Advice needed on the "kissing phase" - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-13-2003, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm posting here since my DSD is 8 and most info I found in the "childhood years" is geared toward younger girls (5 or so) and discussions wered summed up as just a kissing phase.

My DSD is kissing boys in day-camp, a lot. Her two friends (who happen to be sisters) were kissing each other recently and I think this is related behavior. I read a great thread here on teens & oral sex and have decided that we (all parents involved) should not ignore it but discuss it, give our advice and help provide a healthier outlook on kissing, and more-but I'm not quite sure how much to tell an 8 year old about sex.

My questions are:

Any good book recommendations (an option for her if talking makes her uncomfortable at first)?

Any related issues/similar experiences and thoughts about our intended approach?

I was about to dismiss it but I think she's opened the door and we should take advantage of it.

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Old 07-14-2003, 07:08 PM
 
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I suppose at 8 she is old enough to know information-wise everything about sex that she wants to know.

8 does seem young to be kissing, but things seem to be happening at a younger age now, and even when I was in 6th grade (and this was the early 80s) it was an insult to be called "green," which means you'd never been kissed.

Honestly, I want to say it is a phase that will pass and re-apprear with a vengence in Jr. High. They may just be playing grown-up (And I just remembered that in response to being accused of being "green" in jr. high, many of my friends would defend themselves by saying that they had kissed a boy in 2nd or 3rd grade etc, so this behavior imay be s right on target). But to be safe have a talk with her about sex and boundaries and her body.

Hope you get some good book suggestions
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Old 07-24-2003, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Haven't had that talk, yet.

Now she's encouraging her two girlfriends (8 & 9 years old) to dare her to take her clothes off. They were out by the garage with body crayons and ran behind the car when I came out to check.

I need to have an age appropriate talk about body, self esteem, modesty, boys and maybe sex (but I'm not sure how much to say/not say about sex).

Still open for any advice .. thanks!

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Old 07-29-2003, 08:31 PM
 
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What does she know about sex already? If you have NEVER told her anything, you have some catching up to do! Probably the best way to start is to ask about what she knows or has "figured out" and try not to laugh if her understanding is wrong.

IMO, at minimum she should know:
babies are made when egg and sperm meet and grow in the uterus;
the way this happens is that a man's penis is put into a woman's vagina, which is pleasurable under the right circumstances;
sexual activities with a partner are for adults, because kids aren't ready for the responsibilities of parenthood OR for the emotional complications caused by the strong feelings of sex;
it's fine to daydream about sex and to explore her own body, but these things are to be done in private;
and basic facts about puberty and menstruation.

I'm not sure what to say about the kissing. It depends on why she is doing it (because she feels affectionate toward them? because someone is pressuring her? to embarrass the kiss-ee?) and what standards you want to teach her about when kissing is appropriate. Sounds like you need to hear more about what she is feeling to understand what's going on here. It may be hard to bring up, but I think it's worthwhile.

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Old 07-29-2003, 08:37 PM
 
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What's happening to my body book for girls (there is also a boys book). I would talk to her mom first though since you said she is your SD.
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Old 07-30-2003, 03:32 AM
 
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It seems very appropriate and wonderful that you are thinking about talking to your SD about this kind of thing. Certainly you'll want to coordinate with the bio mother and your partner, but I think adults talking to their kids about sexuality is very important.

A very good book for kids right around 9-11 years of age (it may or may not be too early for your SD, depending on maturity level) is "It's Perfectly Normal" (by Robbie Harris maybe?). I'll admit to being shocked at all that is shared in that book at first (including some drawings), but it is shared in an age-appropriate way, and I think after my shock I realized what value it had.

Another thing to consider would be taking a mother-daughter sexuality class for girls around that age. This might help open up the lines of dialogue. Often it is easier for kids to hear from their parents about bodies and sex when it is in the context of a class, with other supportive adults who help to normalize it. Often hospitals with family education programs have such classes. Your local Planned Parenthood also may offer such classes, if you are open to that. Depending on your willingness to attend a class from a religious organization, a Unitarian Universalist church in your area may offer Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes for kids just slightly older than your daughter (there is a 4-6th grade curriculum), so it'd be a short wait. The classes are just for the kids, but parents are given a complete orientation, the kids are assigned homework to do with their parents that encourages dialogue, and the parents usually read a "Parent Guide to OWL" that has great, very specific non-judgemental and non-"religious" tips and examples about talking about these subjects.

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I'm not sure what to say about the kissing. It depends on why she is doing it (because she feels affectionate toward them? because someone is pressuring her? to embarrass the kiss-ee?) and what standards you want to teach her about when kissing is appropriate. Sounds like you need to hear more about what she is feeling to understand what's going on here.
Aside from telling you that I do think it is relatively normal for kids to go through kissy stages right around your SD's age (I remember kissing boys on the playground at about 6, going through a break, and then getting back into that kind of stuff when I was about 8 or so...and that was many years ago), I want to say that I agree with EnviroBecca.

Sierra

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Old 07-30-2003, 11:57 AM
 
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Perhaps you could discuss with her what kissing and sexuality mean to you or could mean to her.

"The supreme virtue of the virtuous woman was modesty, a form of sexual self-control, manifested not only in chastity but in decorous dress and manner, speech and deed, and in reticence in the display of her well-banked affections. A virtue, as it were, made for courtship, it served simultaneously as a source of attraction and a spur to manly ardor, a guard against a woman's own desires, as well as a defense against unworthy suitors. A fine woman understood that giving her body (in earlier times, even her kiss) meant giving her heart, which was too precious to be bestowed on anyone who would not prove himself worthy, at the very least by pledging himself in marriage to be her defender and lover forever."

~ Leon Kass
http://www.thepublicinterest.com/notable/article7.html
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