My daughter has a little friend who just started school. I'm assuming that he learned about sex at school. A few weeks ago my daughter started talking to me about "six or sex". She told me that her friend wanted ''six or sex'', so I asked what it was. She said it was kissing and she didn't want to give him "six or sex" but that he tried to kiss her chest.
I told her father about this and he agreed that we wanted to make sure she didn't have a bad experience with sex at an early age.
He took her outside today and she was playing with the same friend. The family has two RVs one that they let the kids play in. When I came outside, I found that my daughter and the little boy were both in the bathtub in the play RV and no one was watching.
I'm not paranoid about nudity or anything, but the fact that no one was in the RV besides the two kids freaked me out. I feel upset with her father too, I mean he didn't seem to understand why I would be upset with this.
How would you react?
This reminds me of something I read recently. I am a great admirer of the Trobriand/Kiriwinan culture on the Trobriand islands to the South-East of Papua New Guinea. They are a "stone age" culture (or were until just a decade or two ago - not sure where they stand today) living in a tropical paradise in a matriarchal culture described by some as a "culture of love". Being matriarchal, all inheritance passes through the mother and fathers in fact don't exist. They believe spirits make women pregnant. A woman is supported by her brother(s), not by men she has sexual relationships with. They do marry, though I'm not sure if this is a recent Western influence or something they've always been doing. Those islands are probably the only place in the world where male rape (groups of females assaulting and raping lonely men) are a cultural tradition! (The guys seem to "enjoy" it though...)
However the interesting thing is, their children grow up with sex all over the place. They witness their parents enjoying it, and they begin playing with it whenever they feel like it - 5, 6 years old. As they grow older, the play obviously gets more 'serious'. Once they reach puberty, they leave their parents' home. Boys move to one of the bachelors' huts in the village, girls to a female relative. At night, girls visit the bachelors' huts and romp throughout the night, trying out different partners and basically just having fun. Once they grow a bit older, they begin to be more picky about their relationships, and eventually, they narrow down their choices to just one person. If things work out, they eventually marry. The odd thing is, although these things are going on all the time (and even married couples have some commonly accepted sexual leeway, such as when the other partner is away, they can 'get around' a bit), it is very uncommon for a woman to become pregnant before married. No one knows why. They certainly don't use contraception or limit their sexual activities.
I think that in an ideal world, we would have something like that. I shudder to think of the day STD's find their way to those beautiful islands. They once received a shipment of condoms from Papua New Guinean authorities, and blew them into balloons, watching them disappear to the sea.
Since we don't live in a society like theirs, I would want to be more careful about my children. I don't want them to grow up with the limited (non-existent) sexuality I grew up with, but also not romping around with everyone they happen to meet. I'd want to talk to the parents of the other children possibly involved very openly, and to the children as well, in simple terms when young, and more as they grow up. Exploring your sexuality without shame is important as you grow up, but when it involves other parties, it needs to be done intelligently. If it ever feels like things are moving along a little bit too fast, I wouldn't hesitate to pull my children out of whatever is going on, and keeping a bit of a distance to whoever else was involved for a time, while talking about these things with my children - and preferably any other families involved.
I think it is important to avoid shame being built up around sexuality on one hand, and too advanced experiments on the other hand. Maybe I could encourage my children to explore their sexuality alone at first, rather than with someone else, and I certainly wouldn't want them to have intercourse without truly understanding what is going on, and having someone they fully trust to have it with. Thankfully, we have a few years to go before it gets to that. Our daughter is 7, our son 4, and we haven't had to deal with these things yet. Our daughter is very interested in babies though, and I've told her how babies are created. Her mother is more protective than I am.
Maybe you could have a chat with the parents of the boy, see if you have enough common ground to reach an understanding where the children won't be able to go further than you are comfortable with. Obviously having your partner agree with you more or less helps a lot. Good luck ♥
Well I found out more about what happened. My daughter always waits until things have calmed down for the day to tell me things of a heavy nature.
I made sure to wash any negative feelings away before I walked into the RV. When I walked in my daughter looked at me with an "uh-oh" kinda look. I was hoping for complete innocence and was hoping and expecting to find another parent or an older teen-aged kid in there watching them...so I wasn't projecting anything. I asked them how they were doing, if they were having fun, etc. Then, I left, I didn't want to paint any picture of how I felt about it, and being surprised and confused that all the adults around thought this was okay disturbed me, I needed the space to process everything. A few minutes later my husband got my daughter out of the tub and she apparently got out easily because she wanted to get out anyway, the boy was being mean and bossy with her.
Here's another sub-section of this ordeal. My daughter has been playing with these kids(they have 3 playing aged kids and there's 2 other older kids in the neighborhood, they also have 2 teenaged girls who come around most weekends). My daughter's role is to be a runner and a screamer(unless the older girls are around). The older kids(all boys) do something to her to scare her or bother her and she runs and screams and they chase her. That's how they play. Not only that, this particular little boy (who is the closest to her age) would spit on her, push her, trample over her and tackle her...not to mention treating her like he's the parent and she's the child, or like she's a dog and "making" her fetch things. I'm not trying to paint a bad picture of the boy. In general I like this family and their kids. My husband suggested that I was suspecting evil intent from the boy, I realize he is just a child, and I understand sexual curiosity, etc. However, I've been trying to get my husband to understand that the way she plays with kids is disempowering to her and will have an effect on her self-esteem.
I've tried to interject and encourage her to be more aggressive, more creative, more like herself, but usually when this happens it is my time to work inside and her dad takes her outside. The relationship she has to the other kids is basically to be "the girl". Run like a girl, scream like a girl, prance around like a girl, get tricked, do errands, basically she's a squealing doormat who follows the others and does what she's supposed to do, what they tell her to do. She was not like this before we moved here and I've been trying to expand her ideas on how to play and be a leader, like she used to be. The reason this bothers me and I have only just realized the extent of it, is when I was a kid, though I had different relationships with different kids and lots more children to play with, as well as a lot more freedom and time spent outside and just with kids, there were some relationships I had as a kid that were similarly disempowering, where I was a doormat and where I did what other kids wanted me or told me to do. Those relationships took on a sexual tone and confused and disturbed me. There was no talking about this with my parents and the few times adults caught on there was not much talk about it, it was mostly "don't do that." That wasn't enough.
I also found that watching adult movies when I was a kid really confused me and made the idea of sex even more disturbing and perplexing to me, but it was not something I could talk about or really understand. I do want to talk to my daughter about it and I have told her about her personal space and personal parts. She has also been very interested in babies, and I've talked to her about anatomy and how babies are born, but I have yet to discuss how they're made, except that mami's & daddy's make babies together.
Last night, she told us that the little boy touched her and tried to lick her. I think I kinda left my body when I heard that last part. I still need to ask her more about it because I was trying my best not to have an alarming reaction, in which case I really think I couldn't handle it and just blacked out a little bit. She said "that kid is always touching my yoni". So I asked her more about that and it seems like he only did it in the bath tub yesterday, but that he repeatedly tried to do it. When I told my husband he apologized and said he wouldn't allow that again and that he wished he would've thought about the possibility of something like that happening. We decided we would let them play at our place together, but not to allow her to go over there to play. I'm also trying to reflect on how to bring this up to the other parents and what to tell my daughter about this.
I didn't know specifically about this tribe you're talking about Jack, but I did read The Clan of The Cave Bears in which the main tribe views sex in the same way you mentioned below. I've also read some scientific study about young children having a natural interest in sexuality. I wouldn't consider myself to be overly modest about it, but I do believe my daughter was uncomfortable, persuaded into following the lead and wants of someone else, confused and disempowered by this and I definitely want to correct it.
I hope you sort it out. Talking to the other parents involved is essential in situations like this. I personally find it tiring - the constant drawing of boundaries, explaining, why this, why that... Most parents who have met me IRL would probably say that I'm very quiet and seldom say much. I can be very talkative, but only if I feel a deeper connection. I would so love to live in a community with people I am connected to on a soul level, no need to explain every little thing.
I hope you can be there for your daughter. Her position doesn't sound enviable. My daughter has an adamant will, and I can't imagine her being pushed around by anyone, though I can easily imagine her pushing people around... ;-) Though who knows what certain environments can do. Positive relationships with other children are a hugely important factor in emotional growth.