I wish at times that I were younger. Every time I work with a family who says they can’t parent their child any longer because of their child’s sexualized behaviors, I want to yell, “Send ‘em my way!”
These children are just children that an adult or an older child has sexually traumatized. These kids are survivors. They may act out in sexualized ways, but they need guidance and love as any other child.
I always advocate for these children because I’ve had an adopted daughter and a foster daughter who were both abused by their fathers. I know what each of them went through. Neither’s life was what would be regarded as normal.
I don’t think living with a single, never married woman would be considered normal either. I believed then, as well as now, that validating their histories and showing acceptance for who they were, was essential for their psyche.
Over the years I’ve been asked why sexualized behaviors have never bothered me. It never has. My parents were very secure in their sexuality and answered me and my sister’s questions rationally without having apoplexy over the subject.
There are times when I think back to my mother’s stories of the early 20th Century. She said men weren’t supposed to know what women looked like under the long dresses until they were married. She told me my grandmother said that was as stupid as people thinking women never needed to use the outhouse.
My mother grew up on a farm with farm animals, she said the children on the farm always knew what sex was because they saw it all the time with the animals.
I think people are still living in Victorian times because basically I see prudish behaviors towards a child being sexually reactive. I know, I know, the question isn’t “could I live with that?” But “what would my family, my neighbors, or my church think about it?”
It’s hard on a child when they get mixed messages, because they get the impression that wanting sex isn’t normal. This escalates their crazy behaviors because they know it bothers the parents.
I’m always willing to talk to parents about their children. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading my post.
N. Ann Lamphere, MSW