Shocked? Sorry 🙂
Here’s what happened:
I’ve already had ‘The talk’ with Miss Gremlin, she’s got those facts straight, well straight enough for a 9 yo; yeah maybe for a 20 yo, whatever. We have so many strange conversations while we just walk home from school or eye therapy, it’s our girl time. She loves it. I have no problem talking about anything with her, I believe honesty and knowledge is the best policy.
We’ve discussed HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, condoms, sex and puberty and so many other things, when a question comes up I answer it, simple. There’s nothing for me to be embarrassed about and I try not to make it a big deal. It’s always been like that. I was that way with Grand Master D too. He once read a sign on the subway about impotence and I had to answer, that was a fun conversation!
So yesterday on the way home, the subway afforded us a new topic of discussion! One I was hoping to delay for a few years yet but somethings aren’t meant to be. Right there in black and white and yellow was a large ad talking about abortion alternatives. The train was full, it was peak hour. We were sitting across from each other and above my head was the ad. So because she’s curious and always asks questions, she asked me what abortion was. Feeling that was neither the time nor the place for that discussion, I said remind me and I ‘ll tell you later.
The topic was forgotten and we continued on our journey. When we got home she reminded me and in the most age appropriate terms I could, I explained what an abortion was and why it may be necessary. I wasn’t graphic and I didn’t offer opinions as to whether I believe in it or not, that discussion is for when she’s older, luckily she was satisfied and we went on our way.
What pisses me off is that we as parents have to deal with this shit regularly because our kids can read and the subway ads have adult content. I get that this ad may help a woman who feels lost in her situation however I’m not sure the subway cars are the most appropriate places to advertise. Then again maybe it is, we seem to let everything else hang out, why not this?
What do you think? Is the subway an appropriate place for these kinds of ads? How would you handle it if your child asked?
I suppose it did open the door for a discussion better you have with your child than in the schoolyard. However, I agree. I don’t what is going on with ads these days. Anything goes!
Yeah true but that a topic like that even gets on a 9yos radar is pretty sad.
Everything is everywhere. I have to answer questions I don’t want to all the friggin’ time because of what The Tinys see/hear around them.
Last weekend on our weekly 2 hour drive, I had to explain STD’s. :/
Yeah that’s a fun one. I’ve done that! But i think if we can do it right they will be ok. I was just annoyed.
I agree with Starr. Everything is everywhere. I’m like you too, I answer the questions, even the hard ones.
I can’t see any other option! They need to know… fore warned is fore armed and all that crap right? But still I wish it wasn’t EVERYWHERE.
I’ll say this – the subway is just another public space in this city, but it’s a place where people have time to shut out the world and contemplate things. So it may be the only time that a pregnant girl has to herself on the way to or from school or home. There’s a lack of education and family structure in some communities that most of us have never had to deal with and probably can’t imagine.
I guess, actually you are probably right and although it was a curly question it’s not the worst I’ve ever been asked. The impotence one was a beauty, still I would have rather not… but Ce la vie right?
In a way, be thankful for the prompt – better you to explain it than some kid providing misinformation or anti-choice protester with a freaky sign on the street.
I feel so conflicted about this, Molley. My daughter can read now, and it very tuned into her surroundings, and I feel frustrated with ads, commercials, even billboards aren’t “family friendly.” I try to put myself in the shoes of my teenage self, or young adult self, and how irritating it would be if everything I saw or read was geared towards families with young, reading children. But as a parent, I can’t help but feel frustrated.
I agree. It’s so hard. When my son asked what impotence was, that was my first taste…I think there must be something that can be done. We all need to live in the world. It’s sad that children’s innocence is being stolen against their will.
It is frustrating to me that as a society we just let anything be anywhere. Kids have access to it all. But I also get that these public places may be the only chance to share the info with someone. I don’t know what the answer is, but as a result my kids know a lot more than I did at their ages.
Not all kids have involved parents. A sign on a subway may be the only way some kids can get help.
I think it’s great you were able to turn it into a learning experience. As has been pointed out in comments before mine, the options need to be available to young people in places they will be able to see them. And while it’s not ideal to be forced to have the conversation with your child, s/he is gonna pick it up anyway. My 8yo has brought home some questions I’m not entirely comfortable with, and it wasn’t anything picked up from a subway, but from her classmates! I guess the best we can say is, whether we like it or not, the problems are here to stay, and it’s how we deal with them that defines our character. You are doing a great job by being accessible to your kids, and they will thank you for your honesty as they get older. I can attest to this, as my almost 20yo adult son approaches me with topics for discussion that I could never imagine having had with my own parents. When you know your kids can trust you, you’re doing something right as a parent! Great job! 🙂
Thanks Andi, it’s all we can do I think.
I think it’s a vicious cycle. I have explained things to my 10 year old daughter that I didn’t know about until high school because it is in front of her and I can’t avoid it. But, because that kind of stuff is everywhere and kids know so much about it, we need those ads to reach the kids who don’t have the guidance that I hope I am giving my daughter. Does that make any sense?? It is very frustrating.
yes it makes total sense! I know I wasn’t learning about abortions and impotence at 9. I’m not sure it’s better but it is where we are in the world.
It is sad that those ads are every where. I realize women want choices but there are couples out there longing for a child to take care of. I think it is better that children know the truth behind the ad. Thank you for sharing.
I think it’s awesome you talk openly with your kids. We do too. I’m not sure how I feel about the ads in the subways as we live in a semi small city and in order to get on the lightrail we have to travel into the cities a ways (Minneapolis/St.Paul). The thing we currently fight with are bill board ads. But my second youngest is teaching the pre-k kid to read so I’m sure these questions will come up. I like the idea of information out there for adults but at the cost of a child’s innocence….I’m not sure. I’m very much for freedom of speech, thought, and action so this is truly conflicting to me!!!!