“Mumma, What Is A Girlfriend?” A 7 Year-Old Asked His Mother?

Curiosity about private parts and intimacy is natural, and it happens to individuals at respective times. Some children might get it early, the others might get it late.

TW: Mention of kiss between children without consent and bullying 

“Stop kissing me, go away!” Said tender, 7.5-year-old Ahaan.

Ritu failed to understand this rage in his behaviour. The daily routine involved bathing him, dressing him up, off late Ahaan insisted on doing everything on his own. Kids’ grow up and changes in their behaviour do happen, but the transition is smooth, and happens mutually and not with rage.

Ritu tried to be patient and calm, a sensitive mom was hurt and was missing the warmth and closeness of her child, but she had to stay collected till she could find the reason behind it.

The next day, Ritu was reading a bedtime story to Ahaan, which was also a part of the routine. Suddenly she noticed a wet pillow. All the while Ahaan kept sobbing, Ritu was so deeply engrossed in the story, she realized it only when she accidentally touched the wet pillow. She hugged Ahaan and tried to pacify him. It would be one of his emotional outbursts, she assumed.

What is a girlfriend?

After he sipped water, Ahaan asked, “Mumma, what is a girlfriend?” Surprised, Ritu, smiled and asked, “What happened, why are you asking that?”

“Amey, my friend kissed me forcibly in front of all boys in the washroom and since then everyone is teasing me. They say I am his girlfriend.” His eyes were wet again.

Ritu wiped his tears and calmly said, “A girl, who is also a friend, is a girlfriend. But you are a boy, tell them you are his boyfriend.”

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“But Mumma, he always accompanies me in the washroom. He even insists on showing my bum.” Sadly Ahaan shared.

“Tell him mine is the same as yours, see your own. I won’t show mine.” Ritu very firmly said that.

The next day Ahaan went to school, all the time Ritu kept thinking about how she should prepare Ahaan to tackle situations like these.

“This over-sensitive boy always goes into a shell after incidents like these. His playful behaviour and outspoken nature go for a toss. The innocence he carries right now will fade away with time, but that time is not now. Any external circumstance should not snatch it away, it should happen naturally and organically without any tempering. I think I should reach out to the school authorities.” She keeps murmuring to herself!

Ritu dresses up and goes to school after sending Ahaan. The class teacher is occupied in a class, and Ritu does not get a chance to speak to her. She meets the Vice-principal and shares everything with the name of the other child. She listens to the whole matter patiently and advises Ritu to be strong in front of Ahaan. She also appreciates his courage of sharing instead of tolerating and immediately visits the class and addresses the issue.

Ahaan comes home and informs Ritu about the vice principal’s visit. A week later, he reported an increase in the frequency of her visits to his class. Things started getting better, however, Ritu had all her ears for Ahaan and that was reaping the habit of victimizing.

Teach kids how to draw boundaries and ask for help immediately when they feel unsafe

Ritu observed it was time, she needed to draw a boundary. Because not everything Ahaan was saying was true, she knew. She made him understand reporting the issue to the teacher then and there, instead of waiting to reach home and telling them to her; she also to dealt with them in his way if possible.

With the internet being an open source, kids have easy access even to uncensored content. The kids have survived a Pandemic. More than their physical health, during these two years, they have been exposed to things they otherwise would not be, at an early age at least.

The curiosity about private parts and intimacy is natural, and it happens to individuals at respective times. One might get it early, the other might get it late.

What is important is to have an open conversation about it instead of suppressing their thoughts. Otherwise, it is someone else who they use to feed their curiosity.

Click here on how to discuss child sexual abuse with your children.

Image source: peoplesimages.com free and edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Nilshree Damani Yelulkar

A mother, homemaker, self-published author, founder, and podcast host at Authoropod. read more...

28 Posts | 16,575 Views

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