3.13.2014

The Zombies That Eat Kids

This is going to be an awkward blog post to write.

I think, because it's a hard subject to deal with in any case.....never mind when you have to
talk to your kids about it.



No people, I'm actually NOT going to talk to you about zombies, or the zombie apocalypse today.


This blog post is actually about Pedophiles.

And how to talk to your kids about them.  Well, no, what I'm actually going to do, is tell you how S (my husband) and I, ended up talking to our 3 year old (at the time) son.


ew.


Rough subject I know.

I want to start this, by telling you, that I am in NO WAY any sort of doctor, therapist, or anything like that. 

What I am simply doing here, is telling you mine and my husbands somewhat recent experience of talking with our son about pedophiles.  He was 3 at the time that we had this talk with him, he is 4 now, and yes, the subject still comes up.

Please don't view my story as a way that YOU should talk to your similarly aged children about Pedophiles, or "good touch/bad touch" or "safe touch/unsafe touch"  I simply want to share our story so that some people may be able to, maybe, use it as a reference....and maybe look at it as, kinda, sorta, good, possibly, advice.  I think that all families should choose their own way to talk to their children about such issues, and when that conversation should happen.


 

One day, on a normal walk that S (my hubs) was having with Dude (our son) in a nearby town, S saw a vehicle drive by, that he knows belongs to a Registered Sex Offender who lives in the area. 

S tells Dude, that if that vehicle ever drives up to Dude, or Dude sees that particular vehicle at our house, then Dude is to run to his daddy or mama, so that we can take care of the situation.

And of course, Dude asks him "why?"

So S tells him, that the person who drives that vehicle is a bad person, a person that hurts kids.


Dude: "You mean like a zombie?  A zombie that will eat kids?"


S, being the parent he is, a parent that is going through this (meaning this kind of talk) for the first time, and honestly doesn't even know which way to go with it, goes on to tell Dude, that there ARE zombies out there that will hurt kids.


Dude: "Zombies will hurt kids?"
S: "Yes, sometimes zombies will hurt kids."
Dude: "You mean, zombies will eat kids?"
S: "Yeah Dude, sometimes zombies will try to eat kids, and if someone ever tries to eat you, you have to run and tell mama or daddy."
Dude: "Ok daddy."




Annnnnd of course, as soon as S and Dude got home, Dude told me the entire conversation, including that there are zombies out there that will eat, and hurt kids, and that if he ever sees a zombie that's going to hurt him, he has to tell daddy and mama so that we can shoot the zombie.

My immediate reaction?

What the f**k S___?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

And S goes on to explain to me the conversation, and he explains to me where, exactly, he was coming from, in telling Dude about "zombies that eat kids".

S was talking about Pedophiles......he was, in his own way, trying to tell Dude that if anyone tries to come after Dude, or hurt him..... that that person was a "zombie", and in essence a "bad person", and Dude should tell daddy and mama about it right away so that we can shoot the zombie.

{{Let me also say this at this point.  Yes, our son knows about guns.  He is growing up in a house that has guns, and he knows to not touch them.   He knows that if there is a problem, to get his mama or daddy, and if needed, WE will get a gun.  Dude is very much aware of what guns will do to a person.}}


My immediate reaction after hearing the reason behind this conversation?  To, basically, freak the f**k out, because S has attempted to talk to our 3 year old son about Pedophiles, without us talking first about how to talk to him about it.....

I calmed down......I started talking to S....

I told him that if we told Dude that "bad" people are "zombies", and that there are "zombies" out there that "eat" or "hurt"  kids, like Dude had used as reasoning....that if Dude went to someone, and said that a zombie had tried to eat him....no adult would believe him....that any adult would just think that he was another kiddo with a crazy imagination.




Since Dude was very little, maybe 9 months or so, we have belonged to a group called Community Concepts, where a "teacher" comes to the house once a week, to basically, work with us, as parents, and help us teach our kids and basically teach us about parenting.  It's a horrible description, I know, but it's an amazing group of people who have told us about numerous money saving ideas, helped with nutrition, and have been another resource for us to go to with questions. 

One day, our "teacher" R told me that it is always important to use the correct terminology for private parts: Penis, vagina, breasts, etc......because if a child is ever abused or mistreated, that child is more likely to be believed about the abuse if the child says "so and so touched my penis"  instead of "so and so touched my hoo-ha". 

This made perfect sense to me, and to S, when I told him about the conversation, and since that day, we have always used correct body part names in our house.

When I told/reminded S about this, he nodded, and agreed, and we sat Dude down, and pretty much started again.

Telling Dude, that yes, there are some people out there who will hurt kids, who will touch kids in a bad way, and no, they are not zombies.  We told him that there are certain people who are OK to touch his penis and his butt....mama, daddy, his grandparents (since they have to help him go the bathroom sometimes), his doctor.....but that if someone else should touch him in those places, he should tell his mama, or daddy, his grandparents, or his teacher, or a police officer right away, so that one of us could, basically, make everything better.

And Dude got it.  He understood. It was crazy to be talking to our son about something like this, but he understood what we were telling him.....

He still brings up the conversation sometimes....and we reinforce the proper names, who is OK for touches, who is OK for safe touches, and who he should tell if someone is hurting him, or touching him in a way that he doesn't like, or feel comfortable with.

Dude has always called his private parts his penis and his butt, and Princess, at 2, says "bina" and butt.  They both know what parts boys and girls have, what parts mama and daddy have......I feel safe in knowing that if there (Heaven forbid) ever was a problem with someone: that they would tell us, or someone they feel safe in telling, what actually happened, with what body part, and that they would be believed.

And Dude knows not to call a person like this a "zombie."

And then the other day, while doing a bit of research for this post, I came across THIS POST which I thought was really great. It's from Huffington Post, and talks about the differences of talking to your kiddos about "good touch/bad touch" and "safe touch/unsafe touch".  It's DEFINITELY worth the read; and after reading it, I will be referring to those kinds of touches differently!

Listen folks, I'm not saying that any of you should be talking to your wicked young toddler about Pedophiles, or trying to explain what a Pedophile is, or any of that. We, were thrown into this conversation unwittingly, but, I think, that we handled it in stride.

BUT, it's going to come up at some point, so why not make sure that your kiddos call body parts what they are?  Why not talk to your kiddos at an early age about safe and unsafe touches? 

Does it absolutely, ridiculously, beyond belief, suck, that we have to talk to our kiddos about these kinds of things?  YES.

Do I wish that this kind of conversation hadn't come up for a few more years? Uh, YES!




But, unfortunately, it's reality. 

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3 comments:

  1. This is a subject that, as a parent, I dread thinking about. But I know I will have to have this conversation too. I really liked your approach here.

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  2. I call them their real names and start telling them that they are their private areas from the get go. It is sad that we must have these conversations with our kids, but necessary. I

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  3. Mmmkay. I have no business being here. but I like your 'voice' and I like how you handled this situation. :)

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