Monday, February 2, 2015

Vodka Tampons, Suicide, Porn, and Third Graders; Four Words That DO NOT Belong in the Same Sentence - possibly the most disturbing post you'll read in a long, long time - by Rachelle



What do porn, suicide, and third graders have in common!? The answer should be NOTHING, right?? But it’s not! The answer is that they all know that the others exist! When I was in third grade, I thought two women could have a baby together. Not kidding. I remember getting into an argument with my friend’s dad that women had babies, not men. That’s how much I knew about sex. 

I remember learning in high school about girls soaking tampons in vodka before inserting them in order to get drunk at school without having alcohol breath. Girls these days are starting their periods earlier and earlier, it seems – 10, 11. What’s next? Third and fourth graders going to school drunk via their privates?? 

Unthinkable. 

Kids these days are inevitably going to know much more about the real world at a younger age than my generation ever did (now I sound old). I learned all about periods and condoms and STDs in 6th grade sex ed. Now six-year olds can Google it and have answers in seconds. Isn’t that the beauty of modern technology? Of course it is. But what else are our children exposed to? This is what terrifies me. 

I have two boys – preschool and kindergarten – and they still seem so innocent to me. And really, they are. They are still obsessed with mud and trains and stuffed animals. They still make hand-print art at school and love Play Doh and balloons. When is this all going to change? I pray later than sooner, of course, but after a conversation I had with my good friend Sara the other day, I’m not so sure. 

Sara works full time and her two boys – same ages as mine – go to an after-school program until she picks them up after work. I was driving to dinner with her the other night, and we got to talking in the car about school and our kids getting older and all that comes with that. For her, since her boys are sometimes mixed with older kids after school, it’s coming far too soon!

Sara told me that a girl – a third-grade girl – recently got in trouble at her son’s school for looking at PORN on her iPad. There are so many things wrong with that sentence. First of all, how does she know what porn is? (Am I the na├»ve one here? Does every third grader know?). Why does she know that porn exists?  Does she know what the porn stars are actually doing? WHY does she want to watch this??

And then when Sara told me that a boy got into trouble for playing an iPad game that has something to do with different ways of killing yourself (she didn’t know the name), I was bothered. Extremely bothered. So bothered that I talked to my friend Koleen about it shortly after and she put it simply: “I wish there was a way to sanitize society.” 

What a poetic – and true – statement. Life is meant to be lived and all that good stuff, but when you’re a GROWN UP, perhaps?? This was a reality check for me that today’s world is indeed very different from the world I grew up in. Makes me want to wrap my arms around my boys, stick my fingertips into their ears, shield their eyes, and protect them from the world, but I can’t. This is the world they are living in, and this is the world hubby and I need to help them figure out before they’re off and living in it without us always by their sides. Can’t we keep them young for just a bit longer?

 Maybe I’m overreacting here? Let’s find out. I’d love to hear from as many of you as possible on this topic. What stories do your young children come home with? I need some insight from moms with older kids as well. What do I need to be prepared for?  Are middle school labs still intended for dissecting frogs or have they moved on to teaching kids how to make meth? (slightly kidding, of course). Do guys still buy girls corsages when going to the prom, or are they instead buying condoms to tuck into their boutonniere’d pockets?  I’d just like to know what I’m in for….


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