Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tween Girls and TMI

Fun at the water park this summer.  
You wouldn't believe the time we had finding a 
modest bathing suit for her that didn't look like 
it belonged on a senior citizen.

The Princess is a tween.  Oh.  My. Goodness. is she a tween!  Swinging wildly between girly and mature, horses and school friend drama, and all that goes with being a tween.  Only, I don't remember my tween years having such an awful case of TMI.  I mean, am I getting old (don't answer that!), or have things in our children's lives become so ADULT that it's hard to keep our kids, kids until they're ready to deal with grown-up stuff?

Now, I'll be the first to admit that the Princess is smart.  Well, no, she'd be the first, I'll have to be second.  Anyhow, she's one sharp kid.  Thankfully she's got a fair amount of common sense (which I'll also admit is an on-again, off-again thing at this age, but she does pretty well with it more often than not).  She's tall for her age, and a young lady that's already getting more looks from guys than I'm comfortable with.  She's not even 12 yet!  But I started trying to jerk-proof her early, as in discussing the things she heard in school and saw on TV and YouTube, and talking about relationships as the topic arose.  I mean, for Pete's sake, kids talk about "dating" in third grade now.  Really?  I mean, REALLY?

Anyhow, even with the preemptive idiot-proofing, even with talking about the ups and downs of physical changes and emotional changes and becoming a young lady, even though I'm pretty laid-back and not easily embarrassed or flapped, she still occasionally floors me with the questions she asks.  Like yesterday, when she asked me a question while we were in the car waiting for her brother to finish his fitness class.

"What is bestiality?"

WHAT the HECK is my 11 year old daughter asking me this question for?  I asked her where she'd heard the word, to buy myself a couple moments thinking space.  She said she heard it at school.

Speechless.  I'm just speechless what my kids are hearing from other kids, who heard it from older kids, siblings, parents, TV shows, and the internet.  Gobsmacked might be closer to my reaction.

So I gave her the simplest definition of the word (because I do NOT want her "friends" explaining it to her).  To say the least, she was grossed out.  (Thank goodness!)  And I hope I never have to go there again.

But now I'm freshly appalled at the things our children (CHILDREN, not young adults, not teens, CHILDREN) are being exposed to, despite the best efforts of many parents to keep them a little innocent a little longer.  When did it become acceptable to expose our kids to such filth and depravity as a rite of "growing up"?  When did so many parents stop keeping an eye on what their kids watch, and who they hang out with, and where they go?  I didn't have THAT sheltered a childhood, and I still didn't know what the F word was until sixth grade.

I'm grieving my daughter's innocence, which is being taken from her bit by bit by forces outside my control.  I've told her to guard her heart and her mind, and be careful what she watches, and she knows that I'm paying attention to what she's doing online and on TV.  I have asked her to stop watching certain things, change the channel, and move on, and I explain why I ask her to do that.  Why certain shows are just too disrespectful or rude or suggestive, why certain comedy routines have funny bits but you have to wade through a cesspool to find the comedy diamonds and it's not worth it.

I hate having to explain things to my beautiful girl that she shouldn't have to hear or think about or deal with yet.

But I'll keep trying to protect her.  That's what I'm here for.  Because I love her, and I want her to know she's worth far more than what the world would sell her for.


  1. This just makes me sad.

    You handled it very well.

  2. Laurel, I don't read your blog often enough and I apologize as it is well written, interesting and thoughtful.

    I rarely make such a loud gasp as I did and yell, NO!!! when I read what you just wrote. I was a crazy wild kid, raised in the 80s just like you and I didn't even know what a BJ was until I was in 11th grade when I asked a girlfriend from school.

    To have our children polluted with such things as bestiality is absolutely, undoubtedly from the devil and disgusts, horrifies and hurts me at the same time. I am so sorry you had to answer that question but I am SOOO glad she asked you and not her friends. My heart is just crushed that a child is exposed to that sort of filth and I hate hate HATE that try as we might, we cannot protect our kids from what other CHILDREN bring into their minds and heads, all of course, from "adults". Fortunately, our children's hearts and souls are protected and you and I both know that since Eternity is accounted for in their lives, we can breathe a little easier when we go to bed at night.

    I am sorry for you and your princess. You handled it well.

  3. Thank you, ladies - you both mean a LOT to me for your friendship and support. I just couldn't let this episode go, and I had to write about it. I'm still floored by it. As much as I hear in the schools from the teens/tweens I often sub with, I'm not beyond being surprised. But to hear it from my own daughter just rocked me back on my heels. It's so sad, that we have to explain such things to our kids because other kids share these adult topics with them because their own parents/older siblings don't respect them enough to protect them.

  4. Sad to say, as a sub in the public schools - and some city schools no less - I have seen quite the shift. How many girls in your class of junior high or high schoolers was pregnant. When I graduated from Cxxxxx there were 2. Now? idk but I bet its more. We never even thought about discussing things like beastiality for the most part - and although I am sure there were some it was hidden. Now days you should hear what I hear! Or maybe you do... You are doing what you should. Pray, teach, be an example and if need be, steer her away from friends that aren't the best influence. We always told our daughter she couldn't date until she was finished with high school EXCEPT for special school dances - prom, winter ball, etc. Most of her friends went as a group to those occasions anyway. You did good...