Show of hands here... How many of you did not kiss someone or get kissed by someone as a young child?
Not say that the child should not be disciplined if it was a repeat offence, but for not obeying the rules. Not because giving someone a kiss on the cheek is end of the world. I also agree that it does make a difference if the attention was wanted or not.
It doesn't matter what we did. If I violated a no touching rule, being punished for it the first time would have stopped me from doing it again. (It wasn't until HS for me , BTW.)
Missy - I will have to ask DH - I don't know specifically, but I honestly can't imagine that a high schooler would be suspended for kissing his girlfriend on the hand (the article said hand, am I missing where it said cheek?) OR the cheek. But I'll ask to be sure.
I feel like I read a different article from the rest of you! Where did say cheek? Where did it say that the little girl was uncomfortable with it? I think that's fine to discipline him and let him know that his behavior is not appropriate, but are we seriously speculating that he's going to be some sort of sex offender in ten years, and saying that a suspension is warranted over a kiss on the hand?
True story, T recently got a "light change" (this is what happens when they get in trouble at school) and a note sent home because he kissed a girl on the rear end! Apparently he and this girl (who is one of his best friends at school) were joking about this for some reason (she also got a light change for inappropriate speech or something like that) and then he actually did it. OF COURSE we spoke to him about inappropriate touching and whatnot, and he will be punished at home if he does it again....but I also don't think it qualifies as "sexual harrassment." He doesn't even know what sex is, and he and the girl were both in on it. It just seems like such a normal part of little kid life, to be making such a huge deal about it and calling it "sexual harrassment" as if six year olds have any frame of reference to understand what that even means.
From the article:
Now, that doesn't mean that you just don't do anything about it. You definitely try to teach them about inappropriate behavior and what not. But I still wouldn't call it "sexual harrassment" or act like this kid is some sort of sexual deviant at this age. I also don't necessarily think that it means that much that he's been in trouble for this before. Or is my kid the only one that has to learn the same lesson more than once sometimes?A child psychologist told KRDO that tough love in this case could have negative consequences. She said kissing is normal behavior for children of that age.
"For most 6-year-old boys, absolutely. That would be a normal behavior," said Sandy Wurtele, a child clinical psychologist who specializes in child sexual development and the prevention of childhood sexual abuse.
I don't know, it just seems like a big over reaction to me. I'm not saying ignore it, but I am saying that surely there is a middle ground between completely ignoring it and going over the top suspension style.
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I saw this mom on TV today and she didnt even make a great case for her son. She said that he has been suspended before for kissing, and he has been suspended for wrestling and jumping on another kid. Sounds like he is not getting the message.
I may be sensitive to this, last year as a 5th grader my DD kept dealing with a boy touching her butt. The boy kept saying that he didnt think it was bad. I finally talked to the other mom, she just kept saying that she didnt think it was bad and that she had never talked to her boys about not touching other peoples butts. I was floored, she really disagreed that it was inappropriate. I finally just explained that I didnt want her son to touch my daughter anywhere. He stopped touching mine, but started touching other girls. The school did intervene, the kid ended up going to another school. I think this boys parents were completely at fault. If he wasnt being taught about appropriate touching at home, no school was going to change him
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
#2. If your child is incapable of understanding that he needs to keep his private parts to himself and that he needs to respect other people's bodies, then I'd say he's not ready to be at school.
#3. In our school the very first week the kids are taught what the school rules are, and are told what the consequences will be. If this isn't standard at every school, it should be.
#4. Rubbing your private parts on someone else's leg *is* sexual. Kissing someone without their consent is harassment. Intimate physical contact, i.e. kissing her on the face, does makes it sexual harassment. I gave the definitions in a post above.
#5. The boy in the OP has donethe exact same thing twice before. He knows this behavior is wrong, at least that it's wrong at school. The discipline from the school has escalated each time, from being talked to, to being sent home, to now being suspended for a day. When is enough, enough? This is such a "boys will be boys" mindset, it's really appalling to me that people are justifying this boy's continued refusal to (a) obey the school rules and (b) respect a little girl's privacy.
David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!
Stacey, is there another article that you're reading? I'm not seeing any of the specifics that you're citing in the OP (that he kissed her on the cheek, that he's done "the exact same thing" "twice before", that the school has tried all of these other measures first before suspension. Can you post what you're looking at that has all of that more specific information?
As to speaking to your child before school about what is expected, I agree to a certain extent, but I also think that you can't necessarily foresee/cover every scenario. I know that we have had many long conversations with T prior to school about things like "no hitting, no kicking, keep your hands to yourself..." When he got his note for kissing a girl's behind, I said "What did we say about keeping your hands to yourself?" and his totally deadpan honest answer was "I didn't touch her with my hands! I kissed her!" Obviously at that point I explained that kissing her and touching her with his hands were both inappropriate and what we really meant was keep your BODY to yourself, but that was a small learning curve for us - we thought he WAS prepared but it turns out we didn't factor in how literal little kids can be. That doesn't mean you don't keep giving the message and dealing with different scenarios as they come up, but I don't think that it's a sign that you just aren't trying to give your kids that message or not preparing them if they don't always understand exactly what you mean and all of the possible permutations of the things you tell them.
Okay as a teacher I do have to say that no parent can cover everything that is appropriate or inappropriate at school. There is always going to be kids that will do things because it wasnt specifically outlawed. My 2nd DD is a classic case of this. If you tell her not to do something she will never try it again. But a blanket statement like "Be safe" is not specific enough for her. I have had to break it down to "trying to hang on the ceiling fan is not safe" "riding your skateboard with your roller skates on in not safe" "Do not try to jump off the roof on to the trampoline, that is not safe" She is better now, but until about 8 we struggled to get her to think things all the way through. (this child has also broken 4 bones so she is not deterred by the thought of pain)
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson
The biggest issue I have with this is deaming it 'sexual harrassment'. The child was asked not to and if he did then it should be disciplined in the same manner if he has been gently poking the child and she asked him to stop.
What I do have problems with on a larger level is this abhorance and fear of touching. I'm a hugger, a kisser. I greet people I know (not just close family) and sometimes when I meet people as well with a hug and or a kiss on a cheek.
Maybe it is because I live around many europeans and other cultures where this is the norm. My son likes to hug his friends (he's 4) and I think that's fine.
In HS I greeted my friends with hugs and we still do that today. I would be sad if a school said that I can't so affection.
Now, if someone asks not to be hugged or seems uncomfortable you learn that a person like that doesn't like their personal space invaded and I would respect that.