I could use a bit of perspective.
I and my family are good friends with a progressive crunchy Christian family. Let's call my Christian friend "Karen."
I have a 7 year old girl and she has 3 children, the oldest of which is a 6 year old boy. Our kid are friends.
A bit of background:
My girl is in public school, and our parenting style is "balance and moderation in everything." We attend a Unity church but do not identify as Christians. Tv is only allowed on weekends at our house and we don't have cable. I was sexually abused by my father at the exact age my daughter is currently. It was a long road to getting mentally healthy and working through that but, I did. I would say that I vehemently defend my girl's right to a normal, healthy childhood and that includes a normal healthy sexuality.
Karen doesn't have a television, is VERY strict about what her kids eat (I am mildly strict, but a bit of junk food once a week is fine by us.) and is very strict about kids showing any sexuality or curiosity. (A year ago, she found our kids playing doctor while were having tea downstairs and freaked out giving her kid a MAJOR guilt trip. She herself was homeschooled by a strict Christian family until 4th grade and she now considers herself a kind of progressive Christian. (And I guess compared to her upbringing, she is!)
Recently, we started a babysitting co-op at her urging. She doesn't get a lot of support from her husband who works 6 days a week at his own business and she admitted she was going nuts. Soooo, I offer to watch her kids for a day (all 3 of them for 4 hours and then the oldest 2 for another 4 hours to give her a break.
They played great together all day. A few days later, she says, "Do you know what the kids did while you were watching them?"
I had no idea what she was referring to and expressed that.
"Well, they were kissing and I am not ok with that AT ALL. I think you should talk to your daughter about it."
I questioned her about the details and she told me exactly where they were when they kissed (outside under a tree) and how many times (twice and the second time"they held it") which struck me as a bit creepy that she extracted these details from her son whom I KNOW would not be forthcoming with them.
I said, "Karen, I didn't see that and it couldn't have taken them long, but honestly, I don't have a problem with it. I think it's natural. My girl is innocent and that kind of curiosity is innocent. I don't believe in making her feel guilty for it."
She said, "Well, I don't think kissing is appropriate until he's an adult."
I replied, "What?! You think he shouldn't have his first kiss until he's 18?! Get real! I was kissing boys at this age. As long as certain boundaries are there (not being alone and undressed in their bedroom) and it's mutual, I say it's natural. I don't want to feel like every time I watch your kids you are afraid that my girl will molest your son. She's an innocent child. What part of this do feel isn't innocent? If you have a problem with it, I think YOU should talk to her about it without making her feel guilty."
She said she would, but so far she hasn't.
Has anyone experienced being friends with other parents who you feel are repressive and have much narrower rules? How did you handle it?
Edited by JessJoy - 11/19/12 at 5:09pm