Other People's Kids, Writing

Don’t Have Sex & Other Things I Tell Kids

Relationships are for Adults. Don’t have sex; it will ruin your life.

The left side of her face was steaming. You could outline my handprint from my thumb to my pinky. She held her cheek, recovering from the trauma. I had just slapped the nonsense out of her and I wasn’t apologizing for it either. Before you judge my cruelty to children, I need you to read how this event came to be.

The occurrence was a set up. I asked her a series of questions and I told her to be truthful or she was going to get hurt. Either way she was going to get hurt.

The guilty party: Ashley.
The crime: having a boyfriend before she was old enough to vote or drink.

The location of the incident was the same place we always had our discussions, at the dinner table. Ashley shot me a look of awe. She didn’t see it coming and that’s the best type of slap to give.

I recalled how the slap was set into motion. I was cleaning their room, a tasked I had previously assigned to them and they had neglected to do so. Had they cleaned their room, I wouldn’t have found the evidence of the crime, but that’s neither here nor there. The device was a cellular phone, one that I wasn’t too fond of but their mother kept for emergencies. In the phone was a slew of text messages from Ashley to a young lady in her class. Ashley was asking the girl silly class questions until the subject of a break up occurred. Ashley wanted to know why her ex broke up with her because it was making her sad. I paused to myself. I thought of many other reasons why a twelve year was sad but heartache shouldn’t be one of them. I fished for more information and my informant, Eli, had precisely what I was looking for.

“Come here, godchild,” I spoke to Eli as he played with his colorful toy cars of the ground. He nodded in my general direction. The thing about seven year olds who go to school with their older siblings means that you become everyone’s informant. He just as eager as me to see what I was in search for.

“Ashley has a boyfriend,” Eli blurted out after a series of question.

“I saw them in gym holding hands. She was um, riding on his back,” He noted. Hmm….a piggy-back ride, I noted in my mind. A piggy-back ride in Gym Class instead of listening to the teacher. Interesting.

Ashley’s grades weren’t as amazing as you would think. Even in Gym she had a “B” and now I knew why. A boyfriend was the distraction and she could barely brush her teeth in the morning let alone own a boyfriend.

I had her up against the wall, prompting her questions and curve balls of suggestions. I asked her to recall the talk we had about owning a “boyfriend”. I recalled her father and I telling her no. I heard it, we agreed on it…should I have had her sign it in blood?

Dating meant distraction from studies, intimacy, understanding of the opposite gender, kissing, and soon pressure more than just kissing…sex. I felt allowing dating was allowing all those things into a child’s psyche when she could barely spell the word “psyche”. Afterall, dating was trying to find a suitable mate and mating meant sex. Sex meant possible baby and more responsibilities when she couldn’t even clean her room.

And not just sex…what about intimacy? Does Ashley know what it took to maintain a relationship. It was clear as day that the young man had broke up with her. This was a situation that would force her to re-evaluate her self-esteem and how she valued herself.

“How long were you guys been ‘dating’,” I asked Ashley. At that point, she had nothing to lose.

“Three months,” she concluded, flinching with her eyes closed.

I pressed my lips together, sat in front of her, and had an open and honest talk with her. She was too young for dating and she was too damn young to think that her whole life would end if she waited for the right time to have a boyfriend.

I told I was glad we talked. I explained to her that she didn’t get slapped for having a boyfriend. She got slapped because she asked for one and got told ‘no’ but she did it anyway. That kind of behavior wasn’t going to be tolerated. If she was mature enough for dating, she would have known that. I left the discussion opened. Her father talked to her too. It’s one thing to watch over kids, mentor them, raise them, and hope for the best. It was another to teach them to make the right decisions that will allow them to mature, grow, all while making their own mistakes.

…Also I made her promise not to have sex until she was at least 100.

Kidding.

We agreed on 99.

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