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Is Little Jimmy in Puppy Love or Pre-Stalker Camp?

September 24, 2009
by

Imagine this:  your fourth-grade (age 8ish) little girl- we’ll call her Olivia- comes home and tells you that a jimmyonlineboy in her class likes her.

You’re probably thinking, “I’ma fuck ’em up! Okay, let’s see where this goes,” right?

Then she drops the bombshell: “He made a website about me, it’s called ‘I Love Olivia'”

What do you do?

Hat tip to my sister for this- yes, this is a very real situation that is going on with some classmate’s of her daughter (clarification- NOT my sister’s daughter- oh hell naw).

Jimmy has a website at 8 years old, dedicated to your little Olivia.

He expresses how he feels about her (he luuuuuuuuvs her ❤ ❤ ❤ ) , and his observations about her on a given day; what she wore, what she ate for lunch, when she fell and scraped her knee and he walked her to the office to get a band-aid.

Is this sweet, innocent puppy love- or is it scary-stalker-boy in training?

Of course we know that little kids have feelings, sometimes they fall in love with each other, they get crushes, they kiss each other- they have attraction- yes, attraction.

There should be no shame in that.

But is okay to encourage so much focus on it?  Imagine being 32 and finding out that your office-mate has a website all about you and what you did that day at work; what you’re wearing, how your hair is styled, who you ate lunch with, that you bob your head when you have your earphones on…

Can you say creepy as hell?!  That wouldn’t be tolerated.

There’s another factor- Jimmy isnt a computer genius, he’s your normal, average Jimmy.  His parents helped him set up the website; they help him put up info when he wants to post something.

Are they encouraging him to share his feelings or encouraging him to turn into someone who obsesses about women from afar?  How long should little Jimmy be permitted to have this site- when does it end, or does it?

I have a boychild, age 9, who loves girls, in a geeky, compassionate, awkward way that boys love girls.  It’s not uncommon for him to, upon getting off the school bus after school, to walk his lady friend to her house a few doors down before coming home.  He’s also dealt with rejection and jealousy- it’s a part of life, and people of all ages experience it.  When you have kids, or work with kids, you understand that.

But I also try and balance my son’s feelings with simple doses of reality.  One little girl moved away.  That was hard for him, and I didn’t belittle him or his feelings, but I also encouraged him to get over it, without ever saying “get over it”.

I would never encourage or allow a website- that’s just too much in my eyes, but hell, maybe I’m old fashioned and this is what all the cool kids are doing these days.

What do you think?  I really, really want to know.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie permalink
    September 24, 2009 8:48 pm

    Creepy. And he’s a little misogynist in the making. He is learning, from his parents, to objectify this young lady. Why would his parents not say something about how this girl might feel having her business all out there? Is his mom being abused and she can’t claim her voice, or advocate for other females? Do you think the dad encourages comments about the girl’s physique? Does the mom point out how wrong that is? The website should come down NOW. And the parents ought to take parenting classes. And your sister should call up those parents and tell them. In no uncertain terms.

  2. Sable permalink
    September 24, 2009 8:50 pm

    Yeah, my sister could do that- wouldn’t put it past her. But just to clarify the site isn’t about my sister’s daughter. Girl please, I’d be on a frikken plane if that were the case. Hell no.

  3. The Spook Who Sat By The Door permalink
    September 24, 2009 10:03 pm

    Yeah, Creepy.

    My oldest is almost eight and I can’t imagine facilitating her creating a website obsessing over someone. Neither can I imagine being comfortable with someone creating such a website about her.

    I’m down with teaching kids to learn technology, but teach some effing judgment and social skills while you’re at it.

  4. Heather permalink
    September 25, 2009 1:19 am

    Too much. Obsessive. Out of balance. Parents must be completely nuts to encourage this. Child needs re-direction, and lots of other activities and real friendships to take up his slack time. Real friendships don’t creep on people, don’t oppress them with constant scrutiny. Who wants that?
    Real friendships respect other peoples privacy.
    This boy could try this creepy tactic on someone else less tolerant, and find his behind pulverized.
    If I were the girls parent, this boys parents would be hearing from me yesterday.

  5. blurbette permalink
    September 25, 2009 7:01 am

    For starters, if your son is polite enough to walk a little girl home, CALL ME! In 10 years when my 8 year old is ready to date, that’s the guy for her. Now, my first concern is with this little boy’s parents. Why are they allowing him that much computer time and computer time to do THAT!?! After 20 minutes of looking at American Girl dolls and Legos, my kids better go find a book. At their age, when they are too young to be doing much “real” homework on the pc, they need to have their computer time limited. I won’t even tell you the disgusting things my daughter found when she was looking up “funny cat videos” on YouTube. Secondly, are we sure this little boy has a crush on her or does he want to be her? That’s a tad toooooo much observation. If I were a parent of the little girl, I would go to the school AND the little boy’s parents and let them know that the website made me and my child uncomfortable. I would hope they would be perceptive to the idea of removing it because I’m a cease and desist order kinda mom.

  6. September 25, 2009 7:46 am

    Verity, you can toss the first rant and pubish this one.

    This can be as complicated as the parents want it to be or as simple. The complicated is that it is about the parents and not the children. Children work things out. Tommy stop writing things about Susie that is not good and then watch little perp in his actions around Susie at school.

    But if it is about adults it is very complicated. Perpetrators parents need their weird son to be what? Feel powerful because his dad is abusive, his mother a victim of domestic violence? or none of those, they like using the tools of online networking that is it, nothing intended. Who is the little victim’s parents, what makes them get up in the morning? How do they feel about this stalker in trainer, and that maybe someone even the weirdo thinks their daughter cute in ways that no one ever thought mommy cute. That does occur, when the child’s life has to be the life mommy and daddy did not have. Cute kids of unattractive parents can be victims in their own homes.

    As founder of http://www.parentsforstudentsuccess.org I have seen it all, heard it all as relates to what occurs for kids in school. The most important thing that has to occur here, is the little girl needs a parent or family member who has the capacity to be her advocate, not just for this but for all things, for all times.

    1. Make appointment with principal with teacher present
    2. Ask are they aware of the web site, show it to them
    3. Be clear about what you do not like about it – how it goes beyond normal classmate photos, comments
    4. Ask if they will make the website images and comments go away, if not
    5. Ask principal to facilitate a meeting between parents
    6. repeat #3 with parents. We find the content of your weird son’s website intrudes upon our daughters privacy or whatever they believe it intrudes upon
    7. Hear the perp’s side of story – your little hot princess is stalking my son and causing him to have wet dreams.
    8. come to an agreement on all sides parents, teacher, principal. The principal will cover his or her ass on this and might punish the victim by putting her in a different classroom.

    That should take care of it, but my experience tells me that it will not because of the adults needs an purposes and fears and all that other stuff that makes life horrible for children.

  7. Sable permalink
    September 25, 2009 7:54 am

    Replaced.

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