Saturday, 9 May 2009

Words of Wisdom from a Six Year Old

At breakfast today, L looked up from her bowl of porridge - all just-out-of-bed mad professor hair, dark round eyes and freckles - and said, from nowhere:

"Cool girls that think they're cool go out with boys with guns in their pockets and hoods up". She added, as an afterthought, "And skateboards".

Is she right? Is this really what we have become? If this is what a six year old who watches Peppa Pig and Charlie and Lola perceives, then Houston, I think we have a problem.

15 comments:

Cait O'Connor said...

Yes it is worrying but we can only try and look on the bright side and show our childern how to do the same I guess.
Thanks for calling by at my blog and leaving such thoughtful comments. I am sorry that we both share similar feelings of lack of family knowledge. We lived for ten years near Billingshurst but only 50 yards into West Sussex so it was more like Surrey really.

Maddie Grigg said...

Where on earth did she get that from? She can't really THINK it, she must have picked it up from somewhere while you weren't looking.

elizabethm said...

Amazing that she has picked this up somehow and it is not as though you live in darkest Manchester. Makes you want to go and live in New Zealand or somewhere doesn't it?

ChrisH said...

What did you say?

Exmoorjane said...

Yikes. Yes, what DID you say??

Pondside said...

I'll bet it's the schoolyard, although the images are hard to escape in magazines, the paper, TV ads.....even (or perhaps, especially)in the popular music.

Working mum said...

Has she been to Moss Side on a school trip? Or is there a new programme on CBeebies I've missed: "Girls and the Hood"?

Preseli Mags said...

Eek. She's SIX? Yes, I want to know what you said next too (as the mother of seven and five-year-old girls, I'm agog!)

Milla said...

Horrifying but unsurprising. But under all this they're still the same, I think. Just need to redefine cool!

Pipany said...

It is worrying what they pick up from god knows where. A constant battle is what parenting feels like sometimes. x

Nutty Gnome said...

Scary comments from a 6 year old. All we can do is teach the children our standards and what is right and wrong, then trust them to make sensible decisions as they grow up. As a parent of a first year university student, the really scary bit is letting them be free to make those choices!!!

I'm glad my Gurhka link has proved so popular for people - I hope everyone did go and sign the petition! :)

HER ON THE HILL said...

Hello everyone - thank you for your comments.

My initial reaction to my daughter's comment was mild amazement (and, I have to admit, some amusement at such wisdom coming out in the childish voice of a 6 year old) that one so young had picked this up yet was able to make the distinction between what is THOUGHT to be cool and what is REALLY cool i.e hanging out with hoodies with guns in their pockets is NOT cool even if some teenage girls THINK it is. I think SHE was pretty cool to have got that sorted in her head - and very reassuring as her mother!

However, I was also slightly alarmed that the only place she could really have picked all this kind of thing up from, given the very rural location in which we live and the tiny infant school (23 pupils) which she attends in the equally very rural village, was from me having the 6 o'clock news on sometimes when they are having their tea/supper. So I guess I felt a little guilty for exposing her to the news stories that have clearly sunk into her consciousness.

To try and clarify things a little further, I asked her today where she got the idea from that ended up in her sentence at breakfast, and she said 'just from my head'.

So, my conclusion is that it was an idea formed from picking up on adult conversation and seeing images and discussions on the news. It is certainly nothing from the school or playground - or indeed from her older sisters (who were as surprised as me when she said it!).

That juxtaposition which children sometimes reveal between strange maturity (such as we're discussing here) and total innocence (her total joy and excitement at the prospect of the Funfair birthday party she was going to at her 'fwend's' house later that day, just for example), is endlessly fascinating.

HER ON THE HILL said...

What I realise I have failed to emphasize in my last comment, however, is that if a six year old living in the country has picked up on this perception of 'cool' (i.e hoodies with guns), then it is clearly something that is becoming quite indigenous to our culture. The worry is that, even if some kids can make the distinction between what is cool and not cool, many clearly can't - and that is something which education, both at home and school, needs to try and address (see 'problem' link).

ChrisH said...

Thanks for all your comments and for telling us what else happened at the breakfast table.

I'm just relieved not have to deal with those questions anymore. Not quite the same, but I remember being forced into a discussion that was far too adult for my then small daughters over a lunchtime episode of Neighbours (which I'd let them watch without seeing it myself and thinking it was harmless nonsense.

Mark said...

My experience is that intelligent well cared for children generally find their way. My boys said similarly surprising things - sometimes reassuring; sometimes less so. We may do them a disservice by worrying too much and protecting too closely.

What a beautifully written blog - a wonderful chance discovery.

Mark
www.viewsfromthebikeshed.blogspot.com

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