In a recent letter to Dear Prudence – on Slate.com; a mother asks the following question about letting her 7 year old son go and play at one of his childhood friends houses. She is concerned that he is “exposed” to issues like homosexuality, and that she doesn’t want to have to explain what that means to her child, as its “too soon/too complicated an issue”. Prudies advice is refreshing, and also helpful.
Q. Gay Parents: My son is in second grade and a classmate of his has “two daddies.” My son wants to go over to his friend’s house to play, but we are nervous about this. I know my opinion is probably unpopular, but it is still my opinion: I do not know if this is a good environment for my son at his age. We do not talk about topics like homosexuality in our home. We do not want to field questions yet about these kinds of topics; we want him to be able to just be a kid instead of dealing with complex sexual issues. His friend plays at our house and he is a very nice boy, but eventually his “daddies” will want to know if my son can go to their house. How do we tactfully tell this couple that we would prefer if their son plays at our house? My sister thinks that I will just have to “get over it” and send my son over there. But isn’t it my right to monitor environments and control influences for my children? I fear that children in modern society are exposed to far too much far too soon—what happened to letting kids just be kids?
A: So you think this little boy’s home should be shunned in the name of letting kids be kids. You don’t have to do a lot of explaining to second-graders. When my daughter was even younger than that we had a gay couple and a lesbian couple in our neighborhood who each had kids. We casually explained to my daughter—after she asked, which wasn’t immediately—that usually kids have a mommy and daddy but sometimes kids have two mommies or two daddies. It was no big deal to her. I assume treating everyone with respect is a value you want to inculcate in your son. Letting him play at his friend’s house will be a good way to put that in action