A few days ago I was over at my sisters visiting. My sis "J" was noticeably so I asked her if she was ok…what she proceeded to tell me completely floored me.
My niece, my little 9 year old niece that I love to bits and have lived with for 5 years on and off helping to raise, well she has a journal and lately J has been having an odd feeling so on a whim when she was up in her room putting laundry away upon seeing her journal laying on her desk….she read it.
Now I do not agree with her reading it at all...that's something very personal and yes even though my niece is only 9 it's still personal….but.
What she found in there warranted some concern…scratch that….A LOT of concern!
My little niece has this boy who likes her and of course she's crushing right back…..turns out this little boy has commented that he wants to have sex with her. That's right... SEX!!!! J told me this and I swear to god my heart stopped.
When my sis and I were growing up we were raised in a very religious house…very religious, plus my mom was in a serious car accident when I was quite young, one that resulted in her having brain damage that made her acting like an actual mom fairly impossible. I didn't learn about sex until I was 15…and that was from romance books..and I didn't even have sex until I was almost 25, not for lack of opportunity but because I consider it something special. I was also very inappropriately touched when I was young throughout my teen years by extended family members, "friends" of the family and boys at school..and I had NO idea what was really going on. I knew it was wrong but that was it.
J and I had had numerous chats before she had kids and she had told me she was going to start having the body talk, inappropriate touching and sex talk early. So when she told me that my niece had written this I asked her if they had already had "the talks"…..and I couldn't believe it when she said no….and even more concerned when she expressed…almost disgust…at the thought of having to have the sex talk with her 9 year old. I think, mostly with the fact that she thinks , as I do, that 9 is WAY too early to even be thinking of sex.
Am I out of line to be concerned? I just don't understand how she could have waited for so long. Girls are starting to become sexually active so much earlier then when I was a kid and seriously..I am only 27!! When I have kids..boys included..I plan on talking to them as soon as they can talk. Of course not the whole adult explanation but things they CAN understand, such as that their bodies are private and special, bad touches, good touches. I don't want my kids to learn about sex and their bodies from their "friends", I want them to be able to come to me and talk to me about anything…about any concerns or questions, no matter what.
I'm now also concerned that my niece will hide even more from my sister. They have such clashing personalities that they don't always get along and it's getting worse as my niece gets older. She knows she can come to me and talk to me about anything but my sis doesn't like me to "interfere" as I'm not her mother.
J talked to my niece after she read her journal and it turns out the boy didn't tell my niece this directly but was talking to some of his friends who then told my niece. But now also..my niece knows that J read her journal….what if she stops writing in it? I don't know what I would have done..would I have read the journal and then talked to my niece in a roundabout way? Would I have admitted to it? Or would I have just sat her down and had the talk without admitting to knowing anything?
I don't know what to do….I'm just so worried. I want to talk to my niece but I don't want to overstep my boundaries. I am not her mom and I know this…I know it's not my place. My sis is a wonderful mom, she really is but I think this is just really uncharted territory.
So what do I do? Do I talk to my sis and ask her if they've had the talk? Do I talk to my niece? Do I just let her know if she has any questions that she can talk to me? Do I then relay her questions to my sis? I've encouraged her numerous times before to talk to her parents if she has any questions at all and I know she does sometimes.
I am not looking forward to being a mom when it comes to this….can't we keep them little forever???