in?

Yesterday, DS made a comment about teabagging. My first reaction was shock (actually, my first reaction was to laugh, but I managed to maintain control on that one), then I asked him what it meant. He wasn't exactly sure, but he'd heard it from (insert string of classmates' names). I gave him a brief explanation of which part of anatomy it referred to and that it was rude, that was good enough for him. It's filed away in his mental databank of stuff he knows but shouldn't say out loud, but probably will when he's with his friends at school and I can't hear him. I suspect it's a very large databank, and he's only 11.

Mentioned it to a friend from that fb group, who laughed and asked if I was going to lock him up (she was kidding). Some of those mutual friends from the group saw it and immediately started in on "you need to report that to the school". Report what? That 11 year olds know some dirty words and like using them for shock value? If the school doesn't already know that, I question the abilities of the administration.

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 12:15 PM on Jul. 11, 2013 in Parenting Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • I was COMPLETELY shocked when I was dancing with my 6yr old and he asked if we were having sex. I asked where he heard it from and he said he didn't know. My DH and I do not have sex anywhere that he might have seen us (and dh has been gone since Feb), we don't have any porn in the house, he doesn't watch movies that reference sex so the only place I can think he heard it is from his 15yr old uncle and his friends. Naturally the 15yr old thinks it's hilarious (god I hate teenagers) so he is no help at asking him to watch his mouth.

    I think I was pretty sheltered because I haven't heard of half the things you referenced, our first sex-ed class was freshman year. I swear, to me, boys still had cooties until 8th grade.

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 12:22 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • "you need to report that to the school"
    "that's not normal behavior". "some how you failed as a parent and the child needs therapy"
    it leaves moms on the defensive insisting there is absolutely no way their child could have picked it up from anywhere- at all- ever.

    these exclamations ignore the main issue of :
    not where did the child learn it- but rather now that the child knows it how do we, as their guardians, address it.

    Answer by feralxat at 12:26 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • Honestly, I was pretty naive...
    I remember being in 6th grade and seeing the word fuck carved into one of the gian tires on the playgorund at school. I had NO idea what that meant at all. I'd never seen or heard it. Soon after, I was pissed at my mom about something, and wrote a note aobut it- and I put that word in it *all I knew was it was bad for some reason!...anyhow, this note was not FOR her- it was jsut me-venting I guess. She told me to clean my room, and because I didn't do it in a timely fashion in her eyes- she decided to me. Needless to say she found the note and was crying and upset and she asked if I knew what it meant. I didn't. She didn't explain it, but told me it was bad, and never wanted to see or hear me use it again and let me know how hurful it was to see it on that note.

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:32 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • I also remember that when we were starting to learn cursive/ handwriting in school, I was happy about it, and told my mom that we were being taught how to write in cursive. She thought they were teaching us to curse I guess -because she was not as excited as I was!

    I do not remember actually ever having any talks about sex, or that stuff with either parent. What I learned, I basically got from school (the thing where they weparate boys and girls and talk about puberty) and from church/ religion.

    I never wanted my kids to grow up that way, and I never had these ideas that they never swore/ swear or that they or their friends are angels. I have always stressed good friends vs bad ones, being safe, being smart and being honest. We talk about all kinds of things- which is something we never did when I was growing up

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:37 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • The school and district I grew up in wasn't in the best area so I learned a lot early on. Just from the bus rides to and from school istarting in the 1st grade I was leaning about sex and sexual innuendos. So many students in our school came from homes with drug problems that we started D.A.R.E. in 3rd grade, so I knew about drugs by then. My son attends school in a much better neighborhood but although I might be somewhat shocked if he came home in the 1st grade hearing what I'd heard, I'm not naive enough to think that kids that come from "better" neighborhoods are always more sheltered. I think once they start attending school, teams, or anything outside of the home they're bound to learn something new. I definitely don't think 11 is "young" to start hearing sex stuff.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 12:37 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • I remember being in 6th grade and seeing the word fuck carved into one of the gian tires on the playgorund at school.

    There was a vacant lot a few houses down from ours, and some of the neighborhood kids built a little bmx dirt track on it. I must have been about 8 or 9, because there was a house built on it after that. I remember hearing voices echoing down the road from the track, 2 boys fighting, and it was basically fuck you, no fuck you, back and forth for about 2 minutes. We had the windows open, so it was clear as day in the house. I looked at my dad, asked him what that word was, and all he said was nevermind. Then he did the patented sigh and head shake that only dads can do.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 12:39 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • I was 12 when I saw my first playgirl magazine- at a friend's house. I thought it wa completely disgusting. My first kiss was a dare...and my 2nd was paying spin the bottle -both around 12/13 and never had a boyfriend or sex until I was almost 19.

    then...I sort of lost my mine for ahwile and did some really dumb things- drugs, drove drunk- rode with others who did as well- lots of unprotected sex...

    I think that if my parents had talked to me rather than carting me to church so much, I may not have lost it like I did. Thankfully, I snapped out of it when I got pregnant with my daughter, and never got a disease, or addicted to anything. I was lucky.

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:44 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • * aaaand typos...
    oh well- I'm sure you guys get what I was saying ;)

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 12:45 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • I was just like you NP! However along with all the stuff I learned from my friends and HBO, I was also smart enough to know that you can't get pregnant from "swallowing" or sitting in your brother's bath water (like my mom was taught).

    A HUGE part of my job, as well as why I am so active in the sex groups here on CM is to teach young (and in some cases old) women ACCURATE information!
    It is amazing to me that people still think douching is ok, or that pulling out is 100% safe.

    I guess I've always had that good balance of "street smart" AND "book smart" which sadly, not everyone has.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 12:55 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

  • I was also smart enough to know that you can't get pregnant from "swallowing" or sitting in your brother's bath water (like my mom was taught).

    My friend's first bf tried to convince her you could use saran wrap instead of a condom. The first of many times I look back and am thankful they drilled it into us over many years. She kicked him to the curb.

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 12:58 PM on Jul. 11, 2013

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