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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Innocence of a child...

How do we as parents protect that?

On a sunny but cold Friday afternoon, I picked the boys up from school as normal and, was asked by the nursery teacher to come in to class, as she needed to speak with me.  Whilst we waited for her, I asked the baba what had happened.  My rule has always been, tell me before the teacher does.  My preference is for my children to be upfront with me, especially if they had done something wrong.  This gives them the chance to explain their side of the story.  And, not to hide things from me.

"I showed my willy to the reception girls"
"What...  Why?"
*shrugs whilst looking at the floor
"Oh dear.  That is not nice, not nice at all.  That is your private body that you shouldn't show anyone, that would have upset "the girls.  Did you want to upset them?"

On speaking with the teacher the problem magnified.
"He showed some Reception Class children his willy and told them to suck"
"WHAT?!"  My heart began to race.  I was mortified.  "Where did you get the from?  Who have you heard say that baby?"

And so the story goes on.

Inevitably when your children leave the house they are subject to the situations and occurrences they happen upon on this walk we call life.  Knowing, that we as parents do not expose our children to the scenario presented before us made me think outside of my husband and I.  When I initially asked the question, 'where did you hear that'  it wasn't implying the school wasn't protecting my son.  It was to determine whether 1.  he had overheard his elder brothers discuss 'grown-up' stuff.  2.  He'd overheard an adult or 3.  He had accessed something via the internet or television.

The shocking reality is, that any one of those scenarios could have been the issue, no matter how hard we try to 'protect' the innocence of our young.  The first place to look is home.

Little boys flash their willies, they always have.  That in it self is a misdemeanour and can be dealt with firmly but with a light approach.  The verbal abuse attached is a whole other situation.
It transpires that another, older, child at the school had demonstrated then coerced our 4 year old into doing the same.  My main concern is not that he has been exposed to this, or that he has learnt something wholly inappropriate, but, that someone was able to, quite easily, get my son to do something so potentially dangerous.  My mind races at the seriousness of my sons vulnerability and his clear lack of understanding over his personal safety.  Maybe it's an overreaction on my part but, I can't help how I feel.

Calmly I called a family meeting and we all, hubby and 3 brothers, gently spoke about the importance of keeping things in underpants safe and hidden.

I spoke to a social worker, who deals with child protection on a daily basis, she suggested drawing a picture of a boy and a girl, girl in bikini and boy in swim trunks; then speaking to him about the covered areas being private and getting him to colour those in to help reinforce the understanding.

I have of course, let he school know about the older child and am leaving them to deal with it as appropriate and in accordance with their policies.  As for me.  I'm stopping.  Breathing.  And ticking this off of the one of many stressful situations that come with being a parent.  Needless to say that after having 4 children over 3 decades of my life I am still learning.
Fingers crossed for me.

Has this ever happened in your family?  How did you handle it?  What would you do, or have done differently?

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- Tomboy x -

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