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    jenniepepsi's Avatar
    jenniepepsi Posts: 4,042, Reputation: 533
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    #1

    Mar 23, 2011, 05:30 PM
    Teaching our children about abuse
    Ayla has a girl in class, who was removed from her parents and taken to foster care because her father was beating her BADLY. Now ayla has a lot of questions and I'm trying to be honest with her, but her autism isn't helping. She isn't understanding or making the connection.

    I was thinking about using a visual aide in the form of a movie. Obviously not ADULT movies that would frighten her.

    But I was thinking about the movie "radio flyer" I remember it from when I was younger, and its from a child's point of view, and it is not too violent or frightening, and has a happy ending with the child getting away from his father.

    Do you think this would be apropriet to help her understand what I mean when her classmates father is mean to her and hurts her? Or would it frustrate her more?

    She is 7 and autistic, mental function is around 4 or 5 years old.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #2

    Mar 23, 2011, 06:06 PM

    Simple question "why"
    Is their a reason you need to be in detail with visual aids if she is at a 4 year old level.
    jenniepepsi's Avatar
    jenniepepsi Posts: 4,042, Reputation: 533
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    #3

    Mar 23, 2011, 06:55 PM

    She wants so bad to understand, I guess I'm a little weak in that area, I have a hard time saying 'you don't need to know' when she really wants to know something.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #4

    Mar 23, 2011, 07:50 PM

    I agree with Chuck. If she is on a 4 year old level there is no need for her to know this in that much detail.

    All she needs to know is that sometimes adults hurt children. It's not the right thing to do and if anyone ever hurts her she is to tell you or her teacher. Period. Sweet, simple and to the point.
    jenniepepsi's Avatar
    jenniepepsi Posts: 4,042, Reputation: 533
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    #5

    Mar 23, 2011, 08:18 PM

    Thanks guys. I won't go into it anymore than that. And ill work on the hard time I have not explaining too much to her.
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #6

    Mar 23, 2011, 08:24 PM

    I think in this situation that a lot of questions can be answered, "Honey, I'm sorry, I just don't know." I don't feel that it serves any purpose to go into details at this age and stage of the game, autistic or not.

    Hugs, Didi
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,299, Reputation: 5645
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    #7

    Mar 23, 2011, 08:34 PM

    Jennie, by going into it too deeply you could actually harm her rather than help her. While it's great to answer questions when our children are asking, something's are better left until they are older and more mature.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #8

    Mar 23, 2011, 09:33 PM

    Jennie, I'm going to tell you why I also think it's a bad idea.

    If she came home and told you that one of her friends was being molested, would you go into detail about that, find a movie where the child is molested so you can explain?

    There are certain things kids just don't need to know. Yes, she should know that being hit, or treated badly, or someone touching you in a bad way is not right, but there's really no need to go into detail.

    The world is scary enough without our kids having graphic knowledge about every nasty thing that happens.
    jenniepepsi's Avatar
    jenniepepsi Posts: 4,042, Reputation: 533
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    #9

    Mar 23, 2011, 10:04 PM

    Thanks guys. Your right I didn't consider all of that. I find it hard cause when I say 'i don't know' she says 'yes you do know! ' and gets all upset. I know I shouldn't let it get to me. But it does. Ill bring it up with my psychiatrist too, see what the reason is I find it so hard not to tell her everything. I don't want her growing up as my 'friend' I want to be her mother. And I got to make sure it do it right. I don't want to be the mother who tells her kids all the details about all things that kids don't need to know.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #10

    Mar 23, 2011, 10:16 PM

    You're doing a great job Jennie. You ask questions when you're not sure, that's a sign of a very good mother. Don't be so hard on yourself.

    Raising kids isn't easy. No one has all the answers. I can pretty much guarantee you that at one time or another we'll make the wrong decision with our kids. It's bound to happen, we're only human after all. :)
    jenniepepsi's Avatar
    jenniepepsi Posts: 4,042, Reputation: 533
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    #11

    Mar 23, 2011, 10:45 PM

    Thanks alty. When she was younger I had to work with the psychiatrist and psychologist ayla was seeing because I was going over the top with the 'good touch bad touch' issue. If I had gotten sex education earlier than 11 years old, I would not gotten raped, and I don't want that to happen to my daughter. And the docs said that was great, and it was a good idea, but I was bringing up the good touch bad touch conversation all the time, and they said it was only a matter of time before she became OVER anxious and obsessed with it. I also let her know too much as far as our financials. She even told the teacher 'we can't go to the fund raiser cause were poor' :( :( I stopped doing that too, she doesn't need to know hw much money we have (or don't have)

    I've been trying to make sure I don't shelter her too much, but end up going too far. I'm still working on it.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
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    #12

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:14 PM

    My rule of thumb is to make things kid appropriate. If they don't pay the bills, they don't need to know how much money we have. They do know about money, what things cost, and I do give them responsibility with money so they'll learn, but they don't need to be stressed about our financial situation, good or bad.

    When it comes to good touch bad touch, it's simple. I've always told my kids that any time they're uncomfortable with the way someone is treating them, or touching them, then that's something I need to be told. They've been really good about it.

    I was molested as a child, by my cousin, from the time I was 5 for many years. My kids will never know about that. That's not something they need to be told.

    Whenever you're faced with a dilemma about how much info to give, remember that Ayla is a child. Keep it child appropriate. Sex education is fine, but keep it kid appropriate, wait for her to ask the questions, but don't think that just because she asked that you have to go into great detail about everything from the g-spot to how to give oral sex. There's a time and place for everything, and there are some things that they just don't need to know and we hope they never have to experience them. :)
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,894, Reputation: 5430
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    #13

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:30 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Altenweg View Post
    Whenever you're faced with a dilemma about how much info to give
    Reminds me of a story. One day out of the blue, Little Joey asked his dad, "Where am I from?"

    Dad blushed and realized the moment he had been dreading had finally arrived.

    "Well, let's sit down, and I will tell you." For the next hour, he dazzled Little Joey with stories about the birds and the bees plus drawings and a very detailed explanation of conception and birth. Finally, Dad said, 'Well, that's the whole story. Do you have any questions?"

    Little Joey sighed. "Miss Smith asked us in geography class today what town and state we were born in, and I didn't know."
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #14

    Mar 24, 2011, 06:40 AM

    Jennie, Alty is right. We all make mistakes, that's what makes us human after all! :) I know my kids tell me that I made MANY mistakes raising them! Hahaha! The best thing to do is do your best and when you aren't sure to speak to others, get their opinions and then form your own, based upon what other people say and what fits for you. I know it's difficult to find a healthy balance in what to share and not share with a child. I adopted/raised a child from age 4 who had been severely abused (mentally, physically & sexually) by her birth parents). I had to fight the parts in me that wanted to explain everything away similar to what you are experiencing. Sometimes it is a fine line and you just have to trust your instincts. I wonder if the doctor/psychiatrist has any recommended reading material for you that might help you determine how much to share? They may even be able to recommend books you can read to your daughter. The thing is, don't give her so much information that she knows more than children her age. Keep it simple and as I said before, don't be afraid to say I don't know, or that's something you can learn more about when you are an adult. It does sound like you are doing a great job raising her and I think it is a great idea to have a sounding board or brain storming session (here or elsewhere) when you aren't sure.

    Hugs, Didi
    grammadidi's Avatar
    grammadidi Posts: 1,182, Reputation: 468
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    #15

    Mar 24, 2011, 06:54 AM

    Oh, and in regards to your specific situation, it would really depend upon what she already knows. If she knows the child's daddy wasn't good to her & wants to know why then you can say that some parents are very good at being mommies and daddies, but some didn't learn enough before they had kids. If she just knows that the child isn't living with her parents then you can say that sometimes some kids have to live with other people if their parents are having a really bad time and need some help (or something like that). You can also turn the tables and use this as a tool for you. When she asks a question turn the tables and say, "I really don't know sweetie, what do you think?" or "What does your friend say about it?" etc. Then you will probably learn her misconceptions and fears and it opens the door to talk about them, instead of the situation at hand. In other words, by listening to her you can encourage her to talk to you rather than you always being the information giver.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.

    Warm hugs,
    Didi

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