Saturday, 21 March 2009

another little observation........

Listening to parents over the years I have formed an impression that nobody ever wants their child to be interested in the opposite sex. Until they do.
It seems to me that children are urged to steer clear of romantic attachments until the moment when the parent thinks it appropriate and once appropriate it seems to suddenly become desirable and even desperate in quick succession.
I'm wondering where the turning point is?
Why does it seem to be a case of no, no, no, no, no, no.... YES. NOW!!!!

All of that brings me to a little soapbox:
Like all mothers I think my kids are gorgeous and they apparently are because people sometimes look at the girls and inform me that "you'll need a shotgun for them"
It always sends me into a brief and well managed but intense rage. I honestly don't know why it annoys me so much because it is well meant and largely unthinking, maybe it is the very lack of thought I object to?
We are born with a sexuality, largely unconcious until we reach adolescence,
but nevertheless it is there and as adults it is an essential part of our lives. If we are not sexually active we are thinking of how to find a partner, how to look better, how to be more generally attractive. We evaluate the attractiveness of others, we joke about sex, we flirt, we might enjoy a saucy film or an erotic book.
If we hope for our children to lead rich adult lives why are we so keen to ignore or repress their sexuality? I'm not suggesting anything extreme. I want my kids to respect and be respected. I want them to be reasonably modest. I want them to have positive views and positive experiences of life and that will include sex.
The whole shotgun idea just makes so many assumptions.
Why shouldn't I protect my boys from voracious girls?
Why would my girls be involved with the sort of boy who might "corrupt" them?
Who says the girls wouldn't be willing participants in being corrupted?
And who says they need my intervention? If I have properly prepared them they will (hopefully) be capable of making their own decisions.

I know that inappropriate sex can lead to all kinds of pain and heartbreak and I don't want to see that. Nobody wants to see their child with a broken heart but we can't stop it happening, we can only help pick up the pieces and in the meantime I find the whole idea of "protecting " my girls by isolating them is repulsive to me.


  1. You just blow me away. I'll never look at kids the same way again. Yes, it's true. I don't have kids and at my age never will, but this is brilliant and if I had kids I'd reconsider my approach to the teen years. You're right. You really are. You sort of sound like my little sister. How interesting. Hummmmmmmmmmmmm.


  2. thanks suze
    i was a bit worried that i would sound like some kind of uncaring extremist :)

  3. Can I get a "Amen!"

    I'm with you, Kylie. I am sooooo with you.

  4., platonically, of course.


  5. megs,
    phew :)
    i was worried you were abandoning bob

  6. Kia ora Kylie,
    I am on the other side of the fence as I have a boy who is not quite 16, and suddenly has developed a very keen interest in the opposite sex. We are trying to be as open and honest as we can, my wife is better than me I must admit. My big concern is that he treats women with respect and dignity. As to broken hearts, I fear it is something we all must experience at one time or another. All we can really do is listen and hug them, and hopefully the foundations are strong.

  7. hi rob,
    i am also concerned that, when their time comes, my boys will be respectful.
    i'm sure that no teen should just be unleashed willy nilly, i just hate the assumptions in the whole "you'll need a shotgun" comment.
    i am prepared to concede that my opinion might change when it is all actually happening!

    with a dad like you taylor will surely behave well.


  8. Hi Kylie,
    I agree with your post. I often have people saying that exact same thing about Helen. I always thought it was a strange thing to say and got a little offended when people said that. I was also thinking why? Is she not mature enough to say yes or no which i think she will be able to.
    On another topic I asked if she had been invited to any parties where she knew alcohol was going to be served. Helen said she hadn't but got very defensive about it.but she knew of people who had. I said if she had would she go. to which she replied well no. I said wwhy are you getting antsy about it she said well you wouldn't let me go anyway. to I said you haven't been asked yet so what are you getting cross for?
    Hope you understand what I mean.
    see ya Jo.

  9. Damm! I knew you would move before i finished commenting.
    I commented when you were on the blog at 5.22pm and then you had gone. Have you gone to get your dinner ready? I better do the same.

  10. i went to read a little bit of the paper. i should be getting dinner though :)
    i know exactly what you mean.
    at 14 liam is probably a bit young yet to be invited to parties with alcohol and as a very quiet and self contained boy he isnt interested so thats all easy so far.
    i expect it will be different when the younger three get a bit older. they are all highly sociable. at this stage i think i will trust them all to be around alcohol and not be silly about it but it's the rest of the crowds who could be a worry!

    i'm so glad it's not only me who gets sniffy about that comment!

    have a wonderful weekend

  11. The words defiance, elopement and rebellion spring to mind. If a parent is forever "protectionist" they may for a short time neutralize certain behaviour in offspring but rarely does permanent conformity to parental ambition occur. Who is to say parental judgement in a certain instance is correct anyway?

  12. I suppose the shotgun comment is meant as a sort of compliment- but unthinking, as you say!

    Teenage love and hormones...very tricky! I have found that they are happy to talk about the physical things but completely shy of talking about feelings and emotions.

    It's a walk they have to take alone and it is painful to watch sometimes.

    I agree- your boys will need as much protection and care as your girls :)

  13. Hi Kylie,

    It's hard to figure out the right amount of protectiveness with the need to let the young ones stretch their wings. It was for me. No, I definitely don't think you are an uncaring extremist. Far from it in fact.

    Best wishes,


  14. dad
    leah thinks you're wise :)

  15. hi cinnamon!
    i do know it's a compliment and i try to take it that way.

    i didnt realise i had to talk to them about feelings !!!!

  16. hi skeeter!
    you are ever gracious.
    have a lovely weekend


  17. well kyles, you're gonna have to get cracking on educating all your kids cause "you're a bad role model" and you'll need to get yourself sorted out before you can help them :) he he he

  18. hey na!
    i am.

    worst in the world!!


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