I asked Sammy if he could have three wishes, what would they be.
1. A light saber. A real one.
2. I would be able to have two girlfriends
3. A magic carpet that would take me to Florida where it is hot.
Two girlfriends? We don’t even have a working television folks. The word is used on the playground. It is banned in the kindergarten classroom, and at home in the context of an exclusionary relationship with one girl. I said we can bring it up again when he is eighteen. Not my most effective parenting strategy.
Media driven sexualization of prepubescent boys and girls is something I became attuned to in this article at Love Isn’t Enough in response to the most recent Karate Kid movie. Naively (?) I kept thinking I had a few years to work out my approach. The way Sam talks about wanting to kiss his girlfriend and gaze into her eyes honestly baffles me. The most romantic thing he has seen is the Princess and the Frog. I am not modeling much of that around here, I assure you. He sees a hug, and a kiss between friends and couples we know, but that is about the extent of it. Is it just the way you are at six? Did I expect to have the Oooohhhhh gross! Girls. Blech! kid?
So, big surprise-here is yet another parenting moment that I don’t even begin to know how to unpack. For now, I am just writing down what he says, and trying to reframe in a way that I think is”correct” and “appropriate”. Of course that translates to archaic and Victorian in his eyes; “You mean you want to have more time to spend with your two best friends who are girls?” He looks at me like I have three heads, and says; “You asked me what I wished for, and I told you. I want to girlfriends. Not just one.”
Open to suggestions and feedback here folks. Clearly the soon, is once again the now.
Sorry, I can’t help you with this one. I guess I am lucky, because my boys still say “gross!” when they see a kiss in a movie.
My three-year-old came home from pre-school saying she got married to her friend James, and now she refers to him as “her husband” whenever she talks about him! Like you, I thought I had a few more years to deal with this kind of stuff…
I decided that the way to approach it is to talk now about what I expect, even though she doesn’t really understand what I’m saying. So for example, if you ask her when she’s going to have her first baby, she’ll tell you “not until after I go to college” – because that’s what I’ve told her! I just hope that if I keep saying stuff like that enough, she’ll hear my voice in her head at the right time when she’s older.
Oh I like that approach!
I wouldn’t panic yet. It’s so hard to know what a statement like that means. Would it help to (very casually) explore it? Like “what does that mean to you?” or “what kinds of things would you do with two girlfriends?” or “what made you think of that?”
I had a boyfriend in kindergarten–very briefly, until he got embarrassed–and I had all kinds of romantic notions. i don’t know where I got those either, because our tv watching was limited to Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers… Could this be just a normal thing kids experiment with at this age? So perhaps not about sexualization? Just a thought… I wonder if his teacher would have any helpful information on how commonly this happens, etc.