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Author Topic: Kids exposed to porn  (Read 4249 times)
Collinsky
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« Reply #15: May 16, 2011, 11:51:40 pm »



Thanks so much for all your replies... it really helped me regain perspective. It turns out that the older girl didn't have much to do with it at all - it was the 9 year old, who had found it on her older brother's laptop, and showed it to my daughters. That scenario, to me, doesn't feel deviant or malicious in any way. It may have been a bit traumatizing for my younger girl, but it wasn't abusive. My older daughter said that there was no pressure. The 9 year old's parents do not speak much English, and I'm not imagining that it is feasible for me to have a delicate conversation with them. Besides the language barrier, I get the feeling they are fairly conservative in this way, and probably quite sex-shaming. (Their gatherings are very gender-divided, and they're really funny about my little boys being shirtless outside.) My gut says that they would most likely punish her (or penalize her in some way) without a meaningful discussion, and without making any real changes to the security settings on the brother's laptop. I would certainly talk to them if I felt it was necessary, but from this one incidence, I don't have any red flags.

My younger daughter felt so much better since telling me, and I believe that the worst part for her was the secrecy. I hope that she'll internalize the message that she can talk to me, that part of my job is to help her deal with uncomfortable feelings. I thought that had always been pretty clear, but we're treading into new territory now, I guess. I figure I'll be open to any further conversation, but she doesn't seem to be harboring any further feelings of guilt or shame. One of the things I told her after she told me the other night was, "And now you've told me, and you're all clean now." Kind of like a Catholic confessional. I don't know that it was the best thing to say, but it seemed to really help her feel like she had released everything. It is SO hard to know what to say when  you're blindsided at 11 PM!  Undecided

My elder daughter seemed uncomfortable when I talked to her, a little awkward and worried that I was going to say she couldn't play with that friend any more. She was frank and forthcoming with her answers, and was able to tell me things that her sister couldn't. (Like that it was the older brother's laptop, etc.) She said that she was uncomfortable watching it, but also interested. I told her it was normal to be curious and interested, and that if she was interested, I have a book that was for kids that explained how things worked and more about how it is in real life. She said no thanks. I told her that just like things on TV and in movies aren't always how they are in real life, that that video may not have been how sex is in real life. (She totally gets special effects, acting, takes, camera tricks, stunt doubles, etc. -- not that any of that happened in the video she saw, but she understands the difference between fiction and reality, in that way.) She did not seem traumatized at all, just mildly embarrassed to talk about it.

I now have some new things on my radar, but neither of them seems the worse for wear. Thank you again, for all your feedback and support. (And of course, any further ideas are welcome.)



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SunflowerP
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« Reply #16: May 17, 2011, 11:56:12 pm »

One of the things I told her after she told me the other night was, "And now you've told me, and you're all clean now." Kind of like a Catholic confessional. I don't know that it was the best thing to say, but it seemed to really help her feel like she had released everything. It is SO hard to know what to say when  you're blindsided at 11 PM!  Undecided
Sounds like she'd probably associate the cleanness (and its opposite) more with the issue of uncomfortable secrets, than with sex, so while I can see why you're not sure it was the best thing to say, I think it was an all-right thing.  And, it sounds like you've been taking care that the overall message you've been inculcating doesn't go in the "sex is dirty" direction - one instance in which you might or might not have given that impression isn't likely to outweigh the whole fabric of your teaching (though I'll note that you never know for sure what little bit a kid will glom onto - but that's the thing, you really can't tell; it's always a guess).

I'm glad it's worked out so well - and especially glad you were able to have a good convo with your older daughter about it; I was a bit concerned that she might resent having it brought out in the open, but it sounds like you've done a terrific job of building mutual trust and she was unbothered.

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