Friday, July 29, 2016

Stop Sexualizing My Daughter (My Son, Too)

My daughter is only 8 years old.

It is a great age to be! She is a wonderful athlete, articulate (when she chooses to be), and unbelievably funny!

We were recently in Los Angeles doing some shopping and hit one of our favorite stores, Ozzie Dots, where we picked up a few items. One of the items was this amazing outfit that my daughter picked out:

Pretty cool! Probably appropriating some culture, though...
Isn't it great! Fit her perfectly! She wanted to wear it for the entire rest of the time we were there - but we had shows and other things, so unfortunately, there was not a lot of opportunity for her to wear it.

However, when I sent the photos via message to the grandmothers back at their homes - the immediate reaction was from one set (of grandparents) was, "she should be covered up!" and "don't you think that is inappropriate for someone her age to wear?"

Um, no... No, we don't.

In discussion, it came down to the fact they felt her midriff should be covered so as not to give anyone the wrong idea.

We get it: sexual abuse of children is a REAL PROBLEM! There are a variety of articles available online to read. Peruse some at your leisure:
My daughter's mother and I are absolutely NOT interested in creating any sort of Lolita-esque fantasy of any kind. But we want her to be a child, and to be comfortable, and to have fun and to not spend her life worrying about what other people think!

At the same time - we want to protect her from any Chesters out there.

What? You don't know what a "chester" is? Educate yourself some, greenhorn, with my buddy Wayne Keyser's amazing information:

We have her wear shorts under her skirts. We make sure she is observant to those around her. It's only been recently we've allowed her and her brother to be wandering off by themselves at all... and THAT usually only happens when it is me watching them. Their mother isn't too keen on letting them wander off even still.

For both kids, we agonize over whether or not to post pictures of them at their swim meets on social media. Whether to mention their schools or where they are going or what they are doing until, often, they are done.

We want them protected.

At the same time, they are growing up. They need to know how to keep themselves safe! 

As parents, we cannot shield them from the horrors and risks of the real world. If we focus on doing that, we are not doing our job - which is to prepare them for the future! But still let them be kids.

BTW: She chose the wand of a villainess.

Friday, July 15, 2016

My Child Got an Instagram Account!

Oh yes! End of the world! My 11-year-old son got an Instagram account!

We may be over-reacting a bit. It is not the end of the world. It IS, however, something pretty close.

The front page of the new Instagram account. Feel free to add him.
Feel free to add him to your instagram here:

Overall, pretty innocent looking, right?? Check this out:

Wait... Your WHAT?!

His mom flipped the script after seeing that comment!!

But, wait - who are these "babes," exactly?! 

These lovely young ladies are erstwhile "fans" of the Green Monster. His mother and I let him start his own Instagram, which he controls (his appearance on America's Got Talent is what led directly to the creation of his Facebook page and Twitter account, which are controlled by me), in response to the Instagram account his friends set up. You can check it out here:

The Monster met these girls while at Lion King Camp, which his grandmother sent him to. A week-long program that was coordinated with the touring musical production of Disney's The Lion King, directed by Julie Taymor. His alleged "celebrity" at having appeared on AGT, Nickelodeon, and other shows brought him to the attention of plenty of folks. 

And that has always been nice and good. We are used to the Monster being kind of "known."

"Consent goes both ways," her comment reads.

What we are all having to deal with is that he is growing up!! He is trying to be independent. While I am the one who manages & monitors his Facebook & Twitter accounts, he is the one in control of his Instagram which he uses to converse with his friends a bit.

Not that we don't monitor that account, too. We have all the passwords and everything - not to mention he does not have his own phone... the account is on one of my phones! We haven't let him go completely...

But soon --

Pretty sure this is what his account tells him.