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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Preteens and Teens › At what age do you introduce/discuss s*xual topics with your dc...r*pe, s*xual mol*station,etc...
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At what age do you introduce/discuss s*xual topics with your dc...r*pe, s*xual mol*station,etc... - Page 2

post #21 of 29
I have always openly and honestly answered my childrens questions whenever they came up. With my oldest (dd) she began asking at about 4 years old. I keep everything on their level and answer the questions that they ask...not more. I did have the "good touch/bad touch" talk with both my kids at an early age. The problem with that is that many children do not feel "able" to tell an older person to stop. My dd was molested at age 5 by my half brother who was 14 at the time and babysitting with my dad. She pretended she was asleep, and told us the next day. Sometimes I think it's too naive to expect a child to stand up to an authority figure.

As for the violent crimes that happen, my children have heard through the years about awful things that have happened. Again, this is an opportunity to have honest conversations that answer their questions. I personally am very overprotective of my children (they are not allowed to go places alone, etc), and I'm ok with that.
post #22 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
We using teaching momments like news, signs at stores, et. It has been an on going conversation since they were little. That store was robbed -- guess not all people are nice. We lock our doors because not all people are nice.

Do you ever stop and look at those pictures at a store or in ads? Those are good starting point for conversation. Again not all people are nice arn't you glad most all. What do you think you should do if ---.

At 4 ish it becomes common on play grounds to here "I will tell your mom." Teach your kids then to respond OK. When people ask you to keep secrets or threaten you or threaten parents they are not nice and those are the times parents need to know. You talk about how you won't feel sad or mad if you find out things.....don't over react when the 4 year old tells you dc threw a rock. You aren't building trust. Calmly later talk about the situation. Admit to the child I bet you were scared. Let them know you were glad they didn't try to keep a secret. At that age you can talk about good and bad secrets. If the secret makes you feel happy and silly than it is ok to keep. If it makes you sad or scared, thats when you need to tell.


When we look at statitcs of 1 in 4 you need to break it down further than that on when and what age groups are most at rish and who by. Kids are more likely to be misharmed by people of trust than stranger.

Approximately 1/3 of all juvenile victims of sexual abuse are children younger than 6 yrs. of age. -- horrible statistic but it is and it means that most sex offences are happening after that age. When the kids are out.

Teens 16 – 19 were 3 ½ times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault You need to be more aware at this age and who and why it is happening.

Also you have to be open that these statsics more apply to girls than boy because we as a society have failed to look or address abuse against boys. If a 14 year old boy is sexually approached/touched by a girl/woman it is viewed differently than a 14 year old girl. I think this is one reason by boys can be more violent or sexual is because they are told by society to shut up and be this way. That they have to be horndogs if not they are freaks. My 14 year old son is suffering this. He isn't into girls yet. Not intresting in dating,et and he has girls chasing him---he has this 16 year old freaky girl that shows up to swim practice to try to talk to him. I scared her off on day. She is like a cat -- the more he ignores her the more she wants him. Other guys talk and flirt but he ignores her just because he isn't their developmentally there. She has offered him rides home if that was a 16 yo boy asking a 14 yo people would be more concern. We finally got other parents going up to her and "chatting" because they finally are getting the point after that incident. Cops won't touch or go talk to the girl either.

I also don't think we ask the right questions to find out what is stastically going on with them. We might ask if they have ever been abused....but we don't ask if you ever been smacked by a girl. You have to be very specific because males don't define some behaviors as abuse. I remember a male co-worker talk about a peeing game that they did at camp---it was encouraged by a male counciler. If you heard the entire story change the gender he was molested. He didn't get how a molester often makes things "fun" "enjoyable" then their fault.
You bring up some useful and insightful info here! Thanks. Very, very good points.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manessa View Post
I have always openly and honestly answered my childrens questions whenever they came up. With my oldest (dd) she began asking at about 4 years old. I keep everything on their level and answer the questions that they ask...not more. I did have the "good touch/bad touch" talk with both my kids at an early age. The problem with that is that many children do not feel "able" to tell an older person to stop. My dd was molested at age 5 by my half brother who was 14 at the time and babysitting with my dad. She pretended she was asleep, and told us the next day. Sometimes I think it's too naive to expect a child to stand up to an authority figure.

As for the violent crimes that happen, my children have heard through the years about awful things that have happened. Again, this is an opportunity to have honest conversations that answer their questions. I personally am very overprotective of my children (they are not allowed to go places alone, etc), and I'm ok with that.
Manessa- I'm so,so sorry about your precious dd.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
UPDATE....

while i have always had casual and not so casual talks with our dc about good/bad touch, trusting their guts about people, etc... i had to take it to the next step with our oldest. it was touchy, as she scares easily. i am very, very glad we talked, using some of the points pps made(emotional, feel good vs. bad, non-emotional). dd was unaware of the difference between molestation and r@pe. she also needed to hear from me about s*xual harrassment(sp?), what it looks like, how to handle it,etc..

honestly, our oldest is strikingly beautiful, and is growing up each day with a body that is catching the eyes of teen and college age males. she goes to the pool alone(well,with a friend), and yesterday, said some boys were making comments about her body. she asked if that was crossing the line-and I said yes! and today she will point them out to me-i will address it with the pool manager(friend of friend), and we'll take it from there.

no WONDER she wanted to get a new bathing suit yesterday....she wanted a full tankini w/surfer shorts-and found one that she loves.(she was wearing a 1/2 tankini w/bikini bottoms)

anyway...thanks....
post #25 of 29
We use life's happenings to talk to our children about these issues. I have a 10yr old ds (as of yesterday ), a 7 yr old ds and an 11 month old dd. We have always been very open about nudity and used proper verbiage like breast, penis, etc. When I was pregnant with dd we used it as a way to talk about conception, birth, breastfeeding. These are things we had brief conversations about prior to my pregnancy but it allowed my boys to experience it. As far as rape, sexual abuse... We have always told our boys that any touch that makes you uncomfortable, no matter who it is from, is not ok. This is a topic that we bring up on occasion to keep it "fresh" in their minds. We were watching network t.v. the other day and a commercial for an upcoming news segment came on. It mentioned a girl being raped. My boys asked what does raped mean? I explained that it means that a person is forced to have sex when they don't want to. This led into another brief sex talk that was based around questions my boys had.

I do not believe that having these conversations with my kids is causing them to live in fear. I think that it is empowering them. They both are comfortable riding their bikes to the park without me, going into a store to make a purchase while I wait in the car, or if they are at a sleep over and want to come home to call me to come get them.

I want my kids to know that these conversations are not taboo. God forbid something happen to one of my kids; I want them to have the words to tell my husband and I and the confidence to know that we will listen.
post #26 of 29
Questions relating to sex are answered as they are asked, for the most part.

Sexual violence is a whole other story. I am not comfortable with DD watching the news or even reading parts of the newspaper, because there are too many upsetting stories. Even if she knows that people get murdered, she doesn't need the details. She doesn't need to see a picture. And I see no reason why she has to know that children are sometimes murdered by their own parents.

As far as knowing about sexual violence against children, the issue only recently came up in a discussion of chat rooms - she is absolutely not allowed to be in them, but an incident in which some kids on a school bus used a fake name in a Nintendo DS "chatroom" to talk to her sparked the conversation. It was mostly about how she should never engage in conversation with a person she does not know on a copmputer or telephone or any situation in which she cannot see that person in front of her. We talked about how sometimes a person who wants to harm a child might pretend to be someone else and use tricky ways to find out where that child lives or goes to school, and she asked me specifically what the "bad things" are, so I gave specific answers and said there are sick people who might kidnap a child and physically harm them or do sexual things to them.

For the record, I hated having to tell her that, but it was necessary. I don't think of it as spoiling her innocence as much as I think of it as giving her a fear that I wish she didn't have to have at this age. BUT I am not a paranoid parent and I know that there are ways to keep her safe, and if she and I and DH use our brains and follow our instincts she is very unlikely to ever be hurt by someone.

The 1 in 3 statistic can be misleading, because what I have read is that 1 in 3 girls by the age of 18 has had sexual contact with an adult, and I wonder if that includes 17 year old girls with 19 year old boyfriends, for example. I have not read that 1 in 3 girls is sexually assaulted, which of course is a very different thing. I might be remembering this wrong, but even if I am, the majority of sexual molestation is perpetrated by someone close to the child, and Gavin Debecker's book does a fabulous job of helping parents know the red flags of a predator. And yes, things happen, and I can't control everything, but I don't live in fear.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SandraS View Post
And you can tell your girls that. I won't be telling mine, because I don't buy the statistics for many reasons (ticked off girlfriend, etc.) and the world is not a place we fear. Strom Bride is precisely right. Strange Man that Lives Next Door won't be the one to hurt my girls, it will be Uncle Bob. And I don't have any Uncle Bobs to worry about.
Seriously, the "ticked off girlfriend" is usually what the story the perpetrator spreads to CYA. Way to perpetuate the disbelief that follows victims of sexual assault. :
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
How on earth can you possible know that? Do you have any idea how many women don't talk about it - ever? They simply don't discuss it. They've internalized the very clear message that they did something wrong. I'm not sure I even know 10,000 women - but I'm sure I know women who were molested who have never told me about it.


And, again - how do you know? I was talking to someone I went to school with at my 15 year reunion. We'd gone to the same school from 4th grade to graduation (4-7 at the school with the creepy janitor). I said something to her about it, and she was stunned. She'd had no idea whatsoever that it happened in "our school". It's not like the perverts or their victims walk around with a sign announcing that it's happening.


Obviously, it's up to you. I don't remember how old your girls are, but they probably already know it happens, anyway. It's not anywhere near as underground as it was when I was a child. (Nobody admitted that it happened at all back then.) I sincerely hope it doesn't ever happen to either of your children - I wish it would never happen to anyone again. It's horribly damaging.
Yes, yes, yes. To say that statistically it's not going to happen.. statistics don't help if it does happen to you or someone you love. I dislike the current media circus and overprotective (to the point of smothering) tendencies.. but what is the harm in raising children to believe that sometimes, bad things happen to good people?

Nearly everyone I know has suffered sexual abuse or rape at least once in their life, many of them as children. In my own family - my father (school janitor, pastor, friend), three of my four aunts (boyfriend, Strange Man Next Door, date rape) both my great-uncles (at the hands of my great-grandfather). And that is just the people in my family who have shared what happened to them. When I say sexual abuse I am not counting sexual harassment (which many women get nonstop from before puberty), garden variety sexual touching (guys pinching your butt at work) or stalking (people like to joke about stalking and act like it's flattering.. it's not a laughing matter IMO, it is extremely threatening and often leads to much worse). I can say pretty certainly that every woman I know has experienced these (perhaps less traumatic, but no less serious) violations.

It's epidemic and it's not openly discussed in our society. There is stigma, shame.. and many people don't admit or know that what happened 'counted' as sexual abuse or rape. Or suppress the memory for years and years. Plenty of people say they don't know anyone it happened to - that just means no one has ever shared with you.

Honestly, I don't see how discussing these issues with children (in the most generalized way if you like) is 'scaring them'. We teach our kids to look both ways crossing the street, be safe around heights, not to play with fire or electricity, etc - to me at least, educating them that sometimes, people touch other people in a way that feels wrong or bad, or threaten them in various ways - and that if this does happen to them, they can say no, and to please tell their parents who will listen and stop whatever this person is doing - is no different. I've known about 'bad touch' since I was 6 and I have never lived in fear that it will happen to me. I do feel it has contributed to my awareness of predatory behavior and many times allowed me to sense bad intentions, defend myself or speak out when I otherwise would have stayed silent.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessed mommy View Post
Manessa- I'm so,so sorry about your precious dd.
Thanks. It's been over 5 years, and she is doing great! I still have a lot of issues, but that's a whole other thread
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