I was reading an article in a magazine recently that sorta left me thunderstruck. You know that feeling you get when something happens that you just can’t believe? Like your soul suddenly leaves your body for a minute?
This particular article was written by a doctor’s wife. She stated that she did her usual routine of asking her doctor husband how his day was when he came home, but this particular time he looked rather ashen rather than just merely frustrated.
He shook his head and sat down, scratching his scalp.
He explained that he’d had to do a STD test on a 10-year old girl. STD. Not the old oil company, and not the flower delivery service (that’s FTD, by the way). STD as in sexually transmitted disease.
The wife was aghast, of course. She began the line of questioning.
Had she been raped? No. Had she been sexually abused? No. Was she pregnant? No, not old enough for that yet, thank goodness.
Turns out the young darling, who I gather must’ve been in fourth or sixth grade, was physically active with her sixth grade boyfriend.
I could feel myself swoon as I read how old they were. I had to take deep breaths to not pass out, thinking of how soon Sunnybuns would be turning 9.
Doctor’s wife continued on in her story as to how this might have come about, two very young people becoming so active so early.
She went on to describe how children are maturing more quickly, their bodies are jumpstarting the puberty process. How the hair is growing here, and the bumps are growing there. Doctor Hubs explained that he’s had girls as young as 9 coming in with some sort of sexually transmitted stuff.
I wondered if he wore a haz-mat suit to work ... I would!
As I continued reading with disbelieving eyes, doctor’s wife went on to talk about how kids are bombarded by advertisements that depict scantily clad girls or women, how television shows are barely able to keep their clothes on. It’s almost impossible for a child to go anywhere or watch anything that isn’t triggering some sexual response. Girls goaded into dressing like little streetwalkers. Boys impressed by a pimped-out lifestyle.
Paragraph after paragraph of laying the blame for promiscuous behavior outside the four walls of the child’s home.
Not once did this woman mention the responsibility of the parents. Not once. Not even one spare breath was taken to say, “Get on the stick, moms and dads!”
That was what struck me like two paddles to the chest.
I watched an episode of “Supernanny” last week, and Sunnybuns was scrunched right up next to me in the recliner. We do love our Nanny Jo. I highly recommend this show to anyone with kids in the house. Make them watch it and tell them you’re gonna call Nanny Jo if they don’t cut the crap.
Anyway, this family in Las Vegas consisted of two girls aged 14 and 11, and a boy aged 7. They were fairly spoiled rotten, and the parents worked different shifts so that one parent was always present in the home. They seemed like fairly decent people, a bit on the dull side, but they didn’t beat their children or anything. Just hardworking parents trying to give their kids a nice life.
Nanny Jo discovered that the children spent gobs of time on the Internet. The 11-year-old girl was pretending to be 14 on a MySpace site, and chatting up with a supposed 17-year-old boy.
All I cared about when I was 11 was what time “Scooby Doo” was coming on that afternoon.
The parents were clueless. Didn’t have one iota that that was going on right under their noses.
Nanny Jo insisted on a family meeting to discuss the very scary things that could happen from the daughter chatting online, and she more or less beat the parents with a newspaper for being so uninformed.
She told them she knew it wasn’t easy to know every single detail of their children’s lives, but that they’d better step up the practice of knowing before something went haywire. Surprisingly, the dad was ready to start swingin’ that ol’ Louisville slugger. The mom was just gobsmacked that her kids were chatting online, defending herself by saying, “I don’t really know how to use a computer.”
Nanny Jo said, “Well sister, you’d better learn fast!”
By the time she was done with her stay at this house, she had gotten the family a lot more in tune with each other and the computer was now in the middle of the kitchen, with each child being very restricted as to usage.
I started thinking that doctor’s wife must not have kids in her house. If she did, she would have talked about how she flew through the house turning over cushions and dismantling dresser drawers to find out what her kids were up to.
I don’t have to worry about Sunnybuns too much at the moment as the umbilical cord will only let him walk about four feet away from me.
I’ve gotta get him old enough for the Marine Corps before he starts thinking about girls, though. I don’t want to worry about him getting an STD before he’s a PFC.
But then ... neutering is always an option....