29 answers

My 2Nd Grader Learning About Sex/inappropriate Talk from Classmate

My daughter is in 2nd grade and 8 yrs old. Ever since 1st grade actually, there always seems to be a group of kids in her class that are always talking about inappropriate topics, sexual innuendo, boyfriend/girlfriend talk etc. I was appalled because I can't imagine little kids this age talking like this? My kids are innocent and act their age. They are not exposed to anything "older". I am lead to believe that these other kids ARE definitely exposed to adult things, tv/movies or have older siblings that are allowing them to hear or see things that are inappropriate. Why else would they talk about these things or make GESTURES. SO, my daughter is always confused and asking me questions to clarify what these kids are talking about etc.. I am not a prude and in no way intend to "shelter" my kids....it's just that this is WAY TOO YOUNG...when they start going through PRE puberty is when I intend to start opening pandora's box to the wide world of ADULT topics. 8 yrs old (and my younger is 6 yrs old) is way too young. I want to preserve their innocence.

SO...do I tell teacher and have her talk to the parents to let them know their children are corrupting other children?

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You could talk to the teacher although don't expect too much. Kids are exposed to things far too you young and some parents just don't see anything wrong with it. This will continue to happen throughout their school years so just put the biblical spin on it when you are talking to the kids and tell them not to listen to kids when they are talking like that and to just walk away. Keep them innocent as long as possible but let them know that they should always come to you to ask questions so you can give them good information. As ridiculous as it sounds kids in primary school are doing things you can't even imagine.

I am a school teacher and you REALLY need to let the teacher know what is going on. I wouldn't put it in the words that "their children are corrupting other children" but I would let her know what is going on.

Also, kids seem to know what they are talking about, and yet they are repeating things without knowing the real meaning. (Thank goodness.) The teacher should set up a time about what is appropriate to talk about in school with the whole class, in my opinion. (Setting up rules and boundaries.)Since it is the end of the school year, I would also talk to the principal so she can give the staff a heads up about what is going on. A lot of children hear these things from older sibs and sadly, we live in a world where so many things are sexualized. As a teacher, I always want to hear parents' concerns. Good luck.

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Hi Z.,

I am the mother of 5, ages 19, 17, 16, 15, 8, also a second grader. My husband and I had to deal with this back about the same age, with our older kids. Because sex is something that is discussed openly without shame in our house, our kids did as yours. They would ask about things they'd heard. Even though we thought they were young too, we decided that they were better off to have correct information, which many times they did not from classmates. I can honestly say, it has worked out wonderfully for us. All four of the older kids have been able to come to us about anything and our relationships are great. None of them have ever had issues with grades, drugs, drinking, the law etc. Not to say they are perfect and they have done things they shouldn't. But being open and honest is really the best thing. On another note, when you have girls, 8 is definately NOT too young. That IS pre-puberty these days. Three of my kids are girls, all in the older ones. None of them started periods at 8, but of the 3, the youngest age was 10 when her period started. Other changes such as breast development, hair (shaving), things like that started at about 9. All 3 were shaving about 9. Two were in training bras and one was bustier like me. So in my opinion, especially with girls, 8 in not too young to start talking about puberty etc. I have found in my experience that talking about it from the day they are born, has created less embarrassment, and really less curiosity. When something comes up, they ask, but it is not something that comes up daily or anything like that. When my 19 year old was in 6th grade, there was a girl in her class that was pregnant. I have also heard from my kids about smoking and drinking, etc, by elementary students. So talking about all like situations, including sex, I feel really is never too young. It is all in how you present it and you only answer the question they ask. Don't over elaborate, then you aren't giving them more than they can handle, or more than they wanted to know. I know it is sad that this is the world we live in, but we can not stop it. It is what it is and we have to do the very best we can by our children. Bottom line, is I have found terrific results with my kids brining them up this way. All are college bound with great goals, level-headed, and have chosen their friends based on what they do. Example: my girls especially are turned off and disgusted by others that smoke, drink and do drugs. They have even ended friendships because of this. Even though I know I am not the perfect parent and believe me, I have had days I doubted myself, we all do. I have done a pretty great job with all the older ones. I am confident they will become good, responsible and respectful citizens one day! Just continue to be protective but open and honest. Going to the teacher will do absolutely nothing. This is what our society has created over time and all we can do, is the best we can do. Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful

I totally agree that the teacher should know--but your daughter also needs to understand what is appropriate and inappropriate to discuss with others. I would not be so worried about the kids having been exposed to sexual information (imagine what dinner-table discussions were like when my daugher was 8 and the news was full of Monica Lewinsky and oral sex!)as about them not having been given limits as to what is and is not appropriate talk. And you can be very sure that they don't have all the information correct, so a good book about sex/baby-making is a great thing to read with her--even if it is one you have read before. Going back over the information (especially if it's done with humor to de-fuse the tension) just makes sure she is operating from a factual basis, and you can give it your values spin at the same time ("This is private and loving, and not something to tease or play games with others about").

1 mom found this helpful

All I can say is that your kids will benefit from being able to have open conversations with you, because you just have no idea what can be happening to them. Before I was 8, I had been molested in the home, raped at school, molested by a neighbor, and been exposed to porn found in someone's stash-spot on my school's campus. As their mother, you have to be prepared for all kinds of things, and with any luck the worst they will be exposed to is a little inappropriate talk from peers. Try not to get too freaked out, because if you over-react to a little raunchy talk they won't know how to tell you about something more serious. Let them know they are sovereign of their own bodies, and give them tools to confront real situations. They need to know how to say no, especially when the person breaking that boundary is someone trusted.

1 mom found this helpful

The first thing I would say is to talk to your daughter about this and answer all of her questions as much as you can with age appropriate answers. Then I would bring it to the teachers attention, but I would think that the teacher probably already knows. Teachers tend to be way more in tune with these things, since they spend so much time with them. Unfortunately I don't think there is too much that can be controlled. In an ideal world this kind of stuff wouldn't be happening, but in our reality it happens. A teacher cannot control what every child says and does, this is the responsibility of the parent. There is way too much pressure put on these teachers, and not enough on the parents. I had age appropriate sex talks with my daughters when they were kindergarten age. The reason for that is because one day my then 5 year old came home and told me that some boy in her class was talking at recess about how his older brother has sex with his girlfriend when the parents are not home. So I took this opportunity to explain certain things to her. There is no getting around this. The earlier we can talk to our children about these hard to talk about issues, the better they will be in the long run. That way when the topic comes up, and it will, they will have the facts and not go on what another child has told them. I too could not believe how soon these issues come up, and it deeply saddens me that our children are being exposed to this way too soon. My now 7 year old first asked me about sex when she first learned how to read in kindergarten. And the reason that she asked me was because in line at Safeway she read the front of a magazine and didn't know what the word sex meant, and loudly asked me in line what sex is. Needless to say all of a sudden all eyes were on me. I told her that it was something that we needed to talk about at home and when we got home we talked about it. It doesn't necessarily happen because of what we expose our children to at home, but instead because of what the world exposes them to outside of the home. In our home we rarely even watch TV because of all the junk that is on it. We listen to Christian music and my kids are not on the computer unless it is for a project. Both of my eldest girls are not in any hurry to grow up and really do enjoy just being a kid. So what they have learned is not because of what happens at home, rather because of what they are exposed to away from home. That being said, I want to just encourage you to take the opportunities that come your way and use them to form open communication with your daughter. Things will come up that maybe we don't agree with, but they will not go away.

1 mom found this helpful

I would mention to the teacher so that she/he can do some investigation. I hate to say it, but there is probably a deeper issue here with the other children.

Also, your 8 year old could technically be in pre-puberty so just brace yourself!

Absolutely talk to the teacher and if the teacher doesn't respond appropriately, talk to the principal, and up the line if necessary. I went to my daugher over a slang word my grandson used. She went to his pre-school and all of the teachers got a talking to about the matter and then they went back and talked to the children. Good pre-school.

If your school doesn't deal properly, change schools. Our taxes pay for them, we need our children raised properly by them. We do the best we can and they should do as well, if not better because they have the experts, so to say.

I am a school teacher and you REALLY need to let the teacher know what is going on. I wouldn't put it in the words that "their children are corrupting other children" but I would let her know what is going on.

Also, kids seem to know what they are talking about, and yet they are repeating things without knowing the real meaning. (Thank goodness.) The teacher should set up a time about what is appropriate to talk about in school with the whole class, in my opinion. (Setting up rules and boundaries.)Since it is the end of the school year, I would also talk to the principal so she can give the staff a heads up about what is going on. A lot of children hear these things from older sibs and sadly, we live in a world where so many things are sexualized. As a teacher, I always want to hear parents' concerns. Good luck.

Good Morning Z.,
Absolutely you should mention it to the teacher, i too have a daughter that just turned 8years old and she listens too nothing more then radio disney and watches disney channel because i dont want her growing no faster then what she should be. If it's not something your talking to your own child about no one else should be introducing that to her either. So with that being said "PLEASE FOR THE GOOD OF YOUR CHILDS INNOCENCE" speak to her teacher. Be sure to ask your teacher NOT to mention your childs name in this matter cause then you'll have another issue to deal with no knowing what their parents reaction is going to be like.
I pray all works out for you:-)

Kids can know mature things and still not act up at school. My youngest saw a South Park episode at 5, (for example) and never acted that way at school. In my opinion, information does not cause bad behavior. Other things do. So sure, bring it to the teacher's attention.

I can relate to this totally. My daughter is 7, nearly 8, and in 2nd grade and just last Friday two girls from her Brownie Troop were in the car discussing sex in front of my daughter and another little girl that I'd consider "innocent" as well. My advice is if you are ever around it, you put a stop to it. The mom driving the car in my daugther's case spoke up and told the girls this kind of talk was inappropriate for their age and for the setting. However, this particular mom then came to be to warn me that my daugther may have questions. Sure enough she did. I discussed sex as much on her level as I could, going into as little detail, but enough to answer her questions. I say, keep it age appropriate. I also was very clear with my daughter that it was not something to be discussed in a car with friends, in front of friends, at school because some girls would not understand and it that is up to their friend's moms and dads to explain it to them, not her. I was very clear that the car conversation she heard was not OK. She seemed to understand and no problems thus far.

On another note: I have also noticed, this curiousity is also a part of development. My son went on a field trip to a dairy and a baby calf was born. My son is in Pre-K and 5 years old. All of the kids were fascinated and really had no questions and of course my son talked about it all day long. When my daughter heard about this, she asked me if the farmer had cut the cow open to get the baby out. When I said no, she of course asked the follow up question, "so how did it get out of the mommy cow's stomach?" So that lead to a discussion as to how babies come out naturally and then sometimes C-section. My son is clueless, but my daughter came up with it on her own. My point is that although I agree with you about the "innocent" factor, as my daugther is very innocent herself, there are just some things they are going to come up with on their own.

I would talk to the teacher, but I'm not sure how much they can do. My friend teaches in a Public School and is all about telling kids whatever they want to know at every age, so you may get a teacher that doesn't agree with you anyway. I think you just need to be open with her at her level and trust in your ability as parents to guide her in the right direction. Good luck!

I teach a 2nd/3rd grade combo class. Some of the 3rd graders are beginning to develop. Also, some children are exposed to more adult information than others.

With that said, I would recommend you: a)talk to your daughter and have her practice saying things like, "I am uncomfortable with the things you are talking about, please stop." then have her walk away. b) talk to the teacher and let him/her know what the children are talking about. Ask the teacher if he/she will bring it up as a lesson. He/she might say, "There are some things people talk about at home or words people say at home that are okay to some families, but not to others. Please be respectful and stop talking about these things if another classmate asks you to stop." The teacher can also practice the first phrase with the class. If after this is played out the child who is uncomfortable can come to the teacher, and the teacher to talk to those more worldly children.

The above is basically how I handle it in my classroom. Ultimately, it is very difficult to control children's conversations on the playground. Give your daughter tools to handle situtations.

Other comments she might say, "Why are you talking about that? I just want to play." "Why would you say that to me? It hurts my feelings." "I don't like it when you hit me. It hurts." "Please stop _______. It hurts me, it hurts my feelings or it makes me uncomfortable."

These statements don't attack the other child/ren which makes the other child/ren more responsive to the request. Generally, the other children will be compliant, because they don't want to hurt their friends.

Speak your mind to everyone. Who cares what they think. Now that they are teenagers I am so glad I protected them when they were young.
Good luck,
L. S

i dont think this is too unusual, especially these days. i am 30 and i remember learning about prostitutes in the 3rd grade from friends at school, so we must have been talking about sex too for that to come up. i was a kid who did not let on to my mom that i knew about this stuff, she was not really comfortable talking to me about sex, my period, etc. until i was much older, like 18+, which was not too helpful because i was already on my own and didnt feel like now all of a sudden lets talk about this.
although i knew what was up with sex early, i was still a late bloomer with experimentation. why should we assume that knowledge will encourage participation? our own hormones encourage participation quite well, and the ability to understand our bodies, talk to trusted adults, and make solid decisions based on facts are the best ways to make sure the participation in sex occurs under the best of circumstances. i know its weird to think of your little girl approaching these feelings and decisions, and i would not suggest speaking to her as if she were dating, making out, etc. rather, i would say that a real discussion about what sex is is appropriate. there is so much sexual innuendo all over. dont encourage her to think its taboo, or you will always be the last person to know. my kids are younger than yours, but it is my goal to never have to actually sit down and have a birds and the bees talk because i want my kids to grow up knowing what sex is. big deal. we all do it. the real big deal is encouraging self-respect for the body, soul, experience, etc. and i bet your daughters peers are not well versed in these areas. so maybe you can help her come up with a different set of ideas about something that is always around and always a mystery. good luck, and know that the first time you talk is always the hardest.

You could talk to the teacher although don't expect too much. Kids are exposed to things far too you young and some parents just don't see anything wrong with it. This will continue to happen throughout their school years so just put the biblical spin on it when you are talking to the kids and tell them not to listen to kids when they are talking like that and to just walk away. Keep them innocent as long as possible but let them know that they should always come to you to ask questions so you can give them good information. As ridiculous as it sounds kids in primary school are doing things you can't even imagine.

Hi Z.!

I read that someone said its not up to the teacher to solve, no its not but ask yourself, ' is this being talked about in class? So were is the teacher? is the teacher not watching all the children? Does she not observe them? You should actually talk about this to the teacher so that she can speak to the parents of those children speaking that way and if it continues speak to the principal. Good luck

Z.,

I would definitely talk with the teacher. A lot of times kids talk about sexual issues or things beyond their age because they have been abused or are currently being abused. Its also possible that someone older has taught them about it or the parents let them watch inappropriate things. I would get it checked out immediately.

M.

I'm with others in that, if you're really uncomfortable with what you're hearing is going on at school, you should discuss your concerns with the teacher. It could very well be that something more is going on than older siblings "teaching"B more than one might like. But, I do take this issue a little less seriously than some of the previous posters because my sister and I were "those kids" in elementary school. My mom worked at Planned Parenthood and we knew about the mechanics of sex from a very young age; I'm sure some would consider that inappropriate but appropriate is a relative term, right? I believe my sister was actually sent home from school in first grade for telling other kids about sex; my mother sent her right back. I could tell you a few more stories along those lines...

My son's just finishing K; he's on the old side but has never asked about sex. I have a bunch of books on deck for the inevitable discussions, though (not provided by my mom, surprisingly!).

Hi there Z.. There is really nothing you can do about this. I have a daughter who is just going to be going into the 6th grade next year and we too went throught the exact same things. It isn't up to the teacher to solve the issue is it is the parent's. It comes from somewhere perhaps they have older siblings. My daughter came home with a earful of questions the other day because her friend has a older brother who unloaded on his younger sister about sex, and the the little girl unloaded on my daughter who in just learning about Family life at her school. My daughter is also starting puperty at 10 years old. Things are much different then when I was growing up I am 40 years old and still am surprised with the questions we a asked. Simply explaine your child now isn't the right time for you to have to understand all of this. When the time is right I will speak to you about it as for now it is off topic and not allowed. I wish you luck and hope this helps.

This happened last year in my son's class when he was in first grade. I was the room mom and a lot of the other moms came to me and told me they had to tell their children about sex because of this one girl.

I had witnessed it myself to such a degree that I felt a call to Child Welfare Services was in order. When the teacher/school wouldn't call, I did. She had said enough that it was clear that she had been abused herself. I used to work for CPS so I may have an advantage in knowing what I was seeing but most moms thought the same thing.

If its one child and they just seem to know way too much, I'd try talking to the teacher first and if the info the child is disseminating seems disturbing in some way, call CPS. If one in five children are molested, that means probably more than one child in your child's class is being molested. Usually, early sex talk like this is a primary symptom.

I'm not talking boyfriend/girlfriend talk here though. My son is in second grade and they all seem to be doing that.

Please talk to the parents first. And make sure to start by saying something like, "I'm not sure if this is what your child said, but my daughter heard...." You don't want to open the conversation in an accusing way because the parents will automatically be defensive.
AFTER you've approached the parents let the teacher know what's going on. She can monitor the situation from there.

i don't have very good advice because i'm going thru the same thing. so much drama and inappropriatness going on in 2nd grade. i just hope my daughter and i will always have an open line of communication.
i'm sure the day is coming when we have to have "that talk". i guess i just have to be open and honest with her so she knows she can always talk to me...

Hi Z.,
My boys are grown (17 and 24 years) and we experienced a similar thing with our oldest...hearing very graphic stuff from older kids in the neighborhood.

First I commend you for having concern and taking active interest. As a parent you always have choices. You do not have to be at the mercy of the situation.

Secondly, I would start a conversation with the teacher about what is going on and not make him or her feel responsible for it - but simply raise awareness.

Third, I am assuming that these are not your child's friends, or you could be in communication with the other parents of the kids sharing the graphic information. Ideally you would want to be able to talk with those parents too - not to make them feel like lesser parents, but to solicit their support of your "personal dilemma"....asking for help. Who knows, these parents may not realize how much exposure their kids are having to graphic sex and would appreciate the chance to address it with them.

This may sound "drastic" and "bold", but you might want to consider hosting a little gathering of the kids who are involved and include their parents. Once you have a chance to meet and greet, you could follow up later with a conversation about what you have been observing.

The main thing is to avoid "judgemental statements"...and sharing what is going on giving folks a chance to do the right thing without being labeled a "bad parent".

What we have tried to instill in our children is to protect the younger ones, and always respect the restrictions of other parents. If your friend is not allowed to see R movies, and he is 17 years old, don't invite him to attend R rated movies. Find PG13 or some other activity.

If you can establish a "norm" of supporting the ground rules of other parents, it will be easier to talk about the things that go wrong. Kids will always be doing things that need correction. If we are too fearful to connect with their parents and help establish some guideance where it might be needed, then we allow norms of very low standards to flourish, and all the children suffer - as is your child with exposure to images and ideas that threaten her innocence.

Finally, you can choose a different school that perhaps has a better handle on what is going on with the children with respect to virtues, language and relationships.

If you do make some strides working with other parents involved, I would love to write about it in my publication, Banana Moments http://www.bananamoments.com (insights and lessons learned for parenting in the 21st century).

Best wishes,
J.
____@____.com

Hi my name is K. and I have an 8 year old who is in 2nd grade. She has ADHA and is easily influenced so I would also find this disturbing. I would go to the teacher and let them know. I know if I went to my daughters techer she would take care of it

Wishing you the best

K.

YES.... talk to the teacher and nip it in the butt as soon as possible! If the teacher doesn't do anything about it then go above the teachers head to the principal. It is your job as the parent to protect and if that means stepping on some toes sometimes then you have to do it. No one is going to stand up for your kids better than you. That means in this department as well.

I know these things because I am 43, married, 3 kids, 21, 17, and 12. Don't be embarrased or concerned about what people are going to think. There may be other parents that are thinking the same thing as you. You just may have to take the steps to handle it because they don't want to.

You will have to handle this on a constant basis as they grow up.

BE STRONG!!!!

I experienced the same situation with my oldest son who is now finishing third grade. I talked with the teacher about the situation and made them aware of the talk that was happening among the children in their care. The teacher dealt with it in the classroom and reminded the children of the school rules.

There is no cure for this situation because you can not expect others to raise their children the way you feel is best. Open communication with your child is ideal, because then they are coming to you for clarification rather then their peers.

It is really sad that parents don't protect their children from growing up to quickly, but you can protect yours. Shelter your children and help them to learn what makes a good friend and help steer them away from children who have questionable behavior. This is the fact with school...lots of kids from lots of different families in a small area. They are going to influence one another and you as a parent have to stay on top of it everyday. For me I got very involved at the school so I knew the children my son was coming into contact with. And do you know what...my son loves me being there and his friends do to. Good luck!

I also have a 8 year old second grader, and you are right he is too young to learn about sex at this age. I'm not even sure if he likes girls. my 11 year old is taking life classes through the school but he doesn't even like girls either.

If I were you I would talk to her teacher, at least the teacher will know what's going on. she can decide if she needs to bring it up with other parents.

I totally agree with Shelley M - you have to be prepared to be open and honest to talk about anything with your kids. Just make sure it's age-appropriate. I was in a parent-participation toddler class for 2 year olds and we had a speaker that was billed as coming to talk about "how to talk about sex with your children." I thought this was crazy. But her real message was to start now (when they were 2) setting the stage for open communication with your children. She said to always ansswer their questions honestly - this establishes trust, but make sure it's appropriate for their age. If you lay that foundation then when the hard topics come up, they won't be afraid to come to you when the hard questions come.
Also, don't bring adult perspectives/baggage into what they say. for example, one kid asked the teacher "what's penthouse?" the mom immediately got freaked out and thought it was about the magazine and started to warn the child not to look at those pictures, etc. It turns out that the kid really wanted to know what a large apt on the top floor of a building was! So this speaker's advice was to always ask for more information before you launch into an answer that may confuse your child. i.e. Say "what do you think it is?" Or "tell me what you know about that..." This way, you'll know where they're coming from and how detailed your answer needs to be. Often, a one sentence response is sufficient and then they'll go on to the next thing.
Hope this helps.

ABSOLUTELY talk to the teacher. Also, watch your reactions to her questions. Your daughter likely has no clue what she's asking/saying (and the children saying the stuff probably don't know either!). If you act casual, and keep your comments brief ('that sounds like something to talk about when you're a little older'), she will likely lose interest.

Hi Z.,

We went through the same thing this year - 2nd grade and the inappropriate subject matter for the age. In addition to the classmates, my daughter has two teenage brothers...so you can imagine the things she hears. The big question on her mind these days is how do unmarried people have babies? I've been skirting around the question and changing the subject until I can come up with an age appropriate answer. Good luck - I'm still searching for the right answers.

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