Friday, August 22, 2008

Boys are a problem...

When the heck did boys become such an issue at 5 years old?

OK, my husband and I are seeing and hearing about boys that are becoming a problem for Kenzie.

First, the other day, Kenzie told me that Omar (a boy in her class) wouldn't stop touching her. I asked where he was touching her and she said on her skirt and leg. She told him to stop it but he didn't. Evidently the teacher saw what was happening and stepped in to stop it. Just to put this into perspective, Omar also went two days in a row to the principal's office.

Then yesterday, my husband took her to the park pool. First, two boys (who appeared to be older than Kenzie) surrounded her and began "petting" her and touching her. They were dragged off of Kenzie by their mom. Then a younger boy began touching her as well. Thank goodness his mom was watching, too, and stopped that as well. If I had been the one to witness this, I would have yelled at the boys right then and there - and with my face - it would have probably scared them worse than anything their mother would have done. Roy isn't quite as quick to react.

What is going on here? I know Kenzie is cute and adorable - and it scares me even more now. I keep telling Roy that she needs to be in martial arts school so she'll learn how to be more assertive and know how to protect herself from anyone who would like to take advantage of her. I know they'll teach non-lethal methods of being able to grab someones thumb or finger and twist it in a way that hurts but doesn't break anything - unless the moron wants to push the issue...

OK, I'm not advocating she kick their butts the minute they put a hand on her, but geez! If the moms aren't around and it does gets out of hand, I want her to feel she has the right (and the ability) to make sure the boys know she doesn't allow anyone to "handle" her. Most of the time, either Roy or I are around to watch her, but at school, with 21 kids in the class, the teacher may end up occupied and not able to catch it all. And I'd rather Kenzie learn how to handle it herself than become a "tattle-tale". She'll get more respect (not to mention fear from the guys). I don't want them to think she's a toy they can "play" with.

I do want her to know she can do whatever it takes to protect herself. Maybe 5 years old is too young for that... but I remember feeling helpless at 5 not knowing what to do or that I was even entitled to protect myself. I don't want that for her.

I remember when I was 21, and I worked for the state highway department (in the office, not out on the roads with the guys). I worked for a subdistrict, and one of the girls working in the office with me was dating a guy who worked for the district office (no, he was not her boss). We were supposed to meet one evening at a bar for some camaraderie and to listen to my boyfriend's band playing . Now, you got to understand, I weighed 105 pounds at the time. This guy came up out of his chair to "greet" me with "Howdy, sweetheart!" and grabbed my butt with one of his huge paws. Without a second thought and as fast as you could say "What the?" I turned into him with my fist at the ready, and pulled my punch at the last second to not hit him in the nose but in the chest - with as much force behind that punch that my body could muster. And I DON'T hit like a girl - I hit like a man - straight on - no round punches. I knocked the wind out of him, and he had a HUGE bruise on his chest for three weeks. But I guaran-damn-tee you he didn't ever try to disrespect me again. Forever after that, he addressed me as " Miss Julie" and he kept his hands to himself.

I want my daughter to know she has that kind of freedom and to have the ability to use it.

I want her to be empowered.


Gina (Caleeo) said...

First - aaaaahhhh - it infuriates me that this is happening to her at all. What is up with these boys in the first place that they are touching her.

Second - absolutely - I have already been researching Kung Fu for O when she is old enough and got a few pointers on things to do to get her ready.

Third - great post! You rock!

Julie said...

Thank you, Gina. I hope there are mothers out there who are preparing their daughters to be assertive in their views, and the ability to back it up with whatever means are necessary to get the point across when they aren't taken seriously.

When she starts dating (which, if I had my way, it wouldn't be until she was 30) she will know that no one should treat her badly. And aim for the soft spot between the legs.

Gail said...

I don't think I like these boys!
And so young!!
Whats up with their parents? What happened to respect?

Oh I so agree with some type of self defense.
May look into this for my girls!

Julie said...

Oh yeah! One thing I'll give my father credit for - he did teach me how to hit. And I make it count. I have only had to do it a few times... but IMO, that was a few times too many.

It appears to me that respect begins early on... and with the messages kids are getting today with the media and their parents - it's almost a foregone conclusion they are going to be sexual at some point - especially boys. Like it or not - boys are definitely built with a different chemistry than girls. And if they aren't raised properly, they won't have any respect for girls at all.

Allen and Dawn said...

Hi Julie,
Do you have travel dates yet? I know you must be anxious to go. I can't wait to follow your journey. I can't believe that the 4th will be 4 months since Gotcha Day already for us!

Julie said...

Allen & Dawn - No travel dates yet. I don't expect to hear that until maybe mid-September. I'm nervous. The closer we get the more nervous I am.

sybil said...

We have a similar issue with my daughter - only both girls and boys like to pick her up. She's the smallest kid in her class & at 6 1/2 she weighs 36 lbs.

We've been working on how to handle the situation verbally, but martial arts has been on my mind, too.

I don't want to teach her that a physical response is ok - but on the other hand I owe it to her to be prepared for the worst case scenerio.

cabbagemintor said...

Oh dear, this issue has not really been on my radar at all. All six of us went to single sex school; and all of the younger generation did the same until the end of high school years. I sent you a note about the Panaroma programme shown on January 5, on BBC1 which you can still watch on the BBC iplayer until Sunday. I was just shocked to hear that 24 kids under the age of 5 committed serious sexual offences to other children in the UK last year. And there were over 250 kids under the age of 11 doing the same dastardly acts. Children interviewed said they had sex flung in their faces by the media, parents, and even grandparents 24/7. A lot of dicipline go by the wayside in broken homes and the internet is another problem. Girls must be told that they should speak up and say, "don't do that!" when touched and move away from the vicinity of the offender(s.) Martial arts is a good idea. I am glad that Kenzie told you about the infractions. When I took my nieces to public swimming pools (and other places,) , I watched them like a hawk. Beautiful or not, girls are not playthings and those little boys should be told to behave. In my generation, I have never heard of problems among children. I was violated once in the middle of the road in broad daylight. I never complained to anybody. Girls must never be like that again.