What are some of the things children are aware of that surprises you (think too young to know it) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 02-25-2012, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i just spent the last two days with a bunch of 4th graders from a public school and we got a lot of time to talk about 'things'.

 

mind you all these had older siblings so perhaps that made them savvy to this knowledge.

 

so they talked about whitney houston's death. then added amy winehouse and then brought up michael jackson questioning why so many plastic surgeries and the 'other stuff'. one boy said it so simply, 'i dont like michael jackson anymore. i know he is a genius, but i can no longer listen to his music without thinking of all he did.'

 

the lesson they learnt from this? the group said they would not do drugs. one of them had seen the amount of money houston spent on drugs and they thought what a waste it was. 

 

so i asked them if they thought cigarette and alcohols were drugs too. they discussed it amongst themselves and told me it was so. and they said they refused to smoke (all of them had lost a gparent to lung cancer) but they would drink a little bit. not get drunk out of their mind. 

 

two of them said their role model were their elder brothers who were straight A students and did not do drugs.

 

never in a million years would i have thought i'd be having this conversation with 9/10 year olds. i will say though i was very impressed with the confidence and attitude of the kids.

 

so how about you.

 

 what have you heard from your kids that surprised you. 


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#2 of 14 Old 02-28-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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I think I tend to be the other way around.  I want to protect my kids so much that I forget that I was exploring more mature subjects at their age.  Yet I want them to remain "kids" for as long as possible.

 

A few months ago, my 11 year old got into the TV show "Glee" quite by accident.  I was watching it on Netflix early one morning, but she woke up in the middle of an episode and watched it with me.  She was hooked and started watching the show from the beginning.  I had mixed feelings because I thought it was too sexual, but she was really ready for it.  Because of this show, we've had some good conversations about teen pregnancy, homosexuality, dating in general, and even bullying and drugs.  I wouldn't have introduced her to these topics yet on my own, but the way it came up worked out well.

 

We've talked about ways Glee is unrealistic in it's depiction of high school, but it has opened up new subjects for us.  I found it an "icebreaker" for uncomfortable topics, because I do want my daughter to hear about some of these things from me before she hears about them from her friends or other sources. 

 

And she's still at an age where she talks with me freely.  I'm afraid when she gets to her teenage years that window of opportunity may be over as she becomes more independent.  But having open, early conversations may build trust between us so she doesn't feel like she needs to hide anything from me later.

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#3 of 14 Old 02-28-2012, 07:57 PM
 
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My experience as a child was that I had a lot of awareness of things like this, but knew that it was taboo to "notice" it, and certainly forbidden to discuss it.

 

I would have added to the discussion reasons people have for beginning and continuing to use substances and how "problems" sneak up on people. How what looks "normal" to a person has a lot to do with what people around them are doing.

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#4 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 08:14 AM
 
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Where were the teachers when you were having these conversations with the children? I have to say that I find some of your posts (that relate to conversations with children at school) to be a bit creepy. I would not expect these conversations to be taking place at school with an adult that I don't know.

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#5 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 10:32 AM
 
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Quote:
I have to say that I find some of your posts (that relate to conversations with children at school) to be a bit creepy. 

 

 

I'm curious about your comment?

 

 

 

 

 

at that age- I do feel they know and this is talked about

the drug/drinking for that age- very common in my area

 

most would know about the deaths and the causes as well

 

I really didn't find the OP's conversation at all abnormal- really the norm now


 

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#6 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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My boys are 9 1/2 and I don't find that conversation unusual at all.  Kids that age are very aware of the world around them.  We have the Today Show on in the mornings, so they hear the news and we discuss what's going on.  They know about the school shooting, which resulted in a conversation about school safety and bullying.  They knew about Whitney, which resulted in a conversation about personal choices and responsibility, drugs and addiction.  In the car last week, they were talking about North Korea (they read "Time Magazine for Kids" in school).  

 

What am I surprised about?  That my boys know dance moves.  

 

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#7 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 11:36 AM
 
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My dd says things like this, she talks about the things going on in other countries, points out and gives an opinion about many topics, etc...   While I think this is wonderful, I also worry that some of this is her parroting or paraphrasing what she hears from me, her grandparents, and NPR and that she will try out risky behaviors when she is a teen despite being against them now.  I am sure some of it will rub off on her and I know that some is her own, but I remember going from saying things my mother said to forming my own opinions and some of them I did ditch as a teen.  Kids this age have ideas but the are also impressionable and teens can be very good at saying one thing while doing another so I enjoy the conversations but I am also trying to prepare myself for what might happen later so I won't be totally floored.

 

I also have to wonder where you are at that you are having these types of conversations with children.  We aren't often around bunches of children who want to engage in discussions with adults they don't know about anything.  If a stranger were having discussions like this with my child I would want to know that the people in charge of supervising her knew what was going on.  In our schools you have to fill out a permission form before your kids touch on topics pertaining to drugs and alcohol and they are run by the school counselor.  Our after school programs steer clear of them because they can turn very controvesial depending on who is leading them. 

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#8 of 14 Old 02-29-2012, 10:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

 I would not expect these conversations to be taking place at school with an adult that I don't know.

are you saying that the boys mom does not know me? in this case the mom does know me but she was with another group.

 

ah you should see the conversations these kids have. how much they are aware of things. 

 

and yes many of them are a little more free with me since i have spent a lot of time with them since first grade. 

 

if you think this is creepy you should hear the things i was told by the kids that they wouldnt even share with their teacher. i went and told the teacher so she would understand why the child wasnt finishing his homework at home. 

 

 


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#9 of 14 Old 03-01-2012, 12:07 AM
 
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My kids joke about masturbation.  I don't really like it, but I guess I'll get used to it.  They are 8 and 12.

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#10 of 14 Old 03-01-2012, 08:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

Where were the teachers when you were having these conversations with the children? I have to say that I find some of your posts (that relate to conversations with children at school) to be a bit creepy. I would not expect these conversations to be taking place at school with an adult that I don't know.

 

At my son's school, a lot of parents volunteer. My son talks to them. In fact, it's broken the ice for me with some of the other moms, since I can be kind of shy. They come up and tell me that my kid told them some awesome thing or other. I really value their perspective. I'm not worried that my son is going to learn something bad from them.

 

Do you think the OP needs to tell parents that their children have learned things about celebrities from television? Certainly that's where they learned about Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. I was a volunteer parent on a field trip to the grocery store with my son's class in second grade--should I have phoned parents to tell them that their children think butchers are villains from watching Word Girl on PBS? 

 

 

I think it's a good thing that fourth graders parrot answers about alcohol and drugs that their parents and teachers value. The key is to tell them the truth about these things, so that when they start trying to get a more adult picture in adolescence, they don't think everything we said was merely to be controlling. 

 

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#11 of 14 Old 03-01-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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Do you think the OP needs to tell parents that their children have learned things about celebrities from television? 

 

 

I totally agree here with what you are saying

 

 

 

Quote:
I think it's a good thing that fourth graders parrot answers about alcohol and drugs that their parents and teachers value. The key is to tell them the truth about these things, so that when they start trying to get a more adult picture in adolescence, they don't think everything we said was merely to be controlling. 

 

 

unless you are in some sort of "bubble' type school I can't imagine how you don't see this a very normal


 

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#12 of 14 Old 03-01-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

 

 

At my son's school, a lot of parents volunteer. My son talks to them. In fact, it's broken the ice for me with some of the other moms, since I can be kind of shy. They come up and tell me that my kid told them some awesome thing or other. I really value their perspective. I'm not worried that my son is going to learn something bad from them.

 

Do you think the OP needs to tell parents that their children have learned things about celebrities from television? Certainly that's where they learned about Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. I was a volunteer parent on a field trip to the grocery store with my son's class in second grade--should I have phoned parents to tell them that their children think butchers are villains from watching Word Girl on PBS? 

 

 

I think it's a good thing that fourth graders parrot answers about alcohol and drugs that their parents and teachers value. The key is to tell them the truth about these things, so that when they start trying to get a more adult picture in adolescence, they don't think everything we said was merely to be controlling. 

 



Strangely enough the thing I have seen parents object to is the presentation of the material on drug, alcohol, and tobacco use (especially when they make a judgement about a parent or family member who uses alcohol or tobacco) which is why parents have to sign permission forms in our district and they recommend having parents sign in the teacher education program at the university I attended.  The parents seem fine with the material the kids learn from tv and the radio even if it is material that is intended for a much older age group.   

 

ITA with the parroting answers.  I think it is great and a lot of the information does stick after the process of pushing boundaries and experimentation starts to come to a close, some beliefs stay with people through that process.  I don't think parroted words are a true expression of a child's beliefs though because they haven't gone through the process of discovering where they truly stand on the issue yet, a lot of a child's identity is still based around how we percieve them and what we as parents teach them is right (especially when it comes to issues we feel strongly about like drugs, tobacco, alcohol, early sex, violence, etc...) so I don't think that answers a child forms based on their parents beliefs, and worded the way their parents word things, are particularly surprising.  Not that I am discounting the conversation but it sounds like a typical one with a lot of parent explanations thrown in.

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#13 of 14 Old 03-01-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

 I would not expect these conversations to be taking place at school with an adult that I don't know.


 

Why would that be your expectation?

 

Having spent a lot of time around other people's children by volunteering at school, being a Girl Scout leader, and just being around kids in the neighborhood, I don't find any thing odd about it.

 

Kids just talk about stuff. They don't have the same filters about what to talk about that adults do. Many children quite freely state things that their parents would rather they not discuss, including that the parents fight, that the older sib got caught with pot, etc.   Other people's children have said things to me that I'm sure their parents would have preferred they kept private.

 

And many kids are up on what celebrities do.

 

Your child will talk about things with other adults. It just happens. Which is why *I think* it's important to speak openly and honestly with our own children on all topics -- because if we don't, they'll talk to someone else about it. I at least want my voice to be one of the voices my children are hearing on difficult subjects.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 14 Old 03-02-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

My dd says things like this, she talks about the things going on in other countries, points out and gives an opinion about many topics, etc...   While I think this is wonderful, I also worry that some of this is her parroting or paraphrasing what she hears from me, her grandparents, and NPR and that she will try out risky behaviors when she is a teen despite being against them now.  I am sure some of it will rub off on her and I know that some is her own, but I remember going from saying things my mother said to forming my own opinions and some of them I did ditch as a teen.  Kids this age have ideas but the are also impressionable and teens can be very good at saying one thing while doing another so I enjoy the conversations but I am also trying to prepare myself for what might happen later so I won't be totally floored.



I was really anti-drug when I was 8-10 or so, but you would never have known it later.  

 

The other day I was listening to NPR with my 8 yr old and we had turned it on mid-story.  They were talking about some kind of battle and kept mentioning a city, but not saying what country it was in.  So, I said, I wished they'd tell us what country they were talking about.  And Milo said it must be Syria.  He was right, of course.  


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