twitter facebook stumble upon rss

My 4-Year-Old Is NOT a Sexual Predator

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Are we taking our quest for safety a bit too far?

girls hugging

Jeanne Sager: I could hear the clucking across the playground. The tsk, tsk of a judgmental older woman made my eardrums ache, the hissing sound like a rattler ready to strike.

And she did, even as I pushed my 4-year-old toward the parking lot in desperation to avoid the confrontation that I knew was coming.

I wasn't angry at my 4-year-old.

All she'd done, after all, was throw her arms around a little boy in her swimming class and kiss him. Full on the lips. "Goodbye, Dylan (name changed to protect the not-so-sexually-harassed)!"

She was so happy, she was skipping, bubbling over with the pride of putting her face underwater. "I did ten bobs, Mommy! And did you see who's in my class? Did you see, did you?"

I saw. And I heard, too. Her joy at seeing a friend, and the sexualizing of an innocent gesture by a 4-year-old child. A gesture that earned me a warning by an unknown woman that I had "best get a handle on my child before someone thinks the wrong thing."

Too late. Because as this woman was warning me that I could be staring down the barrel of a lawsuit, she'd made it clear that she saw merit to the claims against toddlers across the country.

By giving credence to the theory that innocent actions should be stamped out lest a litigious-minded individual kick things into gear, she proved why these lawsuits are successful. Kids aren't kids anymore. They're money waiting to be made in the form of warning shots to the parental establishment: Keep your kids in line, or else.

What happened to the words "frivolous lawsuit"? As one lawyer I know has told me many times: "People can bring a lawsuit for anything. It doesn't mean the suit is with merit."

Why then are we living scared?

The sexual harassment allegations against preschoolers, the suspensions of kids my daughter's age -- and sometimes younger -- have no doubt grown. According to an ABC News report last summer, "166 elementary students were suspended in Maryland [in 2007] for sexual harassment, including three preschoolers, 16 kindergartners, and 22 first-graders. In Virginia, 255 elementary students were suspended for offensive sexual touching [in 2007] as well."

The allegations have become no less newsworthy as they've become more frequent. That's the good news: they read as headlines best linked with the letters WTF or OMG.

A sampling of responses to the story of a 4-year-old who was put into an in-school suspension for hugging a teacher's aide in Texas in 2006 included indignant letters to the principal and a prescription for a "swift kick up the pants" for the "prudish and ridiculous attitude towards an affectionate toddler" by the aide.

But read on, and the fearmongers drop in with this tidbit: "You can't be too careful these days, with everyone being lawsuit happy. What if she didn't document the incident and the child did something even worse down the road?"

To borrow a phrase from the post 9/11 world: if we don't stop the kids from hugging, we let the litigious win.

Or is it the other way around? Hasn't the woman who "tsk, tsked" at my daughter for an innocent smooch on her buddy's mouth just allowed those who would bring a lawsuit to force the innocence from her young lips?

To ignore the fact that there are young children committing true sexual crimes is irresponsible. Justice Department statistics have shown the age of people charged with sexually-based offenses is trending downward, and the Safer Society reported that the number of sexually-based treatment programs for kids under twelve has been growing since the late eighties from none to more than four hundred as of 2002. Forty percent of sexual crimes committed against kids under 6 were committed by other kids. Unfortunately, these same groups have been able to link past abuse in many of the children who are now abusing others.

But compare the 33,000 kids under 18 accused of forcible rape, violent and nonviolent sexual offenses in 2004 with U.S. Census figures showing more than 73 million kids under 18. That's less than one percent of the juvenile population committing some sort of sexual act, no matter how heinous.

And for this we put the kibosh on hugging in high schools lest someone say that a teen girl or boy was inappropriately touched at an awkward age when they crave touch the way I craved grease during my pregnancy. And we hiss at little girls overcome with happiness to see a nursery school friend in a summer swim class.

Fortunately, her ears were still a bit water-logged.





62 comments so far | Post a comment now
shero January 26, 2011, 11:34 PM

Organisms necessary for growth and metabolism of trace organic compounds. Divided into two types of fat-soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins. The former includes vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, etc. And you can learn benefits of vitamin

sim so dep January 27, 2011, 4:48 AM

Please inform me it labored proper? I dont need to sumit it again if i shouldn’t have to! Both the weblog glitced out or i’m an fool, the second possibility doesnt surprise me lol. thanks for an excellent weblog! Anyway, in my language, there aren’t a lot good source like this.

RichRAQUEL January 28, 2011, 10:43 AM

Do you have got kind of hard essay to compose and do not realize what to do? Understand that confussion should not be your friend. You should better build relations with essay writing services uk. It will aid you to build a career.

NevaCarlson January 30, 2011, 11:35 PM

Scholars have to handle the dissertation just about this topic properly, because they will need it a buy dissertation service in future.

MoralesMalinda21 February 1, 2011, 12:36 AM

According to the suggestions of specialists, not professional students should better buy custom research papers rather than create research papers by their own. Qualified support is an essential stuff!

Jack Peterson  February 1, 2011, 7:19 AM

Great article! Very interesting and well written. I’ll bookmark it and read it again. Term Papers Services UK Thanks and keep up the great work.

CarolineLEACH34 February 3, 2011, 12:41 AM

You should not sit doing nothing! Your purpose is a successful career building. Thence, what are you waiting for? Purchase, custom papers at the essay service and solemnize your wining.

Burnett30Luella February 3, 2011, 1:14 AM

Are you acknowledged of who is good in academic papers writing. If you don’t know, then I can tell you that writing services is qualified enough to provide you with high quality papers.

Janelle Stirgus February 9, 2011, 2:39 PM

You need to take part in a contest for among the finest blogs on the web. I will recommend this website!

Jenny  February 15, 2011, 12:40 AM

The picture is so cute.
Plumber Hertford

Janett Silberstein February 28, 2011, 12:27 PM

Salutation there, This forgiving of web webpage is real glamourous and enjoyment to examine. I’m a immense champion from the collection mentioned. I also goodness from learning the opinions, but uncover that alot of fill ought to remain on essay to try and add worth in the itinerary of the daring weblog promulgation. I’d also exhort each and every man or class to construe line of this web tender for a reason to service disparity the pretending.

Euna Begay February 28, 2011, 10:32 PM

This is a journal that is easily put . Most of them you see out there don’t person any worthwhile clean noesis on their parcel. Thank you for take and laconic details.

Eveline March 7, 2011, 2:25 AM

Want to get professional custom essay writing help? Just contact us.

kidtoygo.com March 8, 2011, 9:26 PM

You need to participate in a contest for probably the greatest blogs on the web. I’ll advocate this site!

Fern Weedman March 19, 2011, 4:28 AM

Tremendous Post. Seriously it will assist good deal of many people now. Thanks for your post.

ValeriGuiberteau March 20, 2011, 8:49 PM

wonderful content,,vrey instructive

Marlena Rightmire March 24, 2011, 5:52 PM

wow.. it’s instructive.. and move me any roll to act my use.. absolutely encouraging.. you real much

MP3 players for kids March 28, 2011, 3:30 PM

Precisely what some really good music players for kids? My cousin is 5 years of age and for christmas I’d prefer to buy her a ipod, she loves my nano but I think it would difficult for her to work with it. Are there a bit of good ones for kids?

Ross Swefford March 28, 2011, 7:38 PM

Hello.This article was really motivating, particularly since I was investigating for thoughts on this topic last Monday.

The Ultimate Reiki Package April 3, 2011, 2:02 PM

I like this information given and it has given me some sort of commitment to succeed for some reason, so keep up the good work.


Back to top >>
advertisement