The "something" was my daughter telling me that while she was playing at a friend's house she and the girls were watching music videos on her friend's iTouch. Miley Cyrus videos. Wrecking Ball, among others, to be specific. My daughter is NINE. She was with two other 9-year-olds and the girl who owned the iTouch?? SEVEN!
Mia told me while I was putting her to bed the other night that she had seen something "disturbing". She said she knew it was "inappropriate".
"Okay", I said, "what did you see?" (Simultaneously wondering what the heck might come out of her mouth). She spilled the beans. Let me say I am very grateful she felt she could tell me, but it forced me to have a conversation I was NOT prepared for, and one we should not have had to have at the tender age of NINE for godssake!
How do you explain to a nine-year-old why someone she used to know as a cute Disney star, on a show she used to really love, now spins naked on a pretend ball and licks hammers?!?!
As I stumbled through the conversation, it also upset me to know that no matter how well I may have explained how adults have the right and the ability to choose how to express themselves creatively (whether the rest of us agree with it or not), I cannot take back the fact that she saw the stupid video at AGE NINE.
After venting to my husband and cooling off a bit, I called the girls' mother. Someone I consider to be a good friend of mine. I wanted to approach it in a way that did not sound accusatory, because the god's honest truth is I cannot 100% guarantee that if the girls had been at our house they could not have watched it here. Mia doesn't have her own electronic device or phone, for obvious reasons, but she does borrow her dad's iPad once and awhile and there is a computer in the family room which honestly I don't stand watch over 24/7.
So, my intent was to let this mom know. Because I was pretty certain if she did know, she would not want her girls to watch such videos. And, I was right. However, she was a bit more cavalier about what she felt she might be able to do to change with the situation than I would have been.
But, that's not my point. Because how she handles the electronics in her home, with her kids, is not my business.
What IS my business is my own children.
Kids are exposed to so much information and SO many things we would prefer for them not to have to see on a daily basis, when I think about this situation, the essence of why I am so pissed is really about not having control over what my kids get exposed to!
After all, I can't put Mia in a box until she's twenty-one, right? Truth be told, I really don't want to do that. But I also really don't want to have to explain to her is why someone would choose to use her music talents in a self-indulgent, demeaning way. Especially when the young woman is capable of so much more than that.
Today's technology makes it VERY, VERY challenging to parent in a way that allows our children to reap the benefits without suffering the consequences.
Curious...have you run into a similar situation with your kids? If so, how did you handle it? Comment or send me an email, I'd love to hear. firstname.lastname@example.org