4.13.2006

Peer Pressure


Peer Pressure can be great, it can motivate you to try new things you wouldn't think of doing on your own. Or, there may be things that you are afraid to do, but you do them because you are being encouraged/persuaded to try.

This day is turning out to be the day of Peer Pressure for me, both positive and negative.

Let's start with the positive, that's best!

Diane cut my hair today and I was really looking forward to that. She does such a nice job (I think). I was smiling as I walked into the salon because I knew she would flip over my glasses and want to give me a new doo to go with them.

I was right!

First it started off with the cut, doing something a little different with my bangs. I was into that!

Then I started telling her how Wild she was and she started telling me how Wild I was. Before I knew it she was mentioning color, and her eyes were getting all sparkley and she started foaming at the mouth (that last part is just editorial license).

That was the peer pressure. How could I say no to her? I knew she would be all over the new frames (won't be surprised if I see her in a pair next month when I go) so I just couldn't say no to her. And I like red. It was either a big red chunk or a big blonde chunk, so I went with the red. And we dyed the rest a nice chocolate brown. Now I'm a rock'n - way out there- chick and my 7 year old says its fabulous while the conservative 5 year-old gave it a thumbs down.

Then I went to the kids' school to see the content of the Sex Ed. curriculum that my DD will be learning next month. It was kind of spurring me on to start talking to her about womanly stuff, which was good. I want to be the one to talk to her, I want to have a tiny bit of CONTROL over what she is learning about her body and the human body.

Then I watched the videos.

I'm just real mad right now. Frustrated. Please don't take this the wrong way public school teachers/system (remember I was in that field once and I DO have sympathy), but some things concerning the educating of the masses just STINK!

Now don't get me wrong. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with Sex Ed. BUT....and here's the BUT: When it comes to your own child, you want to have some CONTROL over the what, when, why and how of this education.

Thank you Public school system for telling me that 4th grade is the right time for not only the girls, but the boys to learn about women's menstrual cycles. Thank you Public school system for telling me that 5th grade is the right time for my daughter to learn about wet dreams.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I want my daughter to learn all about this stuff. It is so very important. But golly gee, what percentage of girls are having their periods at the end of 4th grade? Have things really changed that much since 1980 when only one girl in the 5th grade started hers?

I'm OK with my daughter learning about this now, although I would prefer it to be next year. I'm not opposed to my daughter learning about testicles, sperm, ejaculations and nocturnal emissions. But why does it have to be in the 5th grade? I can see the need for her to know it in the 6th, where you start seeing a greater % of kids starting to have sex. But how many boys are having wet dreams in the fifth grade? Please tell me, I've never been male so I really don't know? And, how many kids are having sex in the 5th grade?

I realize that public school is educating the masses. Therefore, whatever is happening to the masses dictates what most or all students learn. It's the shove everybody into one box theory.
People are indivuduals and cannot be shoved into one very small box, but as much as I detest this theory, I concede to the idea that peer pressure (majority % of student population) must win out over the minority. That's the essence of public education. What's best for most is what's best for you.

Therefore, if somebody somewhere can tell me that 20% ( I think that's a reasonable percentage) of girls start menstruating in the spring of their 4th grade year (9-10) years old, I'll stop with the Mama-Bear attitude and chill about it. If somebody somewhere can tell me that 5th grade boys become semen producers then I'll just have to chill about that too.

But right now, all I know, is that my daughter has to grow up, it's inevitable. I get that. Just don't tell me that because the nurse starts seeing one or two girls out of the entire 4th grade population starting their periods that all 4th grade girls and boys must learn about this highly anticipated event of nature.

Can't we just give our kids as many years of innocence as possible? I guess its just not that way anymore.

So, I'm not making my daughter opt out of the movie she's going to be shown because that's stupid. She'll hear it from everybody else, and hearing it is not the issue for me. The issue is the timing.

Enough said. And forgive my ranting, because I know I'm doing it. I'm just upset, disappointed, mad, and feel like someone's leading me around by the nose. Shoved me into a corner. And I'm starting to get grouchy, even barking at the kids. I need to vent, so guess what, you were just the lucky recipient to get dumped on. Now I'm going to go try to enjoy a rookie baseball game in the rain!






13 comments:

Doug Bagley said...

great post. like you I wanted to be the one to decided when and how to teach my children about sex.
Luckily, I had parents who did that and they also made sure to enforce the idea that sex is a natural and beautiful way for two people to express their love for each other, with in the bounds of marriage. Yeah, I'm one of those old fashion guys, can't help it, as tough as it is sometimes, LOL.

Doug Bagley said...

great post. like you I wanted to be the one to decided when and how to teach my children about sex.
Luckily, I had parents who did that and they also made sure to enforce the idea that sex is a natural and beautiful way for two people to express their love for each other, with in the bounds of marriage. Yeah, I'm one of those old fashion guys, can't help it, as tough as it is sometimes, LOL.

CameraDawktor said...

Doug-
I know. And I don't mind the talk. Actually, I really look forward to it. But not at 10 years old. With the kind of stuff she's going to learn next year I'm going to have to get a lot more explicit a lot sooner than what I was hoping to.

Anyway, thanks for the comment!!!

Jana said...

Love the new 'do! Really suits you!

My oldest will be 10 in July, and he doesn't need to know that stuff yet. On the other hand, my husband says he started having wet dreams at 9, so I guess they're out there. I wouldn't be surprised if at least one of my other boys matures early like he did. I always figured if they haven't asked by the time they're 11, we can talk about it.

And I didn't get my period until I was 13 and in 6th grade.

Grandma Jacki said...

Okay,
This was just too good not to comment on. Here's my opinion. I guess since I was an early bloomer (period-10) & I truly believe that each generation matures earlier & is taller that the last then I figure it's okay for 4th graders to see what they're gonna see. It should be repeated in like 6th grade since I feel that's probably when, if they're not having sex, they're hearing about it.
Who knows? I also feel that as the Mom you have a right to your feelings about this. Every child is different.
P.S. Love your hair!

CameraDawktor said...

Jana-
Thanks so much for the feedback! I know that even little tiny boys get erections, but didn't know wet dreams could start that young....really gives me good perspective and understanding about when this needs to be talked about.

You are so helpful! Besides, w/ two little boys I have to know what is ahead!

Grandma Jacki-
Yes, I agree with you that it really does seem that each generation hits puberty earlier. It's just hard to keep our babies "Babies" for any length of time anymore. Like I said, I look forward to talking with her more about these things. I had to hear it all from school and I see it as an honor and privilege to talk to my child myself. Think that's very important.

Thanks so much for the comment and feel free to comment any time!

Writer Mom said...

I love the rockin' hair! Five-year-olds do seem to like things to stay normal, don't they? Jack would probably take a week to get over talking about a red streak. By ten, he'll be sporting one!

Geez, I'm not ready for sex talks. It'll be rough, I'm sure. I don't recall HAVING sex talks in school. I just remember the free tampon day. And I figured it all out. At least I think I did. Maybe I'm missing out on stuff.((Late bloomer. I was 15!))<--as if that's invisible.

CameraDawktor said...

Writer Mom-
Well this year they are talking to the boys about hygiene (staying clean) and the girls about menstruating. The boys will watch what the girls are watching and vise versa.

Next year, the boys hear about their puberty, sperm, etc. and girls hear??? Then they watch each others videos.

It discusses the sperm and egg forming a human but doesn't say HOW that happens, just that it does. Thankfully, its up to parents to explain the nitty gritty, at least until jr. high rolls around.

I was expecting about one more year of innocence, but guess kids have to grow up faster these days.

It's been fun playing Green Valley tag w/ you!

spicehut said...

I started mine 2 months after my 10th b'day. Which is not that usual among Indian girls I think...Mum was shocked I think (that I started so early) but happy ofcourse. Its celebration time. Relatives are quitely informed that their little girl is becoming a young lady now. Aunties congratulate you etc It was a strange surreal experience...

I didnt know anything aobut anything, mum
sort-of tried to explain to me but both of us were feeling awkward I think, I was clueless...just knew something different lies ahead.

Ya I know I am on a break but couldnt help writing...:)

mysouth said...

Girl!!!! I love it!! it looks great on you!!

CameraDawktor said...

Spicehut-
I really appreciate your feedback and when you were on your break no less!!!

It is so helpful to hear people say that they experienced these changes at such young ages. It makes me realize that although my daughter may not experience this for another couple of years, that there are probably more girls than I realize that have just started or are about to.

Thanks so much!

I think I was 12 and had 2-3 friends that I knew of that were behind me, but most girls had by then. At least I thought anyway!

Stephanie said...

The hair is awewome!

The sad truth is...girls are getting their periods earlier and earlier. Fourth graders are physically capable of getting pregnant. Puberty seems to be striking younger and younger.

I know it's bizarre, but truth is stranger than fiction.

CameraDawktor said...

Thanks so much for the compliment and the comment.

I'm so glad I posted about this and got so much feedback. I am realizing by the response I got here that the "percentage" #'s I was demanding, necessitating this early education is quite necessesary. I got a lot of feedback here and I really appreciate it!