Outrage of the Week: 6-year-old Suspended for Singing “I’m Sexy & I Know It”

Hi Readers — Feeling sluggish? You can listen to the song below OR just read this entinkkabe
piece
about a boy in Denver who told a fellow first-grader, “I’m Sexy and I Know It.”

The brilliant school administrators defined this as “unwelcome sexual advance” and promptly suspended the boy for three days. It’s enough to make you bang your iPad over your head (pointless though that would be). (Pricey, too.) (And need I mention: painful.) BUT —  there’s a silver lining!

This happened in Colorado, the state where the Columbine massacre occurred. The state that went almost understandably crazy with “closing the barn door after the cows (horses?) got out” legislation, making Zero Tolerance its credo.

And now, thanks to ridiculous situations like the 6-year-old’s, the state is reconsidering its regulations. Why? Because (everybody sing along): They’re silly and they know it. – L[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMMTIksFxbQ]

210 Responses to Outrage of the Week: 6-year-old Suspended for Singing “I’m Sexy & I Know It”

  1. Jenjen May 11, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    The article I had read about it said he had three previous warnings involving shaking his butt and crotch in girls’ faces. In light of that, it doesn’t seem too outrageous a punishment. Crotch in face= unwanted sexual attention no matter how old. Three strikes and punished on the fourth. I find that pretty tolerant and reasonable

  2. Constance Ortiz May 11, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    Teachers have the right to teach. Students have the right to learn. This child needed a consequence. Your response is misleading.

  3. wendyww May 11, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Crude, rude, and undisicplined child that deserves punishment? Yes.

    “SEXUAL attention” requireing a 3 day suspension? NOT. At that age, there’s nothing “sexual” about it. He just enjoyed grossing out the girls which is totally normal for 6yo boys.

  4. Chloe May 11, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    This hits close to home for me. My 6 year old’s teacher sent me an email, while school was in session, to let me know that my son had asked her what the word sexy meant. She told him that he needed to ask his mom. He went on to ask some classmates and she told him not to say it again at school. During recess, he wrote SEXY in chalk on the black top. When the teacher saw that, he told her that she said he couldn’t say it but not that he couldn’t write it. The teacher’s email to me included a photo of his chalk “art.”

    It just made me shake my head. Did she really need to email me about this along with a photo? He heard a new word and wanted it defined – big deal. I shudder to think what would have happened if he was in public school when this happened.

  5. Emily May 11, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Funny story–when I was living in the International House community in Wollongong, Australia, and mentoring in the postgrad house, the director of iHouse had two little boys, aged five and seven, who were great kids, but very spirited, and they hero-worshipped every last one of us, because we were “big, important university students.” Now, one of my fellow mentors (who was the sweetest girl in the world, and otherwise very sensible), who would repeatedly sing “Sexy and I Know It” whenever she took a mind to, except she only knew the chorus. So, sooner or later, the little boys started imitating my friend, when she wasn’t even around, and in the most inopportune places, like in the middle of the dining hall. However, nobody punished them, because they didn’t even know what “sexy” meant. All I could think was that my friend had created a monster.

  6. AW13 May 11, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    Hmm. I’m not sure that suspension is the answer. 6 year olds don’t live in a bubble, so perhaps he is only imitating what he sees on TV or in movies. It doesn’t make it appropriate, but it also doesn’t mean that he fully understands the implications of his behavior (re: the crotch and butt shaking). For the record, when I was about 6, I was singing “Just a Gigolo” and my aunt made a huge deal about whether I knew what that meant, how could my mom let me sing it, etc. And I had no idea what it meant. I liked the David Lee Roth version of California Girls and Just a Gigolo was on the same tape, and it was catchy, so I was singing it. My mom just laughed it off and told me not to feel bad.

  7. backroadsem May 11, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    The information about the other material made me shake my head and be a little more understanding about the suspension, but 3 days? If the behavior wasn’t stopping, I’d go with a 1 day suspension, but 3 days is a little crazy. I taught first grade. 1 day oughta do it. If the behavior continues, there are bigger problems. I agree, boys like to be gross, but during my teaching time, the kids who continuously had such problems were overly exposed to sexual stuff at home.

  8. Leslie Steigner DeSabato May 11, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    My son was singing it at the grocery store. Unfortunately i know it stems from the M&M making it socially acceptable. It’s the truth though that a word, whether understood or not, will be repeated as long as it gathers attention (positive or negative). My son was taught the “N” word by a family where it was socially acceptable. the other kids would laugh when he said it. It took getting his mouth washed out with soap 3 times before he understood that i meant business when I said it was a nasty word that we don’t use in our family. there should be consequences to a child’s actions, but suspension I personally don’t feel was the proper way to handle this. Maybe counseling would have been a better idea.

  9. Heather G May 11, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Not knowing the specifics I’m not sure how I feel. If this is his fourth time being disciplined for this kind of behavior as Jenjen said suspension seems warranted- but not the label of sexual harassment. I agree with wendyww that at that age it’s about being gross to the girls and funny to the boys. That said, it is only deserving of discipline at all if it did occur during classroom or other instructional time. If it was out on the playground, before or after school or other “free”ish time not so much. But that is the problem with zero tolerance policies. They don’t distinguish between boys being icky and sexual harassment or between instructional time and recess. It’s about punishment not teaching the child discipline and appropriate behavior.

  10. skl1 May 11, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I hesitate to have an opinion here without having more facts. I don’t know what this kid sees in his daily life, but if he’s in a certain type of environment, he could very well be capable of sexual harassment even at 6yo.

    Also, in deciding whether this was “really that bad,” are we only seeing it fromt he boy’s perspective? What about the little girl who was repeatedly subjected to this in-your-face inappropriate behavior? Did she feel threatened? It’s not impossible. How much should classmates have to put up with before an obnoxious child is removed?

    Once again, we have parents going on national TV to broadcast their child’s behavior problems, and we’re supposed to believe they care so much for his sullied reputation? Maybe if they cared that much, they could have made sure he didn’t think it was OK to speak and behave that way in school. They had the opportunity before it got to this point.

  11. Sherri May 11, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    When a six year old shaking his butt and singing “Sexy and I Know It” is labelled as sexual harassment it takes legitimacy away from real sexual harassment.
    Of course the child should be punished for his behaviour if he had been warned to stop, but not for sexual harassment.
    I don’t know a six year old who doesn’t know this song!

  12. Nat May 11, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    My 5 year old, after seeing the trailer for the movie Brave, now pulls down his pants yelling “Feast yer eyes!”

  13. mollie May 11, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Ugh. I’m turning into an old fogie, I think. I judge today’s pop as so gratuitously raunchy, I’m a little embarrassed when my 11-year-old turns the station to the top 40 hits. I guess this is how some moms felt in the 1950s when Elvis was “All Shook Up” and in the 1960s when the Rolling Stones couldn’t get no “Satisfaction” and in the 1970s when Bad Company droned on about “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and in the 1980s when Cyndi Lauper squeaked out “Touch Myself.” Some people must have gone nuts when “I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It” came out… shuddering to think of all the triggers these days, how many buttons are being pushed, and not just on the radio…

    It was probably scandalous in 1961 when 6-year-olds started gyrating around imitating the “Twist,” I’m sure many adults were shutting that down and drumming little ones out of school until they could find their manners… now we’d just laugh about that.

    So the ante is definitely up, and kids will always reflect the popular culture. If you’re already feeling shocked about what’s on the radio, when you see and hear the kids feeding it back, well, you’ll be totally outraged, and it sounds like this teacher just lost her head a little bit, maybe feeling overwhelmed and wanting some order and peace. Who doesn’t want that?

    It made my skin crawl off my body when my little 4-year-old step-daughter started mincing around talking about being “sexy.” Seriously. I wanted to barf. She and Mom were using it as a way to compliment each other! Gah!! I used to get very triggered by the middle finger, too… still do sometimes. And this little one called me a “MFer” (long version) one day because I wouldn’t play a certain game.

    Here’s the deal: punishing children for imitating us is like punishing them for getting taller. They reflect it all, even the parts we don’t like very much. When they say “sexy” or “asshole” it’s no different than when they say “umbrella” or “applecart.” We just assign a whole lot more importance to certain words, and they kind of get that a little bit, they like to feel their power, but they just. Don’t. Have. A clue. They can’t know what it does to adults to see the booty shakin’ and hear the trashy talk. A lot of folks grab the switch, the bar of soap, or throw them out of the place.

    There are more effective ways to inspire the reflection of our values in our children that don’t breed fear, resentment, and confusion, but I guess that’s for another day.

  14. skl1 May 11, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Another thing I think we should always remember is that the school is not as free to share facts as the parent is. IF the boy were doing more than singing th song – e.g., touching the girl’s privates or rubbing his against hers or flashing or who knows what else – the school would probably not share that info. We should be careful to form a conclusion based on one obviously biased account.

  15. Donna May 11, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    How is suspension even a reasonable punishment at 6? There are generally not “grades” in kindergarten to be affected. There is no real understanding of the embarrassment. There is only so much a parent can do to punish a child this young for getting suspended. I can make my preteen and teen’s life miserable for the 3 days by making her my slave but that doesn’t work at 6. An appropriate 6 year old punishment would be equally, if not more meaningful, to this child.

  16. Susannah Krug May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Yeah – I have let my kids listen to that song more than I would like to admit. Does my 4 year old like to sing it? Yes. Is it catchy and I like to sing it? Yes. They are people too. It is a catchy tune – they hear it out and about and on M & M commercials and then they act like we should be grossly offended when we hear it out of their mouths. It is just a word and I just tell the kids to make up a different word to put there.

  17. Donna May 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    For this to be SEXUAL harassment the girl would have to understand the sexual nature of the actions. Highly unlikely unless there is a history of sexual abuse. I know many kids who shake their pelvises and butts singing much worse than a song from an M&M commercial and come from homes as dysfunctional as they come and they don’t get it at all. They are just copying the adults in their lives. I know my 6 year old would view a shaky pelvis and butt the same way she view a shaking foot. She has no concept of the different meaning.

    And who says the girl was even annoyed? My kid would think this annoying from a kid she dislikes and funny from a friend. Again, the sexual aspect is lost on her so it is just a matter whether she wants the person that close to her. This could simply be the school officials punishing the child for something that bothers them and isn’t even “harassing” to the “victim” at all.

  18. Donna May 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    @skl1 – It must be nice to have perfect children. I know that mine is wonderful, but far from perfect. There are times when she knows exactly that I don’t want her to speak or act a certain way and she does it anyway because she’s a kid. Does she deserve to be reasonably punished for not listening? Absolutely. Do I retain the right to speak out if I feel she is being treated unfairly? Absolutely. A misbehaving child does not always (or even usually) indicate bad parenting. A misbehaving child does not mean you have to accept any punishment the school wants to mete out with a shrug of your shoulders.

  19. Henry Crun May 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Way to go Colorado!! You’ve just shown every 6 year old boy how to get 3 days off school.

    Seriously,what has happened to our society. It appears to be more and more puritanical with every passing week. Are teachers so inept that they can no longer take a child aside and give a quiet reprimand? This is what happens with ‘iberal’ teaching methods were discipline is a dirty word. I remember there were certain teachers at school who were not to be crossed at any price. Just a look would have you thinking twice about bad behaviour and you didn’t dare talk back.

    Nowadays school seems to be less about education but is mere organised crowd control.

  20. Jenny Islander May 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    If he feels compelled to make other students actors in the show called All About Me and How I Can Get Everybody’s Attention and Make Girls Go Ewww, then I know the natural consequence. He goes to school as usual. He does worksheets all day long in a room by himself, with a teacher who is too busy with out-of-class paperwork to talk to him. He eats by himself and he gets breaks by himself. Then he gets to try being a polite person back in regular class the next day.

  21. Get Kids Outside May 11, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Is this for real? Could sensible people be this reactive? I hope that the child was reinstated and that they changed their policy.

  22. Did May 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Kid being annoying? Yes. Unwarranted sexual advance? No. Unless they’ve been abused, most kids that age have no real concept of sex and sexual behavior. As others have pointed out, the song is almost certainly harmless – he’s just repeating a catchy tune – and the butt/crotch-shaking at other students just sounds like a little boy trying to be gross and/or funny. Maybe he needs to be punished for being disruptive and obnoxious, calling his behavior sexual harassment makes it sound like he’s some kind of budding rapist. Seriously, people?

    God, at that age, I remember chasing boys around the playground, threatening to kiss them and infect them with cooties. I guess that qualifies as an unwarranted sexual advance too. /facepalm

  23. Ms. Herbert May 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Given his other actions this is NOT enough.This stopped being about him and is about letting the other kids grow up without having a classmate shove his crotch in their face. If you think this is normal then you aren’t the worst mother – you are a scum of a human being.

    He should be removed from the school, and his parents investigated for sexual abuse. He should not be allowed to return to school until they are sure this behavior will stop.

    What you don’t get is a child this age can sexually abuse other students. I spent 6 years (K – 5) being threatened with violent images of rape, in addition to being beaten up on a regular bases by a classmate. It wasn’t until my uncles recognized the signs of a child being sexually abused, told my parents what was going on that someone got what I was going through. Then my parents got a lawyer involved to find out what my rights were. The 2nd week of 5th grade the bully kicked me in the throat. My doctor was involved at that point (He had been on the verge of reporting my parents for abuse – and confirmed I was abused but was shocked to find out it was by a 10 yo). My parents ended up having papers drawn up to press criminal and civil charges not just against my bully, but the bully’s parents, and the administration of my school district for child neglect, child endangerment, failure to report sexual abuse of a minor, and failure to protect a minor child. The fact my Dad had numerous witnesses to a school board member telling him – Kimberly must like getting beaten up or she wouldn’t make “bully” mad. Would have helped our case. After the meeting with our lawyer the bullying stopped on a dime.

    The bully’s family removed him from the school. He wasn’t given any help.

    If someone has taken notice of our complaints about bully forcing our heads into his crotch in Kinder, instead of telling us telling us that is just what boys do maybe
    1. My classmates and I would not have had to endure 6 years of him detailing how he was going to break into our homes and violate us, our sisters, and our mothers.

    2. The women he grew up and raped and beat half to death would have not had that horror visited down on them. If there was true justice our district administration and his parents would be in TDC with him. They created this monster.

  24. linvo May 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

    Projecting sexual motives onto a 6yo is just rather perverse, IMO. Unless indeed there is something fishy going on at home.

    It’s hard to tell what exactly went on from that article. I think we can all agree that just singing a line from a song should never be a reason for punishment.

    I personally think that there are situations when suspension is an appropriate consequence even for a 6yo. Though it is usually used to give the parents a wake up call that they should act because I don’t think a 6yo would understand the severity of that action.

    But why on earth they had to label it sexual harassment instead of just bullying or disruptive behaviour – if that was what was going on – is really beyond me.

  25. Marcy May 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    @Jenjen OK, I’ve read a half dozen articles on this story. None of them mention shaking a crotch in a girls face. It would appear he “shook his booty” referring to wiggling his little 6 year old butt, and lifted his shirt the previous two times. Both of these actions are EXACTLY what the M&M character does on the spoof commercial and are not at all sexual. Kid was copying a very popular very catchy commercial. If we are going to suspend kids from aping pop culture then our schools will be very empty indeed. Now, IF he was only doing this to the one little girl and IF she had told him to leave her alone, THEN I could see some need for corrective action. Suspension? For dancing and singing? Not so much.

  26. Marcy May 11, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Correction – The M&M character was certainly meant to be sexual to adult viewers, I meant these actions were not at all sexual when copied by a 6 year old kid.

  27. stephanie May 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I remember a boy doing similar stuff to me and a few other girls in 2nd grade- the teacher did nothing so we took turns kicking him in the crotch the next time he shoved his junk in our faces. He never did anything like that again and I guess we should be grateful we weren’t suspended/expelled for defending ourselves.

  28. skl1 May 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Sounds like we can all agree that M&Ms is grooming our children.

  29. skl1 May 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    BTW, I have never heard that song. I begin to suspect I may be the only person in the English-speaking world who can say that. I wonder what else I’m missing by not watching TV and listening to “oldies” on the radio.

  30. pentamom May 11, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    sk1 — there’s at least one other. 🙂

  31. Donna May 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    @ Ms. Herbert – What you went through was awful and a far cry from what this boy is described as doing. I’ve read several articles about this and the boy is just alleged to have sung the words “I’m sexy and I know it” to a girl while standing next to her on a lunch line. There was also a previous incident, about a month prior, where he sang it while “shaking his booty” at the same girl. This same song, or a parody thereof, and movements have been featured in an M&M commercial and Sesame Street and the song is very mainstream popular (my 6 year old has probably heard it). It appears that he may have some difficulty accepting that the classroom is not the place to sing as he has also gotten in trouble other times for singing (nothing sexual then).

    Yes, we only get one version of events. I don’t believe that every parent everywhere ALWAYS downplays their children’s behavior. I’m certainly not inclined to deem this boy a future rapist who should be excluded from all education, as you have, based on the possibility that there are a whole lot of facts that are hidden and NOBODY is coming forward with them. The school may not give statements but there is nothing stopping the girl, her parents, the other students and their parents from doing so. The most anyone has said, even in comments after the articles from people who allegedly go to this school, is that the boy likes to sing and sometimes disrupts the class doing so.

    The mother hasn’t said a word about the suspension and seems to just want the sexual harassment taken off his record. I don’t think that her position is unreasonable given the facts as we know them.

  32. skl1 May 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    I think we probably all agree that on a one-off basis, this is an overreaction.

    But this parent has openly admitted that he’s done this before, to the same girl, and has been in trouble multiple times for this type of behavior. And she’s not even there to see what goes on continuously when she’s not there. Every parent wants to think the best of his/her kid. I understand that, but this kid was a repeat offender, another child was impacted, and apparently in-school discipline was not working. I don’t think teachers suspend kids just for the fun of it (though, again, I was not there). I have a strong feeling that there’s more to the story, but we won’t hear the other side because of confidentiality rules.

    If it were my kid who was getting accosted regularly by some boy with sexual language and gestures, I’d want him out of that classroom until he learned to stop it. Or should the school have to wait until the kid has his hands on her privates or worse?

  33. backroadsem May 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    Even if we can think of a lot worse behavior, if it’s that disruptive and continous, some punishment is in order.

    If nothing else, the kid needs to learn the behavior is not okay.

  34. Amber Bante May 11, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    I agree that the boy needs to be checked for sexual abuse as I remember a three year old in my old neighborhood who would feel up any woman he came across ( even a 90 year old grandmother) and ask “How much for a (expletive)?” , and another line was “I’ll give you (name of drug) for a (expletive)!” After witnessing his father beat him with a belt, a friend of mine called the CPS and cops, and it turned out his dad was a drug dealer who brought prostitutes up to his apartment several times a week. I shudder to think what that poor kid was exposed to. He was finally put in the custody of his mother, and last time I saw him he was ten and attending private school and playing sports. I hope he was getting counseling because of what he had to encounter with his dad.

  35. linvo May 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    I don’t know how things work in the US but if it was overtly sexual behaviour, that is on the list of criteria which are part of the mandatory reporting legislation here in Australia, so the school would have a duty to refer it to child protection. But singing a line from a very famous song is not sexual behaviour. Nor is imitating dance moves.

  36. docterloeb May 11, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    When my 12 year old was 4 in pre-K there was a boy who cried every day his parents dropped him off. She would hug him and sit with him until the crying subsided. After a couple of months the school called us and said this was a problem because the hugging was “inappropriate touching” and not permitted. We were dumbfounded and trying to figure out what to do when the boys’ parents called us. They were even more livid about it than we were and wanted to make sure that the school didn’t stop our daughter from hugging their son. In the end, the school acquiesed and allowed the 4 year olds to continue to hug.

  37. BMS May 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    When my son was three I played a Best of the Grateful Dead album in his hearing and he started singing “Riding that train, high on cocaine.” Clearly I should have been thrown in jail because I was encouraging drug use.

    Oh wait, no, I was just playing good music at my son instead of boring Raffi crap that we both hated, and trusted that the one objectionable word would go right over his head. Which it did.

    I remember in fourth or fifth grade that a bunch of us had a discussion over what ‘virgin’ meant. We somehow got it into our heads that it was some sort of insult, because a bunch of us started claiming, “Well I’M not a virgin.” I suppose our parents should have all been hauled off for molesting us instead of what happened, which is that an adult with a clue said, “You clearly don’t know what that word means. You’re going to get in a lot of trouble with people who do know what it means unless you stop using it. Got it?” We got it, and moved on to some other childish thing.

    When you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebras first.

  38. Lollipoplover May 12, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    I’m Suspended and I Know It.

    I agree that there should be consequences for his behavior, but not suspension. Didn’t President Obama sing this song in the past month?? I think the crowd laughed. But a 6yo sings it and its sexual harrassment?

  39. oncefallendotcom May 12, 2012 at 12:31 am #

    It was on the M&Ms Super Bowl commercial, how can you avoid that song?

  40. Emily May 12, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    Hey, does anyone else here think it was maybe not such a brilliant idea to use a song about sex, to advertise candy to children? I don’t think it’s really necessary; I mean, M&M’s have been around forever and a day, and besides which, how hard is it to pitch chocolate in a brightly-coloured sugary shell, to a demographic that’s drawn to sugar, chocolate, and bright colours? When I was a kid, M&M’s commercials featured stuff like cartoon chocolates ziplining into a vat of candy-shell liquid, or even just PEOPLE saying, basically, buy this candy, because it tastes good. No sexual innuendo whatsoever, and yet, people still bought the candy…….because it tasted the same then that it does now.

  41. Emily May 12, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    I mean, it tasted the same then AS it does now.

  42. Virginia May 12, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    @Mollie, I feel compelled to defend Cyndi Lauper against the charge of having recorded “I Touch Myself.” That hit from hell was actually by an Australian band called the Divinyls, whose lead singer did sound a bit like Cyndi.

    Other than that, thank you for this: “Here’s the deal: punishing children for imitating us is like punishing them for getting taller. They reflect it all, even the parts we don’t like very much.” I don’t think anyone could have put it better.

  43. skl1 May 12, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Emily, I probably agree with you. Since I haven’t actually seen the commercial, I’m saying “probably.”

    I still think there’s more to this than a child bursting out in song. If that were the case, a lot more kids would be suspended for sexual harassment, if this song is indeed so impossible to avoid.

  44. Christy Rachelle Ford May 12, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    In my book, suspension never makes sense unless someone has committed a violent act of some kind.

  45. Donna May 12, 2012 at 1:44 am #

    Skl1 – Ive not seen a single place where the mother admits to anything other than he one previous incident with this girl. Some commenters to articles have said that he gets in trouble for SINGING in class with no indication of anything of a sexual nature. The boy himself says that he loves to sing and breaks out in song in his interview. As a young child I loved, loved, loved to sing and sang everywhere I went (as I got older I realized that I can’t carry a tune so I stopped). I have a friend whose child is the same. While singing in class is inappropriate, it’s not sexual harassment.

    And again confidentiality rules only stop the school, and are limited at best since schools speak about these matters to the press all the time. The girls parents can talk to the media all they want and I might if my child is being sexually harassed and it was being blown off. Other parents in the class are not speaking out against the boy, and again I might if I thought the boy was a threat and it was being blown off.

    Sometimes I think the people here are as bad as the lady in the coffee shop a few posts down. You just want to believe that the kid is a perv so insist that he must be. He could be. Or schools do irrational things and blow things out of proportion sometimes. Maybe this is one just like the mother says. I’m not going hang the boy, deem him a danger, insist he’s been abused, etc with no facts to indicate any of that and based solely on a gut reaction that there simply must be more to the story because schools never overreact to anything.

  46. skl1 May 12, 2012 at 1:58 am #

    Donna, all I said was that I reserve my opinion becasue there aren’t enough facts and all the “facts” are from one side. I believe sexual harassment by a 6yo is “possible” if he comes from a certain background. I was not there, but his teacher was.

    As for the other parents not speaking out – maybe they feel, as I do, that publicly discussing a young child’s behavior issues is not appropriate. Or maybe the media doesn’t want to hear or broadcast their side of the story. It’s even possible that they realize they WERE NOT THERE and therefore don’t really know what happened or didn’t happen.

    Of course it’s possible that the school overreacted. I’m just saying it’s not a foregone conclusion. I disagree with the sentiment that a first-grader is incapable of sexual harassment. Or, put another way, that a first-grader is incapable of *being* sexually harassed by a classmate. It has happened. Kids not much older have raped others. It’s naive to insist that the child can’t possibly have had the requisite state of mind.

  47. Donna May 12, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    It’s also grossly out of proportion to assume that every child who acts in a way that for adults would considered sexual understands what he is doing and needs help. Most have no clue and are just imitating what they see. Most kids do something like this at least once in young childhood – my kid decided to show her butt to her friends on a playdate last week – the true harassers are the rare exception not the rule.

    My cousin’s kid got in trouble for sexual harassment at school when he was just a little older than this boy but not out of elementary school. I remember thinking the sexual harassment moniker was dumb at the time for his actions because they seemed pretty tame but can’t remember what was alleged. He was the result horrible parenting and not sexual urges. He was expelled and only allowed to return to school after his parents agreed to and enrolled him in counseling (although parenting classes would have solved the problem). And this was 10 years ago. I really can’t imagine that this kid’s behavior was that big of a deal with only a 3 day suspension.

  48. sassystep May 12, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Amber Bante, I find it really difficult to compare a story of a 3 year old propositioning people for sex using foul language (something that is clearly the result of seriously bad parenting) with a 6 year old singing a song that is so much a part of current pop culture that it is used in candy commercials. Yes, the kid sang and danced to a song that’s not very child friendly – but that’s a huge cry from sexual harrasment. Sexual harrasment is about power and there was no power involved in this situation – just a kid who wasn’t doing what he was told and repeating a song that his parents proboably forgot to tell him was inappropriate for school.

    Calling this sexual harrasment takes away from people (like the kid in your story) who are actual victims of sexual harrasment and abuse.

  49. Sherri May 12, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    The song is about being “sexy” or attractive. It’s not about having sex. I don’t see how all this talk of sexual abuse is even entering the picture. “I’m sexy” isn’t “I’m going to have sex with you.”

  50. mollie May 12, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Virginia, thanks for the correction. I wondered if that was really Cyndi but I didn’t bother checking.

    Sherri, I’d go a step further and say the song is about attention! And so is the M&Ms commercial! And that’s what this little boy was after! And he sure got it! LOL

  51. Amanda Matthews May 12, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    @Donna “How is suspension even a reasonable punishment at 6?”

    I really believe that suspension is more about punishing the parents than the child. Act up and get a “get out of school free” card… if you don’t like school, why be good? The parents probably have to find some sort of child care for those days now. With an older kid someone has to stay home and make sure they are doing their punishment.

    @Emily It was not aimed at children. You don’t have to advertise candy to children, they already want it. And not many children watch the Superbowl (unless their parents are watching it). It was aimed toward adults. And sexy is different from sex. Also, that isn’t the only place children can hear this song. My family does not even watch tv, we have never seen that commercial, and my kids know – and dance to – this song. They hear it on the radio, on the internet, and when we were walking to the library yesterday someone drove past us playing the song. Not that there is anything wrong with that – My two 5-year-olds asked what the word sexy means, and I explained it; now their vocabulary has grown a little. And now I don’t have to worry they will hear it somewhere else and without knowing what it means offend great-grandma with it.

  52. Donna May 12, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    @Amanda – Unless one of the parents are a SAHP and home already.

    And what if the parent believes that the punishment is ridiculous? They are probably not going to punish their child at home at all and may even take the kid out for fun activities to blunt the unfair punishment.* Now your “punishment” is completely counterproductive.

    *I’d punish my kid somewhat in this case because he needs to learn to stop singing in class regardless, but in the case of a zero tolerance suspension for bringing a boy scout knife to school to cut fruit, we’re having a talk about taking unwanted items to school and then having a few days of fun. Heck, I have to take vacation time off work for this nonsense so I’m going to enjoy it.

  53. paper shredding May 12, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    I find it a bit silly that the kid got in trouble for saying something that he has no idea the meaning behind.

  54. Christina May 12, 2012 at 4:09 am #

    @Nat – thank you for the laugh!

  55. skl1 May 12, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Nobody is saying the behavior *as reported to us* proves the chid has an issue related to sexual inappropriateness. I’m just not prepared to be outraged based on such limited information.

    Was this a “zero tolerance” issue as someone implied above, or was it a facts-and-circumstances determination? That would be helpful to know. I would be against a “zero tolerance” sexual harassment rule applicable to first-graders. Because I don’t think there is any action that is “per se” sexual harassment in a population where most kids don’t even know what “sexual” means.

    I’m not sure exactly how schools should approach sexual harassment, but I do believe they need to address it, because it exists and it is not fair to the victims to look the other way.

  56. Alex May 12, 2012 at 5:03 am #

    As a former middle school teacher, this makes me guffaw. Wait about a decade and then see if you can try to get any little boy to quit shaking his junk and saying he’s sexy. If you suspend them all, maybe you can have more time to grade papers over a glass of wine.

  57. Emily May 12, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    @Amanda Matthews–I didn’t watch the Super Bowl, but I still saw and heard that M&M’s commercial played ad nauseam on TV, during shows that you could reasonably expect kids to watch, like the Simpsons, and even “wholesome family entertainment,” like Full House, 7th Heaven, and Little House on the Prairie, and kids’ movies like Shrek–and, this was both while I was living in Australia, and now that I’m back in Canada. So, I think the advertisers messed up by using such an “adult” song to advertise a product that kids will naturally be attracted to. Yes, it’s true that you don’t need to advertise candy to children; the candy ads are really more for adults, but I still maintain that sex isn’t the answer–whatever happened to “melts in your mouth, not in your hand?” That slogan worked for years, and nobody ever got offended by it. As for me, I was never offended by that song, I just think it’s incongruous to put it on TV where kids can and will see it, and then get surprised and even angry when they imitate it.

  58. Elizabeth May 12, 2012 at 6:49 am #

    I am appalled on how many people admit to and have no problem with their kids listening to songs like this. I personally have never heard this song and my children have never heard it either. But we don’t waste money on cable and we don’t listen to radio, since there are quite a few songs like this I don’t want my little ones copying. So we listen to CDs and books on CD in the car. On the rare occasion that we might listen to a bit of radio we turn the channel or turn it off if anything like this comes on. It’s not that hard and my children have a much richer vocabulary from listening to classics like Heidi and Charlotte’s Web then from listening to junk like this. Of course my kids are homeschooled and therefore not exposed to a lot of the junk a lot of kids nowadays are exposed to through school. I’m so grateful they are able to have an innocent, free range childhood being children and not exposed to adult stuff so young. That being said, I don’t view this as sexual harassment. What we have here is apparently a popular problem of a child being exposed to sexual stuff at too young of an age. Even his mother considers him an “adolescent”. Here is a direct quote from her:

    His mother, Stephanie, told HLN’s Vinnie Politan on Monday night that the first incident took place in art class and the second in a lunch line, describing both as her 6-year-old son’s awkward attempts to impress a girl.
    “It’s an adolescent boy that possibly likes a girl and doesn’t understand, ‘Hey, I like you and I put it in those terms,’ ” Stephanie Meadows said. “That’s the adolescent mind.”

    Excuse me but this is a 6 year old CHILD. NOT an adolescent. sigh……

  59. linvo May 12, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I’ve no idea where my child heard this song and I’m not concerned about it. It is part of our culture, whether we like it or not. I grew up listening to the radio at home and even though back then the lyrics were probably less often that explicit, it didn’t prompt me to mature early on a sexual level at all. In fact, I probably took longer than most of my peers to “get” such lyrics.

    I won’t let my 7yo watch the video clips and it’s easier to control tv watching than listening to music. If we ever do catch a glimp of “one of those” video clips, I use it as a teaching opportunity.

  60. CrazyCatLady May 12, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Elizabeth, we homeschool as well, and I do have to admit to not having heard this, in part due to not having a working car radio.

    But I do understand how kids watching shows can see a commercial and then want to imitate it. I know my parents got really tired of “Where’s the beef!?!” and “I’ve fallen…and I can’t get up!” My parents only let us watch about an hour of TV a night, and I think they regretted that!

    Also, we don’t know if this child has an older sibling or babysitter who listens to this music. Or even may have heard it on the bus on the way to school.

  61. CrazyCatLady May 12, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Shoot, we only watched the Superbowl to see the commercials at half time. My kids may have seen this and I just don’t remember.

  62. mollie May 12, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    I still maintain that in 20 or 30 years there will be WAY more pressing issues than this in daily life in North America…

  63. Karen May 12, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    I was wondering if there was more to the outrage over this particular song. My daughter is a roller skater and I saw a note dated March 2012 from the owner to the DJs to not play ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’ to under 16 crowds.

  64. CrazyCatLady May 12, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Chloe, from way back up in the beginning, I have to question the qualifications of a teacher to teach who can’t explain the word “sexy” in an age appropriate manner. Couldn’t she have said something like “It is when adults think that the other person is pretty/attractive and they want to kiss them.” or even leave off the kissing part?

    What she did was to make it more appealing to him, Had she given him an answer, she wouldn’t have had any more issues the rest of the day.

    She made it like the little boys who bring worms and bugs to their teachers so that they scream. I always admired the bugs and worms, then told them to put them back. Only the kids not interested in shock value would bring me worms.

    And, I have to think that with the little boy in this case that there was similar motivation – having been told it was forbidden, but probably not why, he thought it was fun to shock.

    I the PBS show “Arthur” did a great show on this, about swearing. Very age appropriate.

  65. Donna May 12, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    skl1 – Actually a few have said it. Ms. Herbert thinks the child needs to be kicked out of school permanently and is going to be a rapist. Someone else commented that he needs to be screened for sexual abuse himself.

    The actions, as reported, are nothing other than common childhood behavior. Based on the report, the school overreacted, as schools are known to do. Even if not zero tolerance, based on what we know, the label of “sexual harassment” is ridiculous. Could there be unknown facts? Sure. I don’t see a point in guessing many facts, that may or may not exist, and injecting them into the discussion. Nor do I see much point in forming my opinion based on facts that we don’t know to exist. Opinions are capable of changing and mine may if new facts become known. As it stands right now, I find terming this boy’s actions “sexual harassment” to be ridiculous.

  66. Sherri May 12, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Six year olds hear this song playing in the mall, at the hairdresser, at the grocery store, at scool, at sporting events, on the radio, on TV…It’s really quite a catchy, fun song. I don’t know why people are making such a big deal about it. It’s not sexually explicit. To me part of being free range is not to censor what my kids watch, read or listen to, but to give them guidance to understand those things.

  67. Donna May 12, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    “Excuse me but this is a 6 year old CHILD. NOT an adolescent. sigh……”

    Perhaps this mother does not know the proper use of the word adolescent. Sometimes it is easy to forget that not everyone has great verbal clarity. There is nothing else in what she said that indicates that she in anyway considers her young boy equal to a teen. sigh …….

  68. Jenn May 12, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    When my 7 and 5 year olds were singing this song, we had a discussion about what the word sexy means. In their language, sexy means, “you look good in a way that girls (or boys) want to hug and kiss you”. Once they determined that meaning, they decided NOT to sing the song because they both agreed that they certainly did not want to be hugged or kissed. Perhaps the teacher could have explained what the word meant, but some parents would be quite upset with the teacher taking the liberty to educate their children about sex. Both my kids know why this song is inappropriate for them to sing and I would hope that if a child in their classes at school were singing this song, that the teacher would stop it.

    On a similar note, two years ago, my 7 year old niece came home from school crying because a boy in her class kept calling her sexy. She repeatedly asked him to stop but he kept doing it, even after the teacher told him to stop. In a meeting with the parents, the mother told my sister that her daughter, “needs to learn to accept a compliment from a man”! Totally inappropriate behaviour from a 7 year old! Because the boy continued harassing my niece, he was suspended. I don’t care how old you are, if you are asked to stop harassing someone, and don’t, there should be a consequence. If the boy was 13, the suspension would have happened a lot sooner.

    I think there is more to this story. North American schools follow a model of progressive discipline where after each infraction a child makes, the consequence is greater. Typically it starts with a warning, phone calls or notes home, lost recesses, detentions, meetings with school personnel, in-school suspensions, one day suspensions, and so on. A first time infraction (which mom admits this already occurring beforehand) would not receive a three day suspension. He likely has already had many encounters of aggressive behaviour.

  69. Elizabeth May 12, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    If you read the lyrics, I’m sure you’ll agree that it IS too sexually explicit for a 6 year old to be listening to. I guess we’ve lucked out because we go a lot of places and have yet to hear this. But if it’s light background music we may have inadvertently heard it somewhere and it just did not register. (Like in a mall they play background music but you are usually busy talking so you really don’t hear the lyrics.)

    “Sexy And I Know It”

    Yeah, yeah
    When I walk on by, girls be looking like damn he fly
    I pimp to the beat, walking on the street in my new lafreak, yeah
    This is how I roll, animal print, pants outta control,
    It’s Redfoo with the big afro
    And like Bruce Lee yeah I got the glow

    Ah… Girl look at that body [x3]
    Ah… I work out
    Ah… Girl look at that body [x3]
    Ah… I work out

    When I walk in the spot (yeah), this is what I see (ok)
    Everybody stops and they staring at me
    I got a passion in my pants and I ain’t afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it

    I’m sexy and I know it [x2]

    Yeah
    When I’m at the mall, security just can’t fight them off
    And when I’m at the beach, I’m in a Speedo trying to tan my cheeks (what)
    This is how I roll, come on ladies it’s time to go
    We headed to the bar, baby don’t be nervous
    No shoes, no shirt, and I still get serviced (watch)

    Ah… Girl look at that body [x3]
    Ah… I work out
    Ah… Girl look at that body [x3]
    I work out

    When I walk in the spot (yeah), this is what I see (ok)
    Everybody stops and they staring at me
    I got passion in my pants and I ain’t afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it

    I’m sexy and I know it [x2]

    I’m sexy and I know it…

    Check it out [x2]
    Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah [x3]
    Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah, yeah
    Do the wiggle man
    I do the wiggle man
    Yeah
    I’m sexy and I know it

    Ah… Girl look at that body [x3]
    Ah… I work out
    Ah… Girl look at that body [x3]
    Ah… I work out

    Yeah I’m sexy and I know it!

  70. Donna May 12, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    “I am appalled on how many people admit to and have no problem with their kids listening to songs like this. I personally have never heard this song”

    You’ve never heard the song, but yet are appalled that some parents let children listen to it? On what exactly do you base your appall?

    I admit that I don’t know the song (I do live on a small, backwards island with one radio station that played Samoan songs during the Super Bowl breaks instead of commercials) but I just googled the lyrics. I don’t find anything outrageous in them. It sounds kinda cute to me. I don’t know if my daughter has heard it or not but I’d have no problem with her listening to it. What are young kids supposed to listen to? Raffi? Yuck that offends my ears.

  71. Elizabeth May 12, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    “You’ve never heard the song, but yet are appalled that some parents let children listen to it? On what exactly do you base your appall?”

    Um…..the title? And I looked up the lyrics before I posted. :/ Those lyrics actually sound cute to you? I guess we have two different levels of standards and will have to agree t disagree.

  72. Jenn May 12, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Donna- LMFAO as cute? Do you not know what LMFAO stands for? The name of their band is offensive, let alone the title of their song and their lyrics. And Raffi offending your ears? I would take Raffi over LMFAO any day. At least Raffi uses his talent and position in the spotlight to help improve the quality of life for children around the globe. From Earth Charter to Child Honouring and Beluga Grads, you can’t deny that Raffi is someone that our children should strive to emulate, not the latest act selling whatever it can to get its 15 minutes of fame.

  73. linvo May 12, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    It’s a pop song. Who cares? I have heard my daughter sing the “I got passion in my pants” line and it completely cracked me up because I knew she had no idea what she was singing. I didn’t show her I was laughing and I decided not to comment on it. I have explained to her what sexy means though. And that it is inappropriate for kids to use that word.

    @Sherri, I understand where you are coming from and agree up to a point, but not censoring at all goes a bit too far for me. Music is usually ok as I don’t believe it has a big impact. But I do make sure my 7yo doesn’t watch any explicit sex acts or violence on tv. It’s not just about explaining what’s going on, images tend to get stuck in your head and kind of live their own life there, if you know what I mean.

  74. Sarah May 12, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    “What are young kids supposed to listen to? Raffi? Yuck that offends my ears.”

    My 6 year olds listen to a lot of classical music, hymns/ children’s gospel songs, Disney CDs, some kid appropriate broadway CDs (like Peter Pan), various kids songs CDs (like mother goose rhymes and such), and lullabye CDs (at bedtime or other quiet times). My kids who are a bit older enjoy a lot of the oldies from the 50’s/60’s, as well. Beach Boys are a favorite around here to dance with. 🙂

  75. skl1 May 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    We have plenty of good music to listen to that doesn’t offend any of our ears. But my kids do know some songs that would not go over well in school. Some Elton John, the West Side Story soundtrack, and perhaps some of the Phantom of the Opera, I guess. But whenever we come across something that I let them hear/say but their teacher would not, I simply point that out. “Don’t ever say that in school, or you’ll get in trouble.” It’s worked so far. They don’t even say “butt” in school, but they sure say it plenty around the house (as do I).

    Point being, even a young child can understand that some things don’t get repeated in school. This boy was warned and did it again anyway, *to the same girl.* (To me, that’s significant – it makes it more like “harrassment” if it’s done repeatedly to the same victim who does not welcome it.) Sounds to me like he was intentionally obnoxious, not just plain bursting with a love of song (give me a break).

    Now I need to know what else he did besides sing that song, what was he doing with his body at the time, what was the demeanor of the little girl, was this only the 2nd infraction or the 22nd, and exactly what made the “sexual harassment” rule kick in from the school’s perspective. Once I get those facts, I might be willing to march on Washington over the school’s policy. But not now.

  76. mollie May 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    On a somewhat related note, in terms of use of sex in commercials that makes me a bit squirmy, that song by Andrea True, the porn star, in 1976? “More More More (How Do You Like It)”? Even back then, we understood that this was a kind of a “dirty” song. (I was 7.)

    Well, it’s a bit weird for me that Save On Foods here in Canada at least uses that very song as their theme song for the grocery store! “More more more!” shouts the breathy female vocalist. Yipes!

    I’d love to keep my kids in a box sometimes. Any fantasies I had about them not seeing “violent” films or listening to “raunchy” pop music before they came of age vanished when I divorced their dad. At his house, it was a steady stream of Eminem and R rated films on cable. Oh well! That ship has sailed!

    The kids are alright. I guess all we can do is talk to them, whether we’re teachers, parents, or benevolent onlookers. Please don’t punish them or get them thinking there’s something “bad” about them just because they’re trying on the stuff they’ve seen on TV. You can explain it triggers a lot of things in adults, when they hear kids saying certain words or acting certain things out with their hands and bodies. Doesn’t make it “bad,” “wrong” or even “inappropriate.” Just makes it something to talk about!

  77. AW13 May 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    @Emily: If I remember correctly, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand” was the punch line to a rather raunchy joke that I heard from my friend (who had heard it from her older brother, who was in high school at the time). Perhaps M&Ms has been using sex as a selling point this whole time? 🙂

    And yeah, the acronym LMFAO is inappropriate (offensive to some), but it is also a very timely reflection of a large part of our texting/internet culture, which is all that pop music is: a reflection. It honestly never occurred to me to be offended by that song, and I thought the video was funny (though my son has neither watched the video, nor heard the song, so far as I know). To be honest, I find most pop music more stupid than offensive, although I routinely hear lines in songs in music I recall from my childhood whose meaning passed me by originally. Poison and Motley Crue come to mind, both of whom I innocently listened to on the radio as a youngster, and both of whom have songs which I find offensive as an adult woman.

    And @ Sarah: a huge Beach Boys fan here! But even the Beach Boys have drugs/sex references here and there in their music…

  78. Sarah May 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    “And @ Sarah: a huge Beach Boys fan here! But even the Beach Boys have drugs/sex references here and there in their music…”

    Not the ones we listen to. 🙂

  79. Heila May 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Goodness, what a stupid ad. Emily I agree with you.

  80. pentamom May 12, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Jenn — I’m with you on not letting my younger kids listen to just anything. But not everyone likes the kind of stuff Raffi does (including me.) Just because it’s wholesome doesn’t mean people should or will like it, if it’s not to their musical taste. In fact I think it’s doing a disservice to our kids to teach them that second-rate kiddie music is the best thing going just because there’s nothing offensive about it and the people singing it are good people. Teaching them to like genuinely good music, with appropriate standards, is better.

  81. Arcturus May 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    As a DJ for primarily Elementary school gigs (usually Halloween, Daddy-Daughter, and most currently, Field Day), it’s extremely difficult to balance what’s popular vs. appropriateness. I seem to have to spend alot time having to digitally reedit songs to clean them up. Nicki Minaj’s Superbass is a good example. I’ve been DJ’ing for almost 25 years and today’s music is pure crap. There’s a new popular song out now called “Party and [email protected]#@” Seriously?

    (However, I was the one that introduced my nine year old nephew to Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog, which he absolutely LOVES. But he also knows not to sing it around his parents 😉 )

    It doesn’t have to be this way, much of the 80’s rap scene was all about danceability. Beat It by Micheal Jackson is about avoiding a street fight and it’s one of the most popular songs ever written. At the Field Day (Field Day is basically where the kids go out and play games on the playground most of the day) at one of the schools a week ago, I played an old Funk song from the 70’s called Get Up to Get Down by Brass Construction. It has a bass line that’s out of this world, and the kids were JAMMING to this, I couldn’t believe it.

    However, I fully agree that 98% of the lyrics of this songs, simply go over their heads. I remember some controversy over the movie “Shorts” when parents complained that Kickstart My Heart by Motley Crue was used in the ad campaign. Aside from the fact that 96% of the core audience would have ANY idea who Motley Crue is, much less bother to ask what Kickstart My Heart was really about.

    The ironic thing is that is the music scene is so different than it was at recent as 15 years ago. Today, there is little if any variety, and songs are literally played as many as 15-20 times in one eight hour period. While in the past, most kids were listening more to the beat, now they ARE listening more to lyrics because of high repetition.

    The boy in the article was warned three times, but one day suspension is probably more appropriate. As far as music is concerned, just answer questions honestly and as they come. It’s when the adults make a big deal about it is when the problems start. But I also think we are very screwed up as a society right now, but that’s for another post/blog.

  82. kenyadee May 13, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    I can say from first hand experience, the song is just plain out there in common, popular culture and it’s almost unavoidable. My son has sung the chorus, as have his friends (he reports). No one – me, the school, other parents – has overreacted.

    Re: Michael Jackson and things being different in the 80s. Billy Jean was about a fan claiming to have had his unwed child. That’s just as challenging to discuss as “I’m Sexy.” The Eagles, Heartache Tonight, about doing it in the bushes. This is not new, although the use of music on commercials almost ensures it’s unavoidable. If adults overreact, it teaches these kids that these words are potent, powerful, and can be used. If adults do not overreact, the popularity fades. Do they realize later what they were singing? Probably. Are they scarred for life? Hardly!

  83. Emily May 13, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    @AW13–Okay, I didn’t know that “melts in your mouth, not in your hand” was a dirty joke, but now I know……but, still, there are plenty of ways to advertise candy to kids and adults that don’t involve sex–like the old commercial with the cartoon M&M’s ziplining into a vat of multi-coloured candy shell liquid, and the more basic ones of people eating M&M’s, and making a big deal about how good they taste, and how pretty the colours are. The anthropomorphized M&M thing is good, too (except that Red is always insulting and teasing Yellow), and it’s been an ongoing thing for years that’s worked well enough (especially at Christmas time), so…….why add sex?

  84. AW13 May 13, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    @Emily: Oh, I totally agree with you. I was just kidding about M&Ms using sex back in the day (the limitations of comments to effectively communicate meaning). (And the joke was something that older kids were passing around, it really didn’t have anything to do with the candy, it was more just the use of the recognizable tag line as the punch line).

    And @Sarah: You do have plenty to choose from that don’t make those references. In many ways, the Beach Boys’ music does reflect a more innocent time. And the songs are just catchy and fun! 🙂

  85. linvo May 13, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    The Cat in the Hat comes in, makes a huge mess, cleans it up eventually and leaves before mum comes home. Mum asks kids what they have been up to and they say they’ve just been playing. That just quite easily translates into ‘Child gets inappropriately touched by an adult who says they will get in trouble if they tell their parents. Mum asks what they’ve been up to and they say they’ve just been playing.”

    This IS just my interpretation of that line. But I found it warranted a long talk to my daughter about how she would never get into trouble for something that someone else did and she had no control over.

    It really isn’t worth having such a long discussion over. I did not avoid the book because I thought it ended with an inappropriate message. I used it as an opportunity to talk to my child about an important and difficult issue.

    So I don’t get why some of you find it necessary to try convince me my interpretation is wrong? I don’t really care. I dealt with it the way I saw fit and am very glad that there was a trigger to have that conversation with my child at an early age.

    It’s not very different to us having conversations about female emancipation based on the sexism in Enid Blyton’s books.

  86. linvo May 13, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Oop, I posted in the wrong post!!!

  87. linvo May 13, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    @Pentamom: Yes! I conveniently lost all our Hi5 and Wiggles CDs and DVDs when my girl was about 2 because I thought the music was so bad and I too thought t was wrong to let a child grow up thinking that that was what music was about.

    The only kids CD I ever liked was a Flemish translation of Woody Guthrie’s kids CD. The music is fantastic and I found myself listening to the CD when my child was not in the car.

    Now my girl is taking an interest in Beatles music, which I am rather pleased about. She does like some modern music and I think it is healthy for her to like music that I am not into too.

  88. oncefallendotcom May 13, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    @Virginia, CYNDI LAUPER may not have sung “I touch myself” but she sang SHE BOP which was a song about masturbation.

    I was a kid when Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” became a hit, but even then, we assumed it was a song about masturbation. The way he danced didn’t help matters.

  89. Virginia May 13, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    @oncefallendotcom, you’re right — I remember that song! Two things in its favor, though: (1) you have to listen to the lyrics fairly closely to figure out what its about, and (2) it’s actually a pretty good song. My impulse to defend Cyndi was based on the fact that “I Touch Myself” is a horrible piece of music, rather than against the possibility that some of her songs might contain concepts some people feel are inappropriate for childish ears.

  90. Emily May 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Actually, I think that songs about masturbation are less offensive than “Sexy and I Know It,” because, controversial as it may be, masturbation is a way to celebrate one’s own sexuality, whereas “Sexy and I Know It” and its accompanying videos, etc., has a distinctive message about (literally) shoving sexuality in other people’s faces, by gyrating butts and crotches, coercing strangers into sexual activity, etc.

  91. hineata May 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    Wow, I must have been living under a rock somewhere – I didn’t know several of the above songs were about what they evidently are about!

    LMFAO’s song is satirical – that’s pretty obvious from the video. My kids are a bit older, so they have watched it, and see the funny side ( I would prefer the 11 year old hadn’t, but when you live in a small house and teenage boys are pretty much always around, they get ‘exposed’ to all sorts of nonsense anyway!).

    As for that six year old, sounds like a bit of a brat. Suspension, though? Why don’t we get this sort of kid to scrub the loos, or clean the lino? With a toothbrush 🙂

  92. Donna May 13, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Jenn – Yes, I know what LMFAO means but my 6 year old doesn’t nor does she care while listening to the music. She doesn’t even understand that LMFAO stands for anything. And I do think the song is catchy. A damn sight better than Raffi. I’d rather blow my brains out then listen to Raffi. I bought a CD when my daughter was a baby because I thought it is what kids “should” listen to. I quickly threw it away. I’d rather have no music. Same with Disney and just about every other kid CD. I have a friend who makes kid music and I occasionally played that CD. We had another one that was a rock/reggae version of kids songs that even I liked.

    I’m not sure why some insist on listening to crap that they hate just because kids are around. Occasionally pleasing your child with her favorite tunes is one thing, but subjecting yourself to a constant diet of music you would never listen to otherwise whenever your kids are around is ridiculous. My kid has always just listened to regular music – my CDs or the radio. She now has favorites from Elvis, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Patsy Cline, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Justin Beiber, Adele.

    I certainly don’t let my child listen to anything. I don’t play music with explicit lyrics – sex or violence – when my daughter is around but this song is pretty white bread. The sexual references go waaaay over little kids’ heads.

    There is nothing new about all this. There are definitely songs that I listened to as a child that had sex and drug references that I understand now that I never got as a child. Every kid I knew walked around singing “Let’s Get Physical” and “Relax” but only those of a certain age understood them. Nobody pitched a fit over it or felt the need to sit their young children down to discuss them. The kids figured it out when it was time and were not traumatized.

  93. CrazyCatLady May 13, 2012 at 11:10 pm #

    Raffi, Barney, the Wiggles, I pretty much hate most of it. A couple of Wiggles songs were actually classics, but for the most part I couldn’t stand it. I listened to “The Simpson’s” and “Nightmare Before Christmas” soundtracks with my kids because I really like Danny Elfman. My husband loves heavy metal, so the kids also heard that.

    I also tried hard to find classic songs like “How Much is that Puppy in the Window” and “Oh Susanna”. Other than some “Wee Sing” videos, it was pretty hard to find. I can’t stand things like Barney that takes real classic songs, and dubs in new and crappy lyrics.

    As a kid, I loved to listen to my “Rubber Ducky” album. As I now recall, it was pretty much only put on when it was just me and my mom, and my mom would do work in another part of the house. We all listened to the Beatles, and lots of other stuff on the radio that was popular in the early 70s. And yes, some of the lyrics are sexual, but like Bugs Bunny, no matter how many times you hear/see it, it just goes over your head when you are 5 or 6, unless and adult explains it. Since no adults thought it necessary to do so, I lived on in my youthful bliss not understanding many terms until I was well into adulthood.

  94. oncefallendotcom May 14, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    And still none of this compares to the Brothers Grimm and their original and far more brutal versions of the cutesy Disney stories we have all grown to love. People in the 1800s knew better than to sissify their kids by not teaching them how much life sucks.

  95. Donna May 14, 2012 at 2:58 am #

    And why is “sexy” even a bad word not to be taught to children? What exactly is wrong with thinking yourself sexy? I hope my daughter has a healthy view of herself sexy when she’s an adult and I’m not going to teach her that it’s a bad word or something bad.

    Would it still be “sexual harassment” if the boy were “shaking his booty” singing “Baby Beluga” to get the attention of some kid? Unlikely. Many would find that cute and all would take it for what it is – an attempt to get attention from someone. Sexual harassment is more than the unwanted hearing of the word sex. And if this child was acting particularly sexually aggressive, more than a 3 day suspension would have occurred here.

    I’m not even sure why some are so convinced that the girl thought it harassment of any kind. She probably knows the same very popular song. She may have thought it funny the first time and that is why it was repeated. She may never have complained at all. It may be the teachers who saw the interaction who have put a negative spin on it.

  96. linvo May 14, 2012 at 5:56 am #

    @oncefallendotcom, as far as I know, there are very few references to sex in Grimm’s tales that kids would understand? Admittedly, Little Red Riding Hood was originally a story about rape, but it was made into this story full of metaphores exactly to protect kids listening in from the truth.

  97. Sarah May 14, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    “What exactly is wrong with thinking yourself sexy? I hope my daughter has a healthy view of herself sexy when she’s an adult and I’m not going to teach her that it’s a bad word or something bad.”

    There’s nothing wrong with an adult thinking of themselves as sexy. But if you let young children listen to music and watch television shows that teach them to be and act sexy, they just may not wait until they are adults to act “sexy”, which I think IS a problem. There have been all sorts of articles and pictures the last few years in the news of younger and younger girls dressing and acting “sexy” complete with high heels, makeup, thongs, and padded bras. (At 9 years old). Yikes! I personally want my little girls to enjoy being little girls and wait until they much older to want to be “sexy”. That means, for me, shielding them from media that is “sexually” minded. And this song is most definitely sexually promoting. Of course every parent has to make these decisions for themselves. But over the years I haven’t heard one parent complain they should have exposed their child to more sexual stuff when they were younger but I have heard countless parents sigh and wish their kids hadn’t been exposed to so much so soon. 🙁

  98. Chad May 14, 2012 at 7:05 am #

    “What exactly is wrong with thinking yourself sexy?”

    Nothing if you are an adult. But why would anyone want their 6 year old singing they are “sexy”? Do you know the definition of “sexy”?

    “sex·y/ˈseksē/
    Adjective:
    Sexually attractive or exciting.
    Sexually aroused.”

    Not for my kids. No thanks. That kind of stuff can wait for when they are older.

  99. linvo May 14, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    I agree on kids thinking about themselves as sexy being quite wrong in my book. That is what I stressed when I explained the term to my daughter: “Kids can NOT be sexy because they don’t have sex. Only adults can use that word.”

    But I have no problem with minor exposure to sexual references. I think it’s ok for kids to learn about those sides of sex but not see themselves as part of that world. Just like my daughter sees adults drink alcohol but knows it is an adult only thing.

  100. Donna May 14, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    I don’t think that kids should be thinking of themselves as sexy. My comment was more at those who think this is such an awful song
    in general. It’s an adult singing about being sexy. I was much more appalled by Britney Spears in her school girl outfit singing some of her songs. That was clearly about sexualizing children.

    I simply see nothing wrong with my child being exposed to the term “sexy.” It’s a word that exists. If my child asks what it means, I’ll explain it. Just like I’ll eventually explain sex, masterbation, and everything else in this realm. I just don’t see the big angst over this. Understanding a word exists and what it means doesn’t control who you become.

    A kid that copies a song that uses the word “sexy” is not a big deal to me. It doesn’t mean she actually sees herself as sexy at 6 any more than I did at that age just by listening to music. It simply means she likes the song. One of my first albums was The Wall. I didn’t become a drug addict because I sang songs about drugs in elementary school. I didn’t even get the full meaning until I watched the movie in college. I just liked the music – still do as I have the CD now and, even after 30 or so years of listening to the album, I still don’t do drugs. If my daughter were singing this stupid song, we’d discuss what it means but I wouldn’t stop her from singing it. She doesn’t need to be singing ANYTHING in class but that is a separate issue.

  101. CrazyCatLady May 14, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Maybe the kid should try singing Rod Stewart “Don’t You Think I’m Sexy” next time. The girl won’t recognize it, and the teachers, if they are 20 somethings, probably won’t either.

    No, not really. He shouldn’t sing it. But songs like this have been around for a while. And the lyrics for a song that goes “I want to be your back door man” from the 60s, while to some may mean he wants to meet her around back while other boyfriend goes out the front, is also a euphemism for a particular sexual act. I have no doubts, now, as an adult, that the writer of that song knew both meanings and intended both.

  102. Taradlion May 14, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    “You Sexy Thing” 1975 by Hot Chocolate – loved that song and sang it too…when I was kid.

    The first time I ever heard my own kids (now 10 and 8) sing lyrics with “sexy” was a few years ago when they sang the song “I’m Too Sexy for My Shirt” (originally from 1991, long before they were born). At the time we did have a conversation about what “sexy” means.

  103. Donna May 14, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    “I’m sexy and I know it” is nothing. The child and I were just playing monopoly where she was singing along with “Save a horse; Ride a Cowboy” and no angst was had by anyone. We both just sang along being silly.

  104. skl1 May 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

    Singing a song with the word “sexy” at home is one thing. Singing it at school while physically focused on a particular individual is another. You cannot convince me that kids don’t know one is OK (if their parents say so) and the other is NOT OK. Would any of you have seriously considered talking like that in your first grade classroom?

  105. Donna May 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Would I seriously have considered singing the refrain of a very popular song to a classmate whose attention I wished to garner? Absolutely! Would I seriously have considered singing a song from a commercial to a classmate whose attention I wished to garner? Absolutely! I did both many times over in school.

    The boy only knows what “sexy” means if someone has told him. My 6 year old has absolutely no idea what it means. Neither do any of her friends. My daughter enjoyed singing “Save a horse; ride a cowboy” this afternoon. She has no idea what “ride a cowboy” means. Could she go to school tomorrow and sing it to a classmate? It’s possible. Is that sexual harassment? No. She has no idea what she is saying.

    The mother states that the boy doesn’t know what “sexy” means and we have no information saying otherwise. Not knowing would be commonplace for the age. Did the mother drop the ball by not explaining “sexy” to him the first time he got in trouble for singing it at school? Probably. Does that make a repeated singing of the song sexual harassment if he still doesn’t know what it means? No.

  106. Donna May 14, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    And if the refrain of the very popular song included the word “sexy” I sang it at school. I totally remember my crowd singing “If you want my body and you think I’m sexy, come along and let me know” and so on (or whatever the words are) for weeks in school. We sang it to each other. We sang it on the playground. We knew better than to sing ANYTHING in class. We were older than 6 but definitely not a sexy-appropriate age. Just like we frequently walked up to each other and said “Where’s the beef” and “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” for no apparent reason. And tortured our friend Kristin for shooting JR and pretended to be Charlie’s Angels. Mimicking songs, commercials and TV shows is what kids do.

    I remember listening to “Let’s get Physical” and singing during gym class too. The entire class. I think we were in late elementary school or middle school then. No school administrator or parent had a fit. Nobody claimed sexual harassment.

  107. Andy May 14, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    @skl1 Of course the boy knew he is acting like a jerk and intended to act like a jerk. But it had nothing to do with sex, sexy or anything related. He should be punished for acting like a jerk in a first grade: time out, additional homework, stand in the corner, removal of favorite toy … whatever.

    I do not recall my first grade classroom, but I recall to write rude offensive words on the sides of paper cube once. It was in Sunday church school. I did it because I through that those words are funny, because older kids laugh when they have been telling them. Nobody did big deal out of it, not even punishment, but they explained me that it should not be done.

    Of course, the difference between that boy and me was, that I did not tried to be jerk, I was genuinely surprised about adults not liking the joke.

  108. Andy May 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    There is nothing sexy about “I’m sexy and I know it” video. The song is a parody. The actors in it are definitely not sexy, you do not have to be afraid that your daughter will put on make up because of it. However, she may come to the conclusion that boys are ugly.

  109. Donna May 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Andy – How do you know the boy intended to act like a jerk? Could it be that the girl LAUGHED the first time he did this so he did it again? She likely knows nothing more about “sexy” than he does at 6. To her it’s singing a popular song with a funny dance. Heck I’d think it was funny if done by the right people and I know what “sexy” means.

    Regardless, the boy was told not to do this and he did it again. He should be punished for that, a typical kindergarten/1st grade punishment for not listening.

  110. Andy May 14, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    @Donna I assume that he intended to act as a jerk, because he was previously told not to do it. So, even if the girl would found it funny, the teacher did not and he was acting like a jerk towards that teacher.

    Jokes like this are funny if the audience finds them funny and the teacher counts as a member of that audience. Most jokes are offensive to somebody and polite behavior is not to do them when those offended are around.

    I might find that joke funny when drinking with friends, but I would not found it funny if a college would do it in front of the client.

  111. Amanda Matthews May 15, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    @Elizabeth I homeschool too, but as I said we heard it as we walked to the library the other day! How can you avoid things like that? Perhaps they should each have an ipod with earbuds, listening to classical music? Guess they better keep those in at all times, just in case someone drives past the playground, yard, etc. playing that song… And of course, I must teach the kids never to be friends with public school children, because they or their family might play or sing the song…

  112. Emily May 15, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    I thought “Let’s Get Physical” was literally a song about the benefits of exercise…….am I wrong on that, too?

  113. Library Diva May 15, 2012 at 1:53 am #

    Emily, I had no idea about the true meaning of several of my favorite songs. More than 25 years after I used to walk my neighborhood listening to Cyndi Lauper’s “She’s So Unusual” in my mom’s first-generation Walkman, I find out here, just now, what “She Bop” is really all about! I heard another song that I used to like as a kid recently called “Secret Lovers” by Atlantic Starr. As a kid, I’d always just figured their parents didn’t want them dating and found it terribly romantic. Now I find out, they’re “secret lovers” because they’re both married to other people.

    Without knowing the kid in question, we can argue all day about whether this was true sexual harrassment or whether it’s annoying behavior. What’s rotten about zero tolerance is that even if this is known to just be annoying behavior, they still have to suspend the kid for three days. No using your judgement here. No talking to the kid or the kid’s parents, no lesser amount of punishment that might be more appropriate (making him work alone to cure him of his attention-seeking ways was one suggested here), straight to the 3-day suspension. We could all probably agree that that isn’t right.

  114. Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    Yikes, Amanda! Obviously I offended you. 🙁 That was not my intent. It is completely possible my kids may have heard part of that song somewhere. The thing is, when a car in the library parking lot is driving by you only hear a couple of seconds. Not enough to make a lasting impact. :/ We are lucky to live in a very free range neighborhood. In our little neighborhood on our street there are 6 families with kids our children’s ages. Unbelievably 3 of these families homeschool! It’s great because there are kids to play with even during school hours (when they aren’t doing their lessons, of course, LOL. 🙂 All of these families are ones with high values so I know these type of songs aren’t played in their homes. Of the other three families, 2 that I know of are good Christians with high values so I know their homes are safe, as well. The other home has a very nice single mother with a 7 year old daughter. Her standards aren’t that high, but her daughter is really only available to play on weekends, since her mother works until 6:00 and by the time they get home, have dinner, do homework, it’s time for bed. And on weekends she’s usually joining the crowd of other kids who tend to play outside mostly or congregate at 2 or 3 of the homes (ours included) that have kind of become “kid central”. 🙂 But none of the kids are really listening to music seriously or watching TV or playing video games. They are out and about playing and and using their imaginations. We actually don’t even own an IPod, LOL. We tend to believe in a more simplistic approach to parenting and don’t get into the high tech toys. Not that there’s anything wrong with those that do – assuming it’s not causing your kids to sit in front of TV/video games/handheld devices all day. It’s just not right for our family. We do own a TV, but don’t have cable. We have a CD player and shelf full of good clean CDs our kids listen and dance to and we’ve actually hosted a neighborhood dance party last year and everyone brought their favorite music. There wasn’t anything inappropriate and everyone had a blast! 🙂

  115. squishymama May 15, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    At 5-6, I can remember singing along to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” (badest man in the whole damn town) and being yelled at by a teenaged neighbor for saying damn. I had no idea what the word meant or that others might consider it bad. It was on the radio, after all, how bad could it be?

  116. linvo May 15, 2012 at 5:40 am #

    @Elizabeth, Im sorry, but it is not because I don’t see it necessary to completely shield my child from popular culture that I have low standards or no values.

  117. Jenn May 15, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Donna -The reason why so many people are bothered by kids singing this song is because even when the kids don’t know the words, (and they will one day) it is giving them permission to act and behave in a certain way that is not appropriate for them. Even if my kids were of an age of understanding what the song meant, I still wouldn’t approve. Call me a prude but I’d like to raise my kids thinking that intimate relationships should be celebrated privately, not publicly, and that some aspects of a physical relationship are meant for consenting adults. By having young children singing this song, even with them unaware of the song’s message, we essentially are setting what our tolerances are for later years. It may be cute for your six year old to be singing this song but at 10 she’ll know what those lyrics mean and may think that is a way to conduct herself. They may not know what LMFAO stands for now, but when they do, you’ve just given them permission to swear and it may be at you (or another trusted adult)! A grandmother gave me the parenting advice, “start as you intend to go on”. I intend to raise my child to value their body and their sexuality, and these songs do not do that. We have never allowed my 8 year old son to wear army fatigues (sends a message that fighting/war is cool and fun) nor can my 5 year old daughter wear revealing clothing (spaghetti straps, short shorts or bare midriff may be okay on her but how do I tell her she can’t wear these clothing when she hits puberty when I already let her previously?). Teaching your children about your values starts when they are young, and your actions speak a lot more than your words.

    Being a parent of young children doesn’t mean you have to listen to crap music but you do have to be their filter (FYI, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum songs do contain explicit lyrics). Most children’s performers have great songs that have stood the test of time. They encompass a wide variety of genres and it is easy to find ones that you may enjoy as well. You may as well get used to ‘subjecting yourself to a constant diet of music you would never listen to otherwise’ because your child will grow up and may have different musical tastes than yours despite your influence. It’s a great way to teach your child about tolerating other people’s tastes-something you could try instead of blowing your brains out while listening to Raffi.

    As for you singing songs in your youth that were inappropriate and no one throwing a fit, I’m betting someone did. Every generation complains about the next going to the dogs, it’s being going on since Aristotle and Socrates so it’s not something new, as you would like to believe.

  118. linvo May 15, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    So when will you stop blocking your child’s ears when “these types of songs” are being played? When they’re 12, 16, 18? Does it make a difference whether they are exposed to them at 6 or 10 or 12? I don’t mind if my daughter hears sexual references. We talk a lot about what is appropriate and what not in that regard, not just in relation to kids, but also in relation to adutls acting in an overtly sexual manner. I reckon that will teach her more than shielding her from it.

    I also don’t freak out if she is exposed to the odd swearword. We have also talked about that and she knows it is not appropriate for kids to use those words. Kids need to learn about context and accept that they should not be allowed to do something just because someone else is.

    All these situations are much better learning opportunities than the santised kids-only stuff, imo.

    Of course there are limits. Not letting them watch sex acts or extreme violence on tv, etc. But we are preparing our kids to live in an adult world. What better way than to use examples from this world to teach them?

  119. Arcturus May 15, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    I’ve been reading the comments and tried to stay out of it.

    Jenn as some of the other posters have pointed out, many of us grew up listening to Olivia Newton John, KISS, Rod Stewart, and many other bands. We turned out fine. My babysitter introduced me to Nazareth-Hair of the Dog, when I was six. It was one of my fondest memories, sitting in her yellow Camaro and slipping that 8 track into the player. I was completely blown away. I introduced that song to my nephew when he was eight, (last year) and he absolutely loves it. Does he sing around his parents? No.

    It’s a great way to teach your child about tolerating other people’s tastes-something you could try instead of blowing your brains out while listening to Raffi.

    ^This comment makes no sense. Kids can and DO have different taste. Why force them to listen to something they absolutely hate? As many posters have pointed out there, their kids would rather listen to Pink Floyd than Raffi. It’s not about teaching tolerance, it’s about respecting THAT child’s taste and widening their experiences.

    ^As most other posters have pointed out, and as I have found out myself, MOST KIDS REALLY DON’T GIVE A DAMN about the lyrics, to them, it’s just words. Even though I did screw up today and played Flo Rida’s Low at an Elementary school Field day, but that was my fault. By the time they are start asking questions about the lyric’s true meaning, it’s time to start talking about sex, drugs, etc, anyway.

    how do I tell her she can’t wear these clothing when she hits puberty when I already let her previously?

    ^most kids are not wearing this type of clothing, even today when most of them were in bathing suits. If they are wearing this type of clothing, then that’s a parenting “fail”. Spaghetti straps are not considered “sexy” when connected to a full size shirt.

    you’ve just given them permission to swear and it may be at you

    ^Uhh, no. Most kids pick up swear words etc from peers, media, and to some extent, from parents. Most “good” kids, will not swear at adults. They use discretion.

    As for you singing songs in your youth that were inappropriate and no one throwing a fit, I’m betting someone did.

    ^my parents didn’t. In fact, they let me read Stephen King when I was ten.

    Also, by the way, DISNEY has the worst role models, and is actually the worst station for kids.

  120. Jenn May 15, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Arcturus- what it comes down to is my definition of ‘turns out fine’ may be quite different that yours. Many of my cohorts and myself listened to the same music that older generations despised and some of us are very successful, happy and secure adults, and others are not. Was it the music? Of course not, but it was how our parents raised us to think and behave. My parents still allowed me to continue with what I was doing (as I also do with my children) but they informed me as to why they felt that it was inappropriate. Just as you introduced your nephew to Nazareth, you also taught him about the appropriate audience. The problem here is that many adults are not teaching children the appropriate forum for certain songs, nor are they having the dialogue that goes with these songs.

    Kids do have different tastes which is why I’ve had my kids listen to a wide variety of music. Not just kids music from North America but around the globe. They listen to some Top 40, some classical, some folk, some indie, some rock, etc., I agree that children have different taste but I’m not limiting them to just MY music, but all music. Children’s music is a great place to start with since it crosses many borders, generations, eras, and genres. Raffi and The Wiggles are not the only children’s performers out there, they’re just some of the most recognizable. Many adult entertainers have recorded an album for kids (like Barenaked Ladies) which both kids and adults enjoy. With my earlier comment I was suggesting that instead of assuming that just because the song was written for children, it doesn’t mean that as an adult you won’t like it. Keeping an open mind to children’s music can teach your kids to tolerate other people’s music. As a society we are forced to listen to music when shopping, at weddings, at funerals, at sporting events, and some of it you will hate. We are allowed to hate it but we do need to tolerate it and demonstrate respect for the others who do want to listen to that song.

    I allow my children to wear bathing suits when it is appropriate to wear a bathing suit (beach, pool, etc.,). We do not wear spaghetti straps as school wear as it is considered beach wear in our home. School is my child’s place of work and few places of work permit spaghetti straps on their employees. I know that in my place of employment and my husband’s, if an employee was to wear spaghetti straps, they would be disciplined. It is not professional, destroys credibility and it does not send the right message to our clients. What it comes down to is, I am teaching my children that the way we dress is dependent on the situation, projects an image or ourselves to the world and can influence how people treat you.

    You are right that most kids pick up swearing from the media and peers but when the parents swear or allow swearing, they shouldn’t be surprised when their kids swear at them or at other adults. You say most good kids don’t swear at adults and use discretion. You would be surprised by what students are saying to their teachers today.

    Nice to hear your parents did throw a fit at what music (or books) you were reading as a kid. I’m sure that someone made comment about this, perhaps behind your parents back? One of my 7 year old’s classmates recently read, “The Hunger Games” and all of the other parents knew about it. It is completely inappropriate for a child of this age to read this book and when the mother was bragging about it on the school yard that she let him read it because he can read challenging books (and that she was taking him to see the movie as a reward for finishing the book), parents criticized her to her face and behind her back. One parent told her, “I’m sure your child CAN read Playboy, but that doesn’t mean he should.” That’s what I tell my kids, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    And, by the way, I never said Disney had good role models so I’m not sure why that was brought up.

  121. linvo May 15, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    “but when the parents swear or allow swearing, they shouldn’t be surprised when their kids swear at them or at other adults”

    Duh. How on earth does that relate to allowing your child to be exposed to popular music while you teach them what is appropriate and what not. My daughter’s favourite CD for ages was Pink. There are a couple of swearwords in there. My daughter giggles and has never felt tempted to repeat those words because she knows that would not at all go down well with me nor her other relatives nor her teachers. I admit to occasionally dropping a swearword in the car, directed at lunatic drivers. My daughter tells me off and I apologise. And we TALK about this sort of stuff.

    And personally I find kids music a bit like all the other unnecessary “kids stuff” they invent to make money. I see no reason whatsoever why kids should listen to different music than the grown ups. It’s about the MUSIC. I get all emotional when I listen to music that I grew up with with my daughter. It is part of passing on your culture.

    To think that some silly pop song will corrupt your child and cause lasting effects is just a bit OTT from where I stand. And I thought free-range parenting was about letting go of this idea that every little thing we do or don’t do will damage our kids. Yet here we are arguing over a POP SONG!

  122. Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    “@Elizabeth, Im sorry, but it is not because I don’t see it necessary to completely shield my child from popular culture that I have low standards or no values.”

    Certainly I did not say or mean to imply in any way that you have “no” values. It’s just that even among free rangers everyone has different levels of standards and values – which is to be expected as we all come from different backgrounds and are of different progressions here in life. I personally believe sex to be something private and sacred that should ONLY be shared between a husband and wife. It is part of my religion and value base. I was raised that way, as was my husband and we are raising our children that way. So a song that celebrates being “sexy” is not something I would want my 6 year old emulating. I realize that most people nowadays fully expect their children to be sexually active by the time they graduate high school (and even before) so a song like this is just “life” and part of modern culture. It’s just not for our family and luckily the neighbors we have all feel the same way. (And no we’re not all the same religion.) 🙂 It would be like if there was a song celebrating the awesomeness of shoplifting, you would probably not be happy about your six year old emulating the song. Because that is a standard most people today still share. But in today’s times fornication is not viewed by most of the world as a sin. (Everyone sleeps with everyone and flaunts themselves in popular media and most people just expect you won’t wait until marriage.) I’m sure some people on here will view me as a prude, but thankfully being free range has nothing to do with being or not being a prude. 😉

  123. Sarah May 15, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/3-year-old-sings-lmfao/1jrama03p?from=,hpvideo3_module3&cpkey=fd031a85-7d3c-4d0a-a913-05e0dd661265%7c%7c%7c%7c

    There’s a video on Bing showing a three-year-old singing this song. I have to admit, I laughed when I watched it. Of course he has no idea what he’s really saying. He just knows that people think it’s funny when he sings it.

    Seriously, this song is ridiculous, and purposely so. It was never meant to be taken seriously. Now, if the six-year-old was being disruptive by singing at school, appropriate action should have been taken. But to flip out over the song’s lyrics is just as silly at the lyrics themselves. Does this boy really go around saying “I work out”? I doubt it.

  124. Peter May 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Elizabeth, it’s nice to hear you say you believe in waiting until marriage. My wife and I also waited (yes, we are apparently nuts) and I actually just came across an interesting article about the subject. In it a study confirms that those who waited in the study had happier marriages and better sex in their marriage than those who didn’t.

    http://waitingtillmarriage.org/study-couples-who-waited-have-happier-more-stable-marriages/

    I also agree with several on here that 3 days of suspension might be a bit much, but consequences should definitely be administered and this is not an appropriate song to allow a young child to listen to.

  125. linvo May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    @Elizabeth, with every post you put your foot in it even more, it seems. I do NOT expect my child to have sex by the time she graduates high school just because I expose her to popular culture and songs or movies that include sexual references. I expect my child to develop resistance to such peer pressure by instilling her with strong values and principles. I therefor welcome the opportunity to discuss these values, be it in the form of a cheesy pop song or a reference in a movie or a peer coming to school in ‘sexy’ clothes.

    I am not criticising your values, but I sure feel you are making huge assumptions about mine ALL based on the fact that I do not think my daughter will turn into a sleazy little tart just because I allow her to listen to pop music.

  126. Ren Höek May 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    To no one person in particular, I must say that this story has been taken out of context. So a 6 year old was singing a sexually provocative song. Whether or not you find this song offensive or not (or just distasteful) a 3 day punishment was not the appropriate action to be taken in this situation.

    I moreso have a problem with the posters here who dissapprove of any type music that remotely has any suggestive themes, whether they be of drugs, sex, or violence. What kind of parent are you if your children can not make thier own choices, because you choose to ‘protect’ them and shield them from offensive media; which is usually done due to fear of negative influence or because it goes against YOUR traditional values. In my experience, those same kids when they enter adolescence tend to be much more rebellious in those years and tend to defy you the parent.

    Not to strongly get into an arguement, but acts like this should generally be viewed as harmless and should not be at all used to pass judgement and predict the lifestyles and personalities of children today.

  127. Amanda Matthews May 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    The Hunger Games is equal to Playboy? Good lord. I’ll just say that censoring what a child reads and hears instead of letting them naturally encounter things and teaching them about those things goes against Free Range imo, and I’m done with this conversation.

  128. Donna May 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    JENN – Wow you really give music, clothes and other pop culture a lot of power and parents and kids very little credit. It is truly sad that you have so little trust in your kids’ ability to understand your own family’s values and your own ability to instill them that you really believe that allowing a child to listen to a song by a group that named themselves LMFAO acts as a grant of unabridged power to cuss.

    It further saddens me that you so judge people’s moral fiber based on what music they listen to, what they watch, how they talk and how they dress. Some of the best, most giving, most righteous people I know probably do not come close to fitting your bill.

    I do very much raise my daughter today as I will as a teen. She will always be allowed to sing songs with the word “sexy” in them if she chooses. Because I understand that enjoying a song (and many things go into why we like particular songs) does not magically transform her to slut. It is interesting that you point out that actions speak louder than words but then put so much stock in the negative transforming powers of the words of LMFAO.

    And at no point will I have to listen to a constant diet of music I don’t like. My kid doesn’t rule the roost. I’m more than happy to sometimes listen to her music, and now know the words to Justin Beiber songs to prove it. But we are not listening to her music every time we get into the car. I know many people who instantly put on a kid’s CD when their kids get into the car.

  129. Donna May 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    JENN – I also like that you have decided that the Hunger Games is inappropriate for ALL 7 year olds. Who died and made you the judge of appropriateness for ALL 7 year olds? I can’t imagine a 7 year old being interested in reading it, but whatever floats their boat. I do have a friend who took her young kids to see the movie (young kids are in adult movies all the time in Samoa as babysitting while parents go out is totally unheard of in their culture). I doubt they understood the movie but they have not suffered negative effects from seeing it. We give pop culture way too much credit.

  130. Donna May 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Elizabeth – SINGING a song and EMULATING a song are two totally different things. I allow my child to SING songs about shoplifting and with the word “sexy” in them. That does not mean that I encourage her steal and have sex at 6. The human species is perfectly capable of enjoying a song without wanting to act out every word in real life. We listened to “I Shot the Sheriff” and “The Long Black Veil” today. I’m not running out hunting law enforcement or having an affair simply because I listened to, and enjoyed, a couple songs.

  131. Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    We will just have to agree to disagree on this topic. 🙂 Although I do feel like I want to add that there are NUMEROUS studies that back up my, Jenn’s, and a few other peoples opinions on here of shielding our young children from sexual stuff in media. Here is the link to one such study:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2006/mar/22/pressandpublishing.broadcasting

    Here’s a direct quote from the study in case anyone doesn’t have time to read it:

    “A study by an American team has found a direct relationship between the amount of sexual content children see and their level of sexual activity or their intentions to have sex in the future.

    The survey, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and online, claims that film, television, MUSIC and magazines may act as a kind of “sexual super peer” for teenagers seeking information about sex. It also suggests that the media have at least as great an influence on sexual behavior as religion or a child’s relationship with their parents and peers.”

    Did you notice the study – as has numerous others like it- suggests that media has AT LEAST the SAME amount of influence as parents and religion on a teens sexual behavior. Anyone who thinks differently are fooling themselves. There are numerous other studies shown how when we, as human beings, are exposed to something over and over it desensitizes us and actually changes our brains. (This is how other countries get soldiers to do such horrific things to their people and others that we cannot fathom. It was a slow process of desensitizing.) This is why everyone here that finds no harm in these songs lists as a reason, “I listened to songs like this as a kid and it did no harm.” Well, that would depend on your definition of “harm”. My guess would be it would be different than mine, but I won’t go into that. 🙁 Like I said earlier, we all have different levels of standards and definitions of right and wrong.

  132. Elizabeth May 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    “I also like that you have decided that the Hunger Games is inappropriate for ALL 7 year olds. Who died and made you the judge of appropriateness for ALL 7 year olds?”

    Donna, a panel of experts have rated the movie “Hunger Games” inappropriate for children under 13 (PG-13 rating) and another panel of experts have rated the book inappropriate for kids under 12.

    http://www.commonsensemedia.org/book-reviews/hunger-games

    Like I said, we apparently all have different levels of standards. :/

  133. Andy May 16, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    @Elizabeth I did not read the Hunger Games, so I have no opinion on appropriateness of that book. However, those panels of experts are a guideline, not an authority – at least for me.

    First, they base they judgement on what most kids are OK with. If your kid likes to read a lot, chances are that most books flagged exactly his age are boring to him. Or the kid may be harder to scare than other kids. I know that because I was such kids. I read 5-6 books per week and “age appropriate” usually seemed childish to me. I was not genius, simply reading that much will push your comprehension of books somewhat higher. Your “scared by the book” level goes up too.

    Second, sometimes (I do not think that it happened with Hunger Games) they flag books or movies inappropriate because of ridiculous things. Other times the commission cave down to special groups pressures “Harry Potter uses spells, it is black magic propagation, ban that” or random irrational outrages “the page 178 out of 654 has the word kiss in it, ban that”.

    Panels of experts conclusions are fine if the parent know nothing about the book, or do not have time (or interest) to research that. They are fine to give me him first estimate. The parent is still free to make completely different decision.

  134. Donna May 16, 2012 at 2:35 am #

    Elizabeth – And the “panel of experts” talked to every single kid on the planet and determined what each individual kid is capable of and found no kid on the planet able to read this book? That is an impressive panel. Must have taken years.

    I make my decisions based on what is appropriate for my child based on my own observations, values and child. I don’t let a “panel of experts” make my decisions for me. I haven’t let my daughter read the book or watch the movie because I don’t believe it is appropriate for her – or that she would have any interest or understanding. I don’t make that decision for anyone else. Their parents know them better. My ex read adult spy novels at 7. It was what interested him. I’m sure some “panel of experts” said that was wrong too.

    I am certainly not saying that every 7 year old should read Hunger Games. You make your choices for your children and I’ll make my choices for mine. The high-and-mightiness and judgmentalness of the comment by JENN was what I was commenting on, not her choice to not let her own son read the book.

  135. Jenn May 16, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Donna you claim you don’t let a panel of experts make decisions for you then how do you choose movies? find a doctor? hire a babysitter? These panels of experts give an opinion, you can choose to follow it or not. However the recommended age for Hunger Games (coming from a plethora of sources) is 12-13. This is not only coming from ‘official’ recommendations but also from teachers, librarians, book reviewers, book sellers and publishers (the very people who would benefit from a younger age recommendation). If my child was closer to 12, then perhaps I would overlook the recommendation. Our family rule is that if the movie is PG 13 or 14A, they may be allowed to watch the movie if a trusted adult has seen it and recommended it appropriate. That’s because PG 13 and 14A are recommendations, not a hard set rule. I agree that some kids may be ready to read The Hunger Games at age 7 but do they really understand it? The child in question is now inviting his classmates to “battle to the death” on the school yard and has been suspended for choking a classmate, an act right from the book. You don’t have to have read the book to know that it is not appropriate for young children. The synopsis states, “The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the other districts in line by forcing them to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death on live TV.”. What part of “fight to the death” is appropriate for children? Kind of the whole point of the book itself which is completely lost on children.

    A little FYI about The Hunger Games, it was originally published to be marketed to adults but part were rewritten to appeal to the popular Young Adult market. It wasn’t even intended to be a novel for our teens in the first place.

  136. Arcturus May 16, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    @Jenn,

    You’re still not taking into account the child him or herself. The same nine year was introduced to Nazareth, also saw and read The Hunger Games, and LOVED IT. Same for the three preteens (two boys and a girl, they were around nine also) in the audience when I saw it the second time. After the movie was over they were literally in wide eye wonderment, they chatted about it for 15 minutes after. They fully understood the movie. THAT is what it’s all about, getting kids to think. I applaud the mother of that seven year old that gave her son the opportunity to ask questions and for critical thinking.

    I’ll also second the other poster in saying that some kids are completely bored with “age appropriate” reading. In fact, controlled list like Accelerated Reader list, in reality, PENALIZE or severely discourages off list reading.

    I threw my other post away last night, I was too tired and parts of it didn’t make sense, but in answer to children cussing. I’m a sub teacher with a teaching degree, I deal with the effects of helicopter/neglectful parenting everyday. Kids usually use discretion when using cuss words..

    . What part of “fight to the death” is appropriate for children? Kind of the whole point of the book itself which is completely lost on children.

    ^But you DON’T KNOW THIS. I see ten and under kids reading Hunger Games and it’s sequels in the schools all the time. Don’t underestimate what kids can do. I once taught a ten year old girl about basic electronics and she fixed a piece of equipment for me in an emergency. That repair, done almost 17 years ago, is still going strong.

    @Elizabeth,

    Do you live in the UK or Europe? Sexuality is viewed completely differently over there. The ironic thing is that it’s VIOLENCE that does more damage than sexuality.

  137. Andy May 16, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    @Jenn What part of “fight to the death” is appropriate for children? Kind of the whole point of the book itself which is completely lost on children.

    The book can be entertaining and enriching even if you do not understand all of it. Good book show things you have no idea they existed. It is perfectly OK to read the book second time after years and find new things in there. To go even further, the best books are readable multiple times, because as you get older you find new things in there. If it happens with major plot, then the surprise later on is only much nicer.

    Other points:
    * A kid may translate “fight to the death” as “a big danger” which is a common plot in kids books (or used to be).
    * I think that you are underestimating children, they understand plots like this.
    * Kids line between reality and fantasy is somewhat blurred, but it is there. They are not daft, only sometimes confused about some details.

    I know nothing about the choking incident. It the kid endangered the other one, the kid needs counseling and other kids have to be kept safe. However, I see no problem with play fights. Kids enact scenes form books and movies, play cowboys and what not. I do not care, let them have fun as long as it is fun for everybody involved.

    I do have a problem with real guns or real violence. But that is different – fantasies and games are not the same thing as reality.

  138. linvo May 16, 2012 at 5:52 am #

    I looked at the actual study and I do not read the results as media having more influence than peers or parents. http://teenmedia.unc.edu/pdf/JAH.pdf Some influence maybe, but that doesn’t mean they would go against their religion or parents because of it. I wish you would have more faith in you own parenting and in your kids when you consider these kind of moral issues, instead of feeling the need to lock your kids in a cultural bubble. Especially as shielding kids from real life does not teach them how to cope with it. I would rather expose my child in small, age-appropriate doses to media so I can teach her on how to interpret it.

  139. Andy May 16, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    @Arcturus How is it possible to penalize off list reading? All I have to do is not to tell you. What is the reason for it?

  140. Donna May 16, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    “you claim you don’t let a panel of experts make decisions for you then how do you choose movies? find a doctor? hire a babysitter?’

    Hmmm. I hire my doctors solely based on recommendations by other people I know whose opinion I value. I’ve never actually read a single panel of experts review on a doctor I’ve ever seen. Same with babysitters. Word of mouth is sufficient.

    As for movies, I view the ratings as GUIDELINES. I don’t lock myself in stone based on the ratings. If my child wants to see a PG-13 movie at 9, I don’t foreclose the option because she’s not yet 13. I talk to others who have seen the movie, read up on the movie and possibly go see it myself. I then consider what I know about my child and what I know about the movie and make a determination as to whether it would be best for my particular child to see this particular movie.

    I do the same with books. So the fact that Hunger Games is only recommended for those 12 and up is not more conclusive to me than a PG-13 movie. It is a guideline. Some kids can read it at 7 and some probably shouldn’t read it at 14. I’m not going to evaluate other people’s children’s ability to read the book unless I know them pretty well.

    “You don’t have to have read the book to know that it is not appropriate for young children.”

    So you believe yourself to be the authority on determining what other people should do about a book that you’ve never even read? Wow.

  141. Donna May 16, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Elizabeth –

    I haven’t read the study itself but based on the article you linked to, I can already see a HUGE problem with the study that completely negates any credibility it has with me whatsoever. The description of the study is self-reporting of media by teens and questions about their health and sexuality. There doesn’t appear to have been any attempt whatsoever to consider PARENTING, HOME LIFE and FAMILY LIFESTYLE when making their conclusions. Do you really believe that Johnny – who is raised by parents who waited to have sex until marriage and instill values in their children to respect themselves and others – and Jimmy – who is raised in a family where everyone has children before graduating high school and mom brings home a new man every other week – really have the same views on sex because they both listened to “I’m Sexy and I Know it” at 6? If so, you have absolutely no confidence in yourself, your values or your children.

    Further, there are steps. I may allow my child to listen to “I’m Sexy and I Know it” but would not allow her to watch porn. Some other parents may allow – or do nothing to prevent – their teens from watching porn. Hearing “sexy” a few times is a far cry from watching “Debbie Does Dallas” and the outcomes will differ.

    Research seems to have a real difficulty with the difference between correlation and causation. That study seems to say that the level of sexual media enjoyed CORRELATES to engaging in sex. I see nothing to indicate that the sexual media CAUSES one to engage in sex.

    “Adolescence is a developmental period that is characterised by intense information-seeking, especially about adult roles and, given the lack of information about sexuality readily available to teens, adolescents may turn to the media for information about sexual norms.”

    This part is KEY for me. “Given the lack of information about sexuality readily available to teens…” What about those for whom information is readily available? Those kids who are not living in a vacuum of information because mom and dad are too embarrassed to discuss sex with their children? It doesn’t appear that any attempt was made to determine the level of information about sex, sexuality, values, etc. that was imparted to the children by their parents. A child from a home where sex is a forbidden topic is going to have a different view of their own sexuality than someone for whom sex is openly discussed. A child who views sexual media in a complete information vacuum will make different decisions than one who balances what they see in the media with what they discuss with their parents.

  142. Jenn May 16, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Actually Donna I never claimed to not have read the book. I believe it was Arcturus who did but I may be mistaken. I have read all of Suzanne Collins books so I speak from experience, that is not a book for seven year olds, and particularly not the seven year old in question.

    You fail to see that we’re working from a similar thread, that there are guidelines for movie viewing ages and we both consider the information to make the decision as to whether or not our children should or should not see a particular movie. The thing is many parents don’t and feel that if a movie is made, then there child should see it. Again I come back, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. This can be applied to many scenarios (I can call my boss a name but I shouldn’t, I can eat chips for dinner, but I shouldn’t, I can stay up to 2 am, but I shouldn’t, I can beat my neighbour senseless for waking me up at 2am, but I shouldn’t).

    I give kids a lot of credit but I don’t just send them out to explore adult issues and topics without guidance and that is what is missing, most kids don’t have an adult who is guiding them through the media jungle that is out there. I see this in the classrooms that I teach in, the sports fields that I coach on and the children that I counsel at a family wellness centre. One colleague read The Hunger Games with her 8th grade class (13 and 14 year olds) and they struggled with many of the ideas in the text and thought that “it would be cool to play in the Hunger Games”. If you read Brain Theory, you will see how the adolescent brain is not fully developed and is not able to cognitively understand concepts like an adult can. The brain does not reach maturation until approximately age 22. This is why kids need guidance! We don’t send them off into the world without a little guidance, modelling or help. The best parents (and I see many of them here) teach their kids how to do something before they send them off to do it independently. The same applies here. We have our kids listen to music, watch movies, read books that are at their cognitive level of understanding and discuss it with them and as their brains `are exercised’ we move on to more mature and complicated themes and ideas. I also figure why waste watching a great movie or book at a young age when you can’t fully appreciate it. My husband waited until our son was 7 to watch Star Wars the first time and it was a complete joy for everyone to have him watch, appreciate and love something.

  143. linvo May 16, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    @Jenn
    “I give kids a lot of credit but I don’t just send them out to explore adult issues and topics without guidance

    I don’t think anything more could be added to this. I think it would be hard to find a parent posting on this site who does not realise the importance of providing guidance to their kids on their journey to adulthood. I think it is a very important part of free-range parenting. You give them the information they need to keep themselves safe, happy and healthy and then let them implement it, providing feedback and support where needed.

    I reckon kids who do not get that sort of guidance form their parents will always have a bigger chance of failing in a variety of ways, regardless of the books they read or music they listen to.

    And who are you to decide at what age someone else’s child can comprehend things?

    @Donna, you crack me up!

    I haven’t read the Hunger Games, but I read a review claiming it was just bad writing, which is something I would struggle with much more than with the topic itself. Just like I think bad music is way worse than bad lyrics.

  144. Donna May 16, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    “You fail to see that we’re working from a similar thread, that there are guidelines for movie viewing ages and we both consider the information to make the decision as to whether or not our children should or should not see a particular movie.”

    This difference is that I’m only making the decision for MY child. You think that the decision that you make for your children applies to ALL children and, if the other parent doesn’t agree, they’re wrong. If another parent does something different, they are relegating their children to a horrible, immoral life. The fact that I decided not to take my 6 year old to see Hunger Games has no relevance as to whether my friend was correct in taking her 6 year old. Our children are not the same people. Her decision as to what is appropriate for her child is for her, and nobody else, to make.

    “I also figure why waste watching a great movie or book at a young age when you can’t fully appreciate it.”

    Because appreciation is a ever changing process. I read the Great Gatsby in high school and loved it. I read the Great Gatsby in college and loved it. The things I enjoyed, appreciated and understood changed between the two readings. My understanding was completely different when viewed through a 14 year old brain and experiences and a 21 year old brain and experiences. I haven’t read it since but I imagine that what I find there would be different now that it is being viewed with a 42 year old brain and experiences.

    “This is why kids need guidance!”

    Of course kids need guidance. Nobody said otherwise. We’re talking about sheltering kids from pop culture, not guidance.

  145. Dave May 16, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    I had a neighbor as a kid who let his kids (as young as toddlers) watch X rated Porn. I remember him having a conversation with my dad at a block party that he felt that sex is reality and why shield kids from it? He said he had no intention of shielding them from anything and this way he would always be there to talk to them about it. He felt that he was the parent and therefore he knew his kids best. So do we EVER draw a line? Does anyone here who feels it’s ONLY up to the parent to decide what is appropriate for their child to view/listen to think this father was right? A line has to be drawn somewhere. But over the past few generations that line has become lower and lower as our nation as a whole has dropped it’s standards to a shameful level. You think back in the days of Andy Griffith if little Opie had heard a song like this play on the radio Aunt Bea wouldn’t have turned it off in shocked horror? Absolutely. We don’t have to just accept lower standards. We can fight back, and I applaud those who are trying to. I know your kids will have a much better shot at growing up to be good, clean, moral people – something our country can use a lot more of.

  146. tricia May 16, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I know a lot of people on here who have said they use these racy type songs as conversation pieces to discuss sexual stuff with their kids. I wasn’t allowed to listen to stuff like this as a kid – I’m 20 and in college – yet my parents never had a hard time finding opportunities to discuss sex with me. I think they did a pretty good job, too, conveying the importance of waiting for marriage. I have 5 older siblings that all waited for marriage and my fiance and I are also waiting. I have friends who parents also talked to them about waiting for marriage but allowed them to watch and listen to popular music and television programs that portrayed the opposite. I know personally these friends have not waited. And many before the end of high school. They aren’t sluts or anything. I just think it became a part of them somehow, you know? I do wonder if maybe media has more to do with it than we think. Maybe not. Maybe my parents were just better conversationalists, LOL. 🙂 But it’s at least worth considering.

  147. tricia May 16, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Oh, and I just wanted to add that I definitely heard songs like this as a kid as I was out and about briefly. But there’s a big difference between hearing a song and having you mom comment that it’s inappropriate and how she can’t believe someone decided to take something so private and sing about it publicly and having you mom play the song in your living room and dance with you while listening to it or play it on the radio in the car while driving you somewhere. If a song like this came on, she changed the channel. If she hadn’t I don’t think I would have been able to take her seriously when she told me sex was a wonderful special thing shared between a husband and wife.

  148. Jenn May 16, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    Thank you Dave and Tricia. What’s sad is that my 5 year old in kindergarten has been teased all year because in the fall the teacher had the kids do a bar graph about their favourite TV show. My daughter picked The Backyardigans and has been continuously teased about it all year by a group of students who say it’s for babies and have ridiculed her for it. They are five years old but Backyardigans is too babyish for them! I know plenty of adults (childless, empty nesters and parents) that have enjoyed this show because of the brilliant animation (those background wipes has changed animation), catchy songs and fun story lines. Because it’s been an ongoing issue in the classroom, I spoke to the teacher and found out that these students had said their favourite TV shows were Bachelorette, Survivor (a show I enjoy but is not intended for kids- they just don’t understand that the name-calling and bullying is not how people should treat each other in the real world), Family Guy and True Blood.

    You think that your choices for your family do not impact my family but it does when your child ridicules mine, and coerces others to join in. A line needs to be drawn. I can only imagine the peer pressure my kids will face as they enter their teen years. Kids as young as grade 6 are sexting, coming to school high (and it’s not just marijuana), having co-ed sleep-overs, swearing at adults like teachers and police officers and drinking alcohol in order to get through the day. If you think it’s not happening in your community, then you are fooling yourself. Someone, somewhere has lead these kids astray and their parents probably thought when their kids were a couple of years younger that they were raising their kids right. Problem is you don’t know until you get there that you made some mistakes and it’s hard to go back.

    The running joke with teachers is “don’t smile until Christmas” (think figuratively here). The reason is that if you start off lenient, it’s really hard to assert yourself and regain classroom management. If you start with firm standards of behaviour and are consistent, you can lighten up as the year goes on. You give the kids more responsibilities, more privileges because they have proven that they can handle it.

    In my first post I said how my 7 year old was singing this song and we had a dialogue about what sexy meant. He didn’t like that he was singing a song about “wanting to have girls hug and kiss him” and now chooses not to. The key is that dialogue piece that many parents are missing and in the dialogue you are stating what your expectations are as a parent for how your child is to conduct themselves when you are not around.

  149. linvo May 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    “The key is that dialogue piece that many parents are missing and in the dialogue you are stating what your expectations are as a parent for how your child is to conduct themselves when you are not around.”

    Sigh! We ALL know that that is important. And therefor we do not fear our kids will start sniffing drugs and having sex at 8 because we let them listen to a certain song or even watch tv shows that have the occasional swearword or sexual reference in it.

    No offense, but I do wonder why you and Elizabeth post on a free-range kids website when you seem convinced that the world is going to hell in a handbasket, most of our kids are doomed and that there is only one correct way of parenting.

  150. Donna May 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Again, with the Survivor isn’t appropriate for kids. You seem completely unable to understand that not appropriate for your kids doesn’t mean that it’s not appropriate for my kids (who has actually never watched Survivor.

    The problem with your view is that where you want to the line and what you consider lenient is not the same as what I think. I have a different set of values and a different set of expectations. I’m not planning to raise my child to match your set of values and your set of expectations.

    It seems like you want the rest of the world to move to your standards so that your kids don’t want to do things you don’t approve of. That’s not the way it works. Everyone gets to choose what is right for their family. If you want to uphold standards different from the norm, you have to deal with hour children being outside the norm. This doesn’t mean that you need to change your standards, but you do need to accept that there will be a certain amount of peer pressure and desire of the part of your children to conform with the norm.

    And yes all those things you mention happen in schools. But it is far from the majority. Every kid is not sexting, drinking and getting high. In fact, few are – even out of those who watch Survivor and the Bachelor. And, yes, things have gone astray for some kids. As a juvenile public defender, I assure you that their problems are far more extensive than what music they listen to and their favorite Tv shows.

  151. Donna May 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    Dave, I do in many ways believe that it is up to the parents to make all decisions for their children. The line is at abuse. Parents can’t abuse or neglect their children. Anything else is fair game and none of your business. You don’t have to agree with their decisions or allow your children to socialize with theirs, but you do need to butt out.

    Whether allowing toddlers to watch porn is abuse is a different matter.

  152. Andy May 16, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    @Jenn First of all: current generation takes less drugs and commits less violent crime then previous generation did. Teen pregnancies are going down too. There is peer pressure, there are problems, sexting can land the kid in sex offenders list and so on, but the world is generally much less dark then you seem to think.

    Second: this whole discussion about books started, because the group of parents you wrote about treated a mother badly because she allowed her kid to read a book you do not approve of.

    Some kids in school treated your daughter badly (for far too long), because she likes different show.

    In my mind, those are very similar actions. The kids in the school are doing something bad and should stop. The parents in the group should stop to enforce they rules into other parents too.

    Both situations have been about individual not confirming to the group.

    Third: the reoccurring theme is your posts is a kid not able to understand everything in the book. I do not see it as a bad thing, good books have multiple layers and if the kid picks up only the plot, then it is still fine. It will understand the rest later on.

    I would remove the book if I would know that the kid reacts badly after reading similar books. Unless the girl is long known trouble maker and her parents do not care, I see it as my duty to say nothing about their parenting. Whether I agree or not, they know about her much more then me and it is not my business anyway.

  153. Donna May 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    And what’s with the notion that we should all want to go back and live in the 50s with Aunt Bea and Opie? That’s not the world I want to live in. That’s not the world I want to raise my daughter in. We’ve come far from the 50s and most of it positive change.

  154. Jenn May 16, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    The mother who allowed her son to read Hunger Games was treated badly by a parent. This came after she bragged to a group of parents how brilliant her son is because he is reading the Hunger Games. Then her child assaults other kids at recess, acting out and yelling lines from the book. Not surprised that parents have told the mother that they disagree with her parenting style. In the past, many people were involved with the raising of children which is how societal norms was passed down. Now, it’s every parent for themselves so it’s no surprise that when you are far from the norm, other parents are going to speak up. Especially when you invite the dialogue by bragging about your child.

    I can see here why it’s so hard for children to read and understand particular ideas in texts when some adults here misinterpret what I have written.

  155. Paula May 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    The child shook his butt in her face (not sure how her face got there since he didn’t look super tall) and sang it on 3 other occasions to the same child. 3 day suspension is too much but there definitely should be some consequence. A boy in my daughter’s class called her name, said “I’m sexy and I know it.” and dropped his pants (underwear and all). Seeing as he’s in kindergarten and its his first offense, I definitely support the psych talking to him about inappropriateness and no other consequence but if he did it 3 more times (this being the child who was suspended’s fourth offense), I would expect something to be done since obviously talking to him wasn’t making a difference.

  156. David May 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

    “Whether allowing toddlers to watch porn is abuse is a different matter.”

    There’s no law against it. Therefore it’s the parent’s decision. Either you agree it’s the parent’s decision or you agree that there IS a line to be drawn on what is morally appropriate. If you agree there IS a line to be drawn, then you can’t say that anyone on here who is choosing to live by higher moral standards than you is shielding or sheltering their kids too much. (And I’m speaking to everyone who thinks that way, not just the person who made the quote.) That’s all I’m saying.

    As for the 50’s reference, I was referring to the fact that from a moral standpoint this song would have once been considered deplorable. Thereby proving my point that morals are declining in our nation. How can something once considered wrong now be right from a moral standpoint? I have no idea if you are Christian or not or what your values relating to sex are, but the Bible clearly states that fornication is a sin. Yet in modern society it is no longer considered a sin. Christ did not come down and declare it’s suddenly fine to have premarital relationships, so I’m assuming what He taught still stands. Yet we, as a people, have decided for ourselves it is alright. Like I said, if you aren’t Christian, this will mean nothing to you, but if anyone on here IS Christian, it’s something to think about.

    And @linvo, being free range does not mean you have to have low standards and morals. Free range is about independence and self sufficiency. Not about following the crowd to fit in and saying, “well, since everyone else in the world is doing it and says it’s OK, then it must be true.” I, along with others on here, can teach my kids to stand up for what they believe in and not follow the crowd. And they can still ride their bikes to the park and library and do chores for neighbors to earn money for their mother’s birthday present. It doesn’t make us any less free range. (I know you were talking to Jenn and Elizabeth, but I appear to feel the same way they do on the topic, so I just wanted to speak up.)

  157. Arcturus May 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    @David,

    as for the 50’s reference, the REAL meaning behind Whole Lotta Shaking Going On is rather interesting.

  158. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    @Jenn,

    I’m a sub teacher with a Elementary teaching degree. I’m around kids pretty much every day. I see kids under ten reading Hunger Games and it’s sequels all the time. They fully understand what it’s about.

  159. David May 17, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    Acturus, the difference is they didn’t spell it like it is nowadays. I don’t even know what meaning you are referring to, although I’m sure it’s there – or more likely was interpreted to be there by someone somewhere with a perverse mind, LOL. 🙂

  160. David May 17, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    As for Hunger Games, who cares if they understand it? Do we want to desensitize young kids to violence? Those books can get pretty graphic. The more you are exposed to something the more comfortable you get with it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to expose young kids to GRAPHIC violence. Sure they can read stories about death and bad things happening. (Half of all fairy tales and classic literature have these things.) But the explicitness of violence I don’t think is a good idea for any young child to be reading.

  161. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    @David,

    It’s pretty well known that Whole Lotta Shaking Going On is about having sex. It caused a lot of controversy in 1957, many stations would not play it. Even Sam Phillips knew they were going to get crucified for it and knew that it might have problems getting on the air. The point was that the true meaning behind the song wasn’t lost on a 1950’s audience.

  162. Jenn May 17, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    @Arcturus -I’m a Reading Recovery consultant who trains teachers on how to teach reading and work with reading intervention strategies for at risk students (originally trained as a teacher and have been promoted to work outside the classroom). Literacy rates are declining yet in the few schools you have worked at, kids under ten are reading and FULLY understanding The Hunger Games. Find that hard to believe because even if you only look at the data on reading comprehension (and I’m not talking about just standardized tests) kids are failing in many areas, even in enjoying reading for the fun of it. Another posting on here weeks ago brought up the issue of that a majority of high schoolers are reading below a grade 5 reading level. What’s your secret to having such strong readers who don’t just decode the words on a page that the rest of the world is missing? I’m around kids every day as well and have been doing this for over 20 years so I can assert that kids don’t know what they are reading.

    @Donna -Nice to see that you can draw a line but the rest of us can’t, just because our morals are different. You say letting a toddler watch porn is abuse (which I agree) but that is you drawing a line and I’m sure many disagree with both of us. What I hear is you feeling threatened by my ability to say to stand up to believe and support my convictions. You can have different values and expectations, I am just expressing that I feel that some people have lower standards than I do and I’m not afraid to shape future generations. You say “Everyone gets to choose what is right for their family” but this is furthest from the truth. You conform with the laws of your community and the cohort norms established by your community group. If you had the right to do what you wanted with your family, you could sell your child into prostitution and drugs without consequence. Is that a line that you draw as well?

    Being a free range parent is about teaching your child to be independent and a self-sufficient advocate. My kids have a lot of freedoms compared to their peers (using public washrooms solo, starting a snow shovelling business, having a lemonade stand, walking home from school on their own, going to the park and forest on their own and more). I teach them how to do something independently by modelling with them how to do it, guiding them through their first attempt and then let them go if they are ready. Many parents think that Free Range is about giving the child freedom and letting them run wild. Many people think that FRK have no respect for adults, have too much freedom and cause havoc in their community (see the video Lenore posted about Bubble Wrapped Kids) By establishing my family’s standards for behaviour and morals, they are not going to be giving Free Range Kids a bad reputation, nor will they make me regret giving them their freedom that they have earned. Their freedom is a privilege and if they abuse it, they lose it.

  163. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    @Jenn

    Literacy rates are declining yet in the few schools you have worked at, kids under ten are reading and FULLY understanding The Hunger Games. Find that hard to believe because even if you only look at the data on reading comprehension…

    ^Seriously? I’m not listing the district for privacy purposes, but it’s one of the highest rated districts in a mid sized city in Central Texas, reading comprehension for all grades- Reading 93% (local) 87% (national level) If you do the research, you should be able to find it. As for comprehension, my own nephew understood Hunger Games. Most news copy is aimed at the 5th-6th grade level.

    Your arguments are circular. If you worked with kids, then you would know that at least SOME have comprehension levels that are capable of understanding higher level material.

    For example, I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I once taught a ten year old basic electronics, and she repaired a piece of audio equipment for me in an emergency. She knew instantly what the problem was, got the necessary tools together, and fixed it. That repair is still holding 17 years later.

    If you really want to see what’s causing the decline in reading, it’s texting/online/too much screen time, de-emphasis on accuracy in communication, even when it’s fact related. Teaching to the lowest common denominator, when the smartest kids get left behind, or worst yet, ostracized. This generation is by far, the most stressed out I have ever seen. Between helicopter parenting, overscheduling and absolutely little if any downtime, they are miserable. That *could* have something to do with.

    I’m getting a a class tomorrow with a student (who I had in class when she was in Kindergarten and then off and on for next two years) who is now in 3rd grade and is a VERY avid reader. She’d rather do that than anything else. Want me to find what she’s reading now and report back?

    This child actually did something last week that directly relates to this topic of the thread. She was supposed to make a poem about Mom. They were supposed list adjectives, and one of hers was “Sexy”.

    I said “D, are you sure about that? ”

    D’s response: She just shrugged and “I don’t know, it just popped into my head.”

    Needless to say, I made her change it but it was obvious that D had no idea what it was.

  164. Jenn May 17, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    So why did you ask her if she was sure about using the word sexy in a poem about her mom? Could it be that the word was inappropriate or was being used in an inappropriate manner for the relationship? Did you even ask her if she knew what the word meant? She may have said the word just popped into her head because it did but she also realized when you questioned her using the word, that maybe she should not be using that word.

  165. Donna May 17, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    Actually I did not say letting a toddler watch porn is abuse. I said that whether it is is questionable. I don’t make the call on abuse. I’m not going to report someone to CPS for letting their child watch porn but I can certainly see someone having their children removed from their house if the porn watching was discovered by CPS. There hasn’t been a child in the history of CPS removed from the house for listening to the “sexy” music or reading books aimed at adults. If someone is doing something that CPS would almost definitely become involved in if they knew, I might say something. Otherwise, it is their decision to make.

    And I am not threatened by your choices at all. You appear to be threatened by mine ir why do you hither to judge someone else? You don’t want your kids to do something you don’t allow so want th rest of us to stop doing so so their not tempted.

  166. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 2:31 am #

    Because I have a reasonable idea of what her family is like, and I’m familiar enough with this child that I trust her judgement. She’s extremely intelligent but has problems with her peers because of it. I didn’t make a big deal of it because it really wasn’t and she didn’t bother to pursue it further. While most of the time, she’s quiet, she can be a real handful if she’s crossed.

  167. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    @Jenn

    I HATE not being to edit my post, the other kids were complaining because the teacher used the best words in the poem they were writing, and they couldn’t copy the teacher.

  168. EtobicokeMom May 17, 2012 at 3:30 am #

    Reading this story reminds me of two separate incidents that to me speak volumes about our society’s “freak out” reaction to anything sexual. Watching a Bond movie with my neighbors and their children (5 & 7), they would cover their eyes every time a sexual scene came on, but blithely allowed them to watch all the shocking violence in the movie. About a year later, my nephew was suspended because he had used the word “breast” in a google search on a school computer that had turned some inappropriate results. My mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and he wanted to learn more about what was happening with Grandma. When the inappropriate content showed up, he got suspended.

    Seriously, folks, sex is not bad. Sexual harassment is bad, but we have been become so sensitive that we just assume that a child imitating a commercial, or researching his Grandma’s illness is engaged in inappropriate behavior.

    And don’t get me started on use of language. I was called by my daughter’s daycare (she is 4) because of a “bullying” incident. Another Mom had called to complain that my daughter had used the words ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’. Ummm, what is she supposed to call them? Why are we so afraid to use correct, anatomical terms to describe body parts? In fact, I have read that kids who are taught to use proper terms are less likely to fall prey to on-line predators.

    Our hyper sensitivity to all things sexual is turning us into crazy people!

  169. Jenn May 17, 2012 at 4:05 am #

    Donna – I have not judged what you and your children do but when I give examples of what my family does, you jump all over me saying things like “Again, with the Survivor isn’t appropriate for kids. You seem completely unable to understand that not appropriate for your kids doesn’t mean that it’s not appropriate for my kids (who has actually never watched Survivor”. Did I say that your kids can’t watch it? No, I said that my kids can’t and that I don’t think it’s appropriate for young children. Did I say that your lack parenting skills or a moral compass? No, you are making assumptions about what I think only because on this issue we disagree. I don’t take it personally that you disagree with me. I think it’s one of the things that is great about society today that people can express their thoughts. I guess I just know what a healthy debate is and that I don’t have to take the comments from a stranger as an attack on me personally. I believe that debates like this is how we get people to think about their choices and act on them.

    Part of my job description right now includes researching children’s reading choices and how the media plays into this. In order to see where parents, teachers and students are coming from I’ve been reading many blogs and comments about books like The Hunger Games and to be honest, this is the first place where I see parents saying that it is appropriate for 7 year olds.

  170. Andy May 17, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    @Jenn What I will write is highly unscientific, but here it goes anyway: there seems to be a correlation between places that allows kids to read grown up books and places where kid read a lot. Places that limits kids literature to “age appropriate” have less readers.

    The correlation is visible in this thread and my experience has been similar. As I told, it is highly unscientific observation.

    I know for a fact,that I would not read as much as I did, if they would not gave me access to grown up books. Some of them have been plain violent with no other message, most of them did not. Most of “age appropriate” had been predictable – there was no surprise and no challenge.

    Last note: literacy going down in your school and in overall stats does not necessary means that literacy levels are going down in every American school. It is quite possible that Arcturus works in a school with better students. It is quite possible that their reading abilities are much higher than reading abilities of at risk students.

  171. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    @Andy,

    Thanks. Yes, this district consists mostly of middle class to relatively wealthy students with parents that care for the most part..

    You said it best with the point I was trying to make. There are kids out there who would HATE to be stuck with age appropriate predictable books, the 3rd grade girl I mentioned earlier is one , as my nephew is up to a point. This is also one of the biggest criticisms of Accelerated Reader.

  172. Jenn May 17, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    Since when does age appropriate equate to predictable literature? I worked as a nanny in university and my 8 year old charge was reading Pride and Prejudice. From there she moved on to classics that her parents had read and thought she would enjoy. And you don’t have to stick to the classics either: Philip Pullman, Eion Colfer, Richard Adams, Natalie Babbitt, Louis Sachar, Farley Mowat, and Gary Paulsen just to name a few. Clearly you need to visit a library to see there is more to children’s literature than the boring predictable books of your personal library. Did you not cover children’s literature in your education program at university? Because if all you can recommend to your strong readers is to read adult books then you are really limiting an amazing world of fantastic literature that is a cornerstone to your own cultural syllabus.

  173. Donna May 17, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Jenn –

    Actually you DO judge what I do and what everyone else who doesn’t do it the Jenn way does. Why else would you say about Survivor “(a show I enjoy but is not intended for kids” as if you are judge, jury and executioner as to what is appropriate for ALL kids (and apparently spokesperson for the intents of the show’s producers, actors and an entire television network), instead of simply saying “a show I enjoy but isn’t appropriate for MY kids.” Big difference. In fact, the entire paragraph that line was quoted from was dripping with judgment and superiority over the other parents in your kid’s kindergarten class. You made it abundantly clear that you look down your nose at the parents in your kid’s class who allow their kindergartners to watch the Bachelor and Survivor. You made it clear that you believe that they are wrong for doing so and that the Backyardigans is the appropriate viewing material for kindergarten students.

    You have only not judged my family because my kid does not do any of the things you’ve mentioned as inappropriate for young children. But if we did, how could I possibly feel anything other than judged by you when you’ve REPEATEDLY make comments about how inappropriate you believe it is to allow children to do these things. In fact, you detail specifically talking badly behind the back of the parent about how awful it was that she allowed her young son to read Hunger Games. How exactly is that not judgment?

    Why do you feel the need to state opinions about what is appropriate for all young children in general? Why do you even feel that you are in a position to do so? All young children are not your responsibility. All young children are not the same as yours. All people don’t value the same things as you. All people don’t relate to others the same way as you. There are many things that you’ve mentioned as teaching your kids that I will not be teaching mine. Neither of us is wrong; we simply have different values. I allow you to have your values. You look down on me as a parent for having mine.

  174. Donna May 17, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Jenn –

    But why should they HAVE to limit themselves to children’s literature because they are under 18? If they want to read an adult book – if that is what interests them and they are able to read it – why not allow them to read it?

    Clearly there are going to be adult books that I find appropriate for my child and some that I don’t. (Notice that I say MY child not ALL children as I don’t determine what is appropriate for ALL children nor do I care what other people allow their children to read). But books are not forbidden just because they are in the adult section of the library.

  175. Jenn May 17, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    Thank the declension of society to Donna! If it makes me judgemental that I don’t like the children who terrorize my children’s school because they are forced to grow up due to the lack of parenting then, fine, I’m judgemental. There are many things that I enjoy that my kids don’t get to do. Like drive, have sex, drink alcohol, and watch Survivor (which I’ve only watched a couple of episodes when I was at a friend’s home and I never got around to watching on my own). But I draw the line at allowing my kids to do all the things that I do because they are kids! Do you let your children do all the things that you do? Right, you have a line that you have drawn as well!!! Gosh, if only you could see what colour the kettle was!

  176. Arcturus May 17, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    @Jenn

    I’m almost done with this conversation. I’m tired of going in circles.

    Books in my current library-

    The Girl Who Owned a City-OT Nelson. This book is for middle grades and is unbelievably haunting. The subject matter is almost to the level of Stephen King. ( I STILL read this one about once a year)

    The Girl with the Silver Eyes-Willow Davis Roberts

    Jane-Emily-Patricia Clapp (ghost story about revenge from the grave)

    All the Philip Pullman books, which I found riveting. Some very deep subjects being explored in those books.

    I TALKED to this author and she helped with a novel I’m writing. One of her characters is sort of like my main one.

    http://www.chriseboch.com/

    Louis Sachar I’ve read.

    Wrinkle in Time.

    There’s others too.

    I’ll make it a point to ask D. tomorrow and report back on what’s she currently reading.

    Also, I’ve spent HOURS shelving books in school libraries over the years. I see what they are reading, and sometimes, I even come across a good one.

  177. FRUSTRATED IN QUEBEC May 17, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    My 6 year old son also got in trouble for singing the same song at school. I had to FIRMLY explain he was singing a song.

  178. Andy May 17, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    @Jenn
    1.) I said most, not all.

    2.) That is what I remember from childhood. I came into library, went to 12-14 (say) bracket, picked random book and it was predictable and boring. Then I went into bigger bracket, picket up random book and it was interesting. Almost all the science fiction has been in adult bracket.

    Pride and Prejudice has very adult themes in it by the way and was written for adults. It is not typical kids book.

    “Did you not cover children’s literature in your education program at university?”

    I studied computer science. The program focused on math and programming.

  179. Andy May 17, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    @Jenn Thank the declension of society to Donna! If it makes me judgemental that I don’t like the children who terrorize my children’s school because they are forced to grow up due to the lack of parenting then, fine, I’m judgemental.

    The problem is, that this is not what you wrote previously. You did not complained about general lack of parenting, you complained about specific books and songs and equate them with lack of parenting.

    What you basically said, is that if a parent allows kids to read those book are bad parents. Your main argument is, that the kids is not able to understand every single thing in it and some panel of expert said so. People argue about these points, not the above one. Terrorizing other kids is bad.

    Btw, plenty of kids read those books and do not terrorize other kids. And I doubt that Donna is responsible for the declension of society. She tend to be strict about the rules, so I guess her kids are going to follow them most of the time.

  180. Really Bad Mum May 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    @ Jenn wearing army gear DOES NOT send a message that fighting and war is cool… it’s fuckin play acting, stop reading so much into it. why is it ok for these little girls to play mummy with their dolls? OMFG sexualization! you need to have SEX to have a baby…
    now excuse me while I turn up ” So Hott” by Kid Rock while my eight year old son plays Call of Duty – Black Ops…

  181. Donna May 17, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Jenn – You seem to have completely missed the point. Nobody is saying that parents should not draw lines. I bet most will even agree that at some point the line should be glaringly obvious for everyone (ie porn and other items that would have CPS knocking on your door and yourself charged with endangering the welfare of a minor if not child molestation). But there is a lot of open area between The Backyardigans and porn where intelligent minds will differ and should be able to differ without being considered failing to properly parent their children, talked about behind their backs, have their children deemed to “lack parenting” and be told their children will grow to be harlots with no moral character.

    The issue is your insistenance that you know the line for ALL children and that it’s, not surprisingly, at the exact same place where you draw the line for your children in every single instance. And your determination that people who don’t agree with your line are failing to properly parent their children.

    I’ve said absolutely nothing about your parenting choices at all. They are not what I choose but to each their own. I’ve disagreed with your assessment that kids who listen to “sexy” lyrics are all going to be sexually loose. I’ve disagreed with your assessment that Hunger Games and Survivor is inappropriate for ALL children. I’ve disagreed that ALL kindergartners should watch only Backyardigans-comparable TV (or even most kindergartners since it only plays on a channel geared to preschool-age children) and read only children’s literature. I’ve disagreed that the world of Opie and Aunt Bea is where everyone wants to live. But I have never said that you are parenting your children wrong. You, however, continue to insist that kids who do those things that you don’t allow your children to do “lack parenting.”

  182. Donna May 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Thanks Andy. Although I kinda like being considered the single cause of the decline of all of society. I’m giddy with power. Let’s what what other havoc I can wreck in society from my little island in the South Pacific.

  183. Really Bad Mum May 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I agree with you Donna, we are at the ” choose your arguments” stage with 13 year old ” Princess Bitchface”

  184. Charles May 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Jenn, this is NOT the board for these type of arguments. Parents here set a very LOW line for standards. But you know what is right and I completely agree with you and hope you will continue to give your kids a childhood and not rush them into adulthood by allowing them to view, listen to, and read about so many adult topics/situations. Kudos to you for standing up for what is right and protecting their innocence. That used to be considered good parenting (Ironically in the days where everyone was free range this was considered good parenting.) It still is considered good parenting in many places. But not on here. Kids=mini Adults on this site. :/

  185. Really Bad Mum May 17, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    @ Charles…. who the hell do you think you are? How dare you come here with your self righteous, pompous comments about people who you don’t even know. Maybe you should lift your standards and start teaching your kids how to become functional members of society so my kids don’t have to spend their lives looking after useless adults thanks to people like you…… get over ya self mate!

  186. Charles May 17, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    @Really Bad Mum, I have already raised my children. They are all 5 happily married with kids of their own. They are all actively involved in their communities and churches. They are all financially secure with no debt – except for mortgages. They do not need looking after at all. They are actually looking after a lot of poor, unfortunate folks through volunteering in various aspects through their church and communities. And they are doing a fine job raising my grandkids in the much the same manner they were raised. 🙂

  187. Really Bad Mum May 18, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    So how do you know my kids aren’t being raised in a happy, healthy, safe free range way? just different to your way? Doesn’t the bible say something about not judging unless ur God or what ever? My standards are most propbably higher then yours as I expect more then marriage ( which i don’t believe in ) and kids for my children.. I also expect them to learn from their mistakes and accept the consequences of their actions….
    p.s we are also debt free and we are raising our kids as we where raised,

  188. Charles May 18, 2012 at 1:41 am #

    I never said your kids weren’t healthy, happy, or safe. I also never said that I don’t expect my kids to take responsibility for their mistakes. We have taught that from day one. We made sure they took responsibility from the time they were teeny tiny for the mistakes they made and so by the time they were older they knew how to make good choices and I don’t believe any of them ever had any really bad experiences come from making any major mistakes, thankfully. They’ve all been good kids and are now good citizens who are actively involved with serving others. I was just saying from the viewpoint of an old man who’s been around many years that parents today have lowered their standards and values significantly. So it’s nice to see some who choose to raise their kids with the good old fashioned values of times past. I wasn’t judging any one person on here, and I’m sorry if you thought I was. I do apologize for the miscommunication. I was speaking of folks and society in general. I was also speaking of the group in general on here, as well. Simply from facts others have voluntarily offered, (including swear words in some of their conversations), it is a simple deduction that not everyone believes in the same level of standards that Jenn and some others on here have. That is not judgement, but simply a factual observation. As an extreme example, I’m pretty sure all of us on here can agree that a serial killer has lower standards than we do. We would not go around torturing and killing others. We can all agree that is wrong. Should we all say that killer is going to hell? No, that would be judging. God is merciful and only He knows that person’s life and circumstances. But it is acceptable to look at a serial killer and say to ourselves, “That is wrong. He should not do that and neither should I.” That is an example of righteous judgement, that is mentioned in the Bible.

  189. Really Bad Mum May 18, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    @ Charles, i understand what your saying and agree with alot of your last post…. Everybody has a different standard that they live to. I take it ur in the US, we are in Australia, so we would have different view to start with…. ( I swear all the time, ) but my kids don’t swear around me because I taught them that only adults can and only when ur at home or around friends they actually tell me off for swearing… my kids listen to eminem, LMFAO, AC/DC etc, they know it’s just a song they know not to sing it in public, my 7 year old asked what a condom was because of an ad on the radio i told him i’ll tell him when he’s older and he replied ” oh coz I won’t understand yet” …. he would actually understand coz he knows sex ed that i’ve told him, but I was driving and trying not to laugh at him… my 13 year old dresses like a skank most of the time but she’s the one that looks like an idiot so doesn’t worry me ( ya can’t see her rude bits ) and the fashion will change…
    Most – not all – free range parents take the time to explain stuff to the kids before they let them do stuff and also the consequences of their actions.. we teach them. I think you where thinking of the minority- people who neglect their kids – thats not free range thats child abuse…
    🙂

  190. Jenn May 18, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    @Really Bad Mum: ” why is it ok for these little girls to play mummy with their dolls? OMFG sexualization! you need to have SEX to have a baby…”

    FYI you can get pregnant without having sex.
    I’m not sure what this comment has to do about wearing army clothing. Are you trying to refer to gender stereotyping of children’s play? I have children of both genders and they play equally with dolls, barbies, Lego, superheroes, cars, etc., My son has transformed his barbie into a super hero while my daughter is a tutu-wearing construction worker.

    Your comments that your ’13 year old dresses like a skank’ and is ‘Princess Bitchface’ are judgements. So apparently you’re just like me! I’m sure many of us look back at how we dressed at that age and shudder. My kids are still young enough that I can control what they wear by not allowing particular clothing items into our home. One clothing choice that we avoid is army gear. When my son was born a family friend gave him a complete army fatigue outfit and it made me uncomfortable. Why is a baby being dressed to kill? It made me rethink how I see the world. Is it necessary to have children surrounded by images of violence? Army clothing as mainstream wear grew out of a culture that viewed fighting as fun, exciting and cool. Do my kids play fight? Absolutely! And I don’t step in either! They can learn negotiation skills, strength and how to lose (I have written a magazine article about the power of play fighting). But I draw the line at letting my kids think that going to war and fighting is fun. It is not fun. People get hurt. We have friends and family with military backgrounds and they also agree with my view that having young children wear army clothing sends kids the wrong message about war. I’d rather my kids grow up with the message that they have a responsibility to be peace keepers.

    You say that most free range parents discuss things with their kids before they let them do things but you refused to talk with your 7 year old about condoms when he was asking about them. 7 may seem young to discuss condoms but there are kids who haven’t reached puberty yet with an STI.

  191. Jenn May 18, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    @Charles -Thank you for your support. I know that I am not a perfect parent but I’m trying my best. I hope my kids turn out as well as your children have: happy, successful and respected adults in their community. We let them still be kids but also give them opportunities for independence and responsibility. I feel my parents did a decent job of raising me (they made many mistakes) but we have a great relationship despite the bumps. I anticipate many bumps with my kids but I think if I put in the effort and time now, it should come back ten-fold down the road. Perhaps I’ll be so lucky that my kids will want to help look after me in my old age!

  192. Jenn May 18, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    @ Donna and Andy: Sarcasm, people sarcasm. Just further supports my argument that kids don’t understand what they’re reading.

  193. Andy May 18, 2012 at 3:12 am #

    @Charles are you so polite and unoffensive and rational in real life discussions too?

    @Jenn which part was sarcasm? The text does not transfer emotions too well. How does me not getting that you are joking relates to kids ability to read? If it was an attempt to offend us, then stop trolling please.

    I may have lower standards on what my kids are allowed to read or watch, but I would not allow them to discuss the way you do in this thread. Not on the internet, not towards other kids and not towards adults. Resorting to personal attacks and exaggerations is unethical, unpolite, and ineffective.

  194. Jenn May 18, 2012 at 3:33 am #

    @Andy: I have not attacked you nor anyone on here personally. I have stated what I do or don’t allow my children to do. Some people are reading into my posts as a personal attack on their values. I don’t view your values as immoral but as different than mine. Just because I have a different point of view, it does not mean that I am attacking you.

    I should have references my comment referring to sarcasm. When I stated that Donna was responsible for the declination of society I was using sarcasm. Not trying to offend you but if adults can’t read to understand then how can you expect kids to?

    FYI the word is impolite. How about telling off Really Bad Mum now for swearing at posters? That is quite impolite. But is it because she supports your argument that she is exempt from `your standards’ of appropriate conduct? Is there an appropriate way that we as humans should conduct ourselves? Sounds like the position I had in regards to what books kids should read, songs they should sing, and clothes they should wear. Black kettle there???

  195. Really Bad Mum May 18, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    @ Jenn…. She’s my daughter so I’ll say what I god damn want to say about her. And the army clothes well after all the Australian Army has done I couldn’t think of anything better for my boy to wear… the condom thing was funny… he was happy with my answer and next time he asks i’ll explain it more to him… he is only 7 so his sex ed is age appropriate for a 7 year old- the basics. I didn’t refuse to talk about it I was driving, trying not to laugh and I defered the discussion.
    back to the original topic, it was a song some kids understand the words some don’t, kids don’t usually give a crap till some adult makes a big deal of it… you never get the full /right story in the press so who knows what was really going on. and no I’m not like you in any way…

  196. Jenn May 18, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    @ Really Bad Mum -I agree that there is a lot the military has done for peacekeeping efforts. I just like to show my support in a different way with my children. They wear a poppy at Remembrance Day and we have joined the Highway of Heroes procession for fallen soldiers. I’m not against what the military has done but how the perception of war has become glamorized by pop culture (For example, pink army fatigues. How are you supposed to be camouflaged in war with pink fatigues? Maybe if you were in cognito with flamingos or in Barbie’s mansion but I don’t see the military suiting up their troops in pink camo.)

    I agree with you that some kids understand the words and some kids don’t. That’s why I fell it’s important for parents from both sides to discuss with their kids what the lyrics mean. I didn’t say that it should be banned from kid’s listening ears (my own child has heard the song and sang it) but that we should try as parents to monitor what they are exposed to.

  197. Really Bad Mum May 18, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    @Jenn tell me off ? Hahaha skip my posts if u don’t like it! Don’t listen to the music if u don’t like it but your opinion doesnt apply for all kids so deal with the responses to your posts or don’t post on this site! And don’t try and say u only meant ur kids coz u said “what kids should” not ” what my kids should”

  198. Arcturus May 18, 2012 at 5:44 am #

    @Jenn.

    Aside from being in a much better mood this time around, (unfortunately I probably let her get away with a lot more that I should have, It was an “interesting” day. but that’s beside the point.) D. said that she had read Hunger Games, as it turned out that most of the class had. When asked specifically, she had said that she did understand it as the rest of the class had also, (the ones who had read it)

    Right now she’s currently reading a Captain Underpants book, but it’s also the end of the year and they can’t check out books from the library anymore. Choices are limited.

    As for the rest of the thread, you have a tendency to ignore information that supports the other poster’s side, or throw red herrings in.

    My question to you is this.

    Why are you still here if it’s obvious there’s such a wide gap in philosophies?

  199. Andy May 18, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    @Jenn “I have stated what I do or don’t allow my children to do. Some people are reading into my posts as a personal attack on their values. I don’t view your values as immoral but as different than mine.”

    The problem is, that it did not sounded this way. Mostly because whenever we disagreed, you equated the previous thing with something even worst. You may not mean it this way, but when we disagree on books, you bring up bullying. When we disagree on songs, you bring up sex or general moral decline of the next generation.

    When we write about kids not being satisfied with what they are supposed to read, you tell us that we either lie or we are not educated enough. When we try to explain that you do not have to understand everything to enjoy a book, your answer is basically “but kids can not understand it fully”.

    The result: people get angry, discussion gets heated.

    “When I stated that Donna was responsible for the declination of society I was using sarcasm.”

    That did not sounded like sarcasm. That sounded like trolling or ridiculous angry name calling. I treated it as such.

    “Not trying to offend you but if adults can’t read to understand then how can you expect kids to?”

    First, it is possible for kids to have better reading abilities than the generation before them. So yes, I can expect them to. Second, maybe we are unable to read and maybe you did not expressed yourself clearly. The suggestion that other people are stupid is usually considered offensive by those other people.

  200. Donna May 18, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Jean – The fact that I didn’t understand your ineffective sarcasm relates to kids reading how? I’ve reread the statement, knowing it’s intended as sarcasm, and I still don’t find it particularly effective sarcasm.

    “I have stated what I do or don’t allow my children to do.”

    If that was ALL you had done, this entire thread would have ended days ago. You’ve consistently and repeatedly said that kids who are allowed to do things that you don’t allow your kids to do “lack parenting.” That these items you’ve banned for your children are inappropriate for ALL children. You’ve said kids who listen to “I’m Sexy and I Know it” are going to grow up to be oversexed harlots. You may honestly believe that you are not being judgmental but every word you type is dripping with it.

  201. Donna May 18, 2012 at 6:13 am #

    Jenn, not Jean.

  202. Andy May 18, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    @Jenn The part about being impolite was a reaction to Charles and the declination of society comment. You meant the declination comment differently, but I did now knew that previously. Charles’s “Parents here set a very LOW line for standards” is a personal attack however you slice it.

    “FYI the word is impolite.”

    OK, sorry for that.

    “How about telling off Really Bad Mum now for swearing at posters? ”

    I’m not planning to be a police for each offensive or swearing post here. But mostly, I mind swear words less then suggestion that we have low standards or we are stupid. One does not make me angry enough to write a comment, other does.

    I’m not native English speaker, so English swear words are just words for me, there is no special emotion or reaction. I did not really read that comment, only scanned through it. It did not had new arguments in it.

  203. EtobicokeMom May 18, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    I propose that you few exchange email addresses and take your personal dispute elsewhere. This is not the place for all these personal attacks. Please and thank you.

  204. frustrated in quebec May 21, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Wow. I am amazed with what I have read here. When my son got in trouble, he had no idea why. He didn’t know what he was saying. We cannot shelter our kids from everything. This song plays everywhere, radio,tv, grocery store and anywhere else that has a set of speakers. It would be nice if we could just tell our kids,”hey, close your ears for a few minutes please.” But we can’t, so for those of you who are soooo judgemental and quick to put blame on someone, think about the last time you or someone you care about got in trouble for something that could not be avoided. At some point, it happens to all of us.

  205. gen July 12, 2012 at 3:42 am #

    Children imitate grown ups. If it’s all right for grown ups why isn’t it all right for children?

    Jackson held his crotch when he sang and danced for young people , baseball players gab their crotch when their audience includes children.

    Children imitate adults and they are confused.

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  207. Miriam August 10, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    miriam so now this little boy in which is 6 years old acting like a 6 year old got suspended for 3 days for singing a song like he really knew what it meant in Denver Co, so my question is? what are they going to do to the gunman in Co, treat him like like he’s 6 and kiss him on the booboo and tell him don’t do it again.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Outrage of the Week: 6-year-old Suspended for Singing Im Sexy & I Know It | newtecnology - May 13, 2012

    […] Hi Readers Feeling sluggish? You can listen to the song below OR just read this piece about a boy in Denver who told a fellow first-grader, Im Sexy and I Know It. The brilliant school administrators defined this as unwelcome sexual advance and promptly suspended the boy for three days. Its enough to make … Read more: http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ […]

  2. Outrage of the Week: 6-year-old Suspended for Singing Im Sexy & I Know It | buyastar - May 13, 2012

    […] Hi Readers Feeling sluggish? You can listen to the song below OR just read this piece about a boy in Denver who told a fellow first-grader, Im Sexy and I Know It. The brilliant school administrators defined this as unwelcome sexual advance and promptly suspended the boy for three days. Its enough to make … Read more: http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ […]