I’m a big fan of learning. I believe that kids are little sponges and you can use almost anything as a teachable moment.
This summer I’m teaching Eslyn how to tell time (she really wants to be able to use her Justin Bieber watch). I’m also teacher her how to count money; we’re learning about endangered animals because of the zoo and we’re working on addition and crystals by making rock candy.
Not everything she’s learned this summer has come from home though, her friends have been teacher her a a few things too. And I am a less than enthusiastic about that.
The first thing her friends have taught her about is sex. We found this out when we went to the zoo and one of the little girls in her class asked why there was no baby elephants. Eslyn piped up because there are no boy elephants. Her classmate then asked me why would you need a boy elephant, to which I replied “Ask your parents”. Eslyn responded with “I know why” I looked at her and she said “E told me”. When we got home that night I asked what exactly E had told her. “S-E-X” was her reply. So we then had to sit down and have a sex talk. I want her to be educated, but I want her to be educated by ME. So our talk ended with me telling her that these conversations were between me and her. Not that there was anything wrong with what we were talking about but most Mom’s and Dad’s think this is something they should talk to their kids about.
The second thing that Eslyn’s friends told her about this summer was religion. One night I went upstairs to find a note from Eslyn, who had been in a time out earlier. It was a lovely note about how I was a mean, mean Mommy. That part was pretty standard 7 year old stuff. The next bit though…. in the rest of the note Eslyn said that since I was a mean Mom I was going to go to hell. And that I was going to burn in hell forever and ever because we don’t got to church so we are evil and bad.
I was stunned. You see, we don’t go to church. Eslyn has been to one church service in her life, and that was part of a friends wedding. So I was very curious where she had heard such things. When asked where she had heard such stuff she replied “E”. Yep that’s right, this lovely friend of hers decided that when she found out that we don’t take Eslyn to church to tell her all about hell and how everyone in our family was going to burn there when we die. She then told Eslyn that if she believed in God then only her Mommy and Daddy would burn in hell. This one was a little harder to deal with. I was mad that someone would tell my kid this. My first instinct was to tell her she was never allowed to play with this girl again because she was a liar. But instead we had a long talk about how different people have different beliefs and it’s okay if you and your friend don’t believe in the same thing.
So while I think it’s great and very important for parents to teach their kids about their beliefs, or lack there of, and about sex, please tell your children not to share what they’ve learned. While your nine year old might be ready to learn about the mechanics of sex, your neighbours four year old might not be.