“. . . whoso shall offend one of these little ones . . . ” Matthew 18:6

The radio wakened me this morning to the news that a six year old boy in Colorado was being charged with “sexual harassment” for kissing the cheek of a little girl he liked. The principal of the school said the charge would be permanent on his school records. I was rolling my eyes at such stupidity when the news played the little boy’s voice saying, “I did something wrong.” At that point I almost cried and wanted to scream, “NO, YOU DIDN’T!!” It was not a good beginning to the day.

What in the world are we doing to our children? Six years old and this child thinks he did something “WRONG”, when he did no such thing. And now he faces the threat of this idiocy hanging over him for the rest of his school years. At some time or other every little boy innocently kisses a little girl. Most big boys sometimes innocently do the same thing, too. Almost all women have male (and female) friends who hug them and kiss their cheek. That’s just who they are – huggers and touchers.

Doctors and nurses know that all patients, from birth to death, crave human contact; that preemies are more likely to thrive and survive if they are held, caressed and spoken to. Some hospitals have volunteers who feed and rock babies so they receive important touching.

I have heard parts of, but not read in full, a report about developing a conscience in children. One researcher said that the first step is to hold and talk or sing to babies so they learn they can trust and care for those around them. Another researcher said that trust is the cornerstone of conscience. Sounds about right to me.

The war against boys is such a farcical thing it makes one want to laugh and cry at the same time. And what does this war do to little girls? Can they grow up happy when they are forced not to trust any of the boys, or men for that matter, around them? And yes, I do know you have to teach children to recognize inappropriate behavior, but there are correct ways to do so without scaring them to death.

My grandmother died when my mother was barely six years old, and mom’s father was a rather shy and undemonstrative man who didn’t quite know how to rear his four little girls by himself, so he made sure they were fed and clothed, and left the loving to visiting aunts and friends. My mother missed the love and touching of a parent and grew up craving human touch and contact so much. Sometimes when I would visit I would reach out and scratch her back or hold her while we watched TV. She would sigh and open like a thirsty flower. I could feel her wrap herself around in my expressions of love through touch.

What happens to this little boy and girl in Colorado now that they have been shell-shocked by the so-called adults around them? Do they feel that all people who hug them are evil? That if they want to hug or kiss someone they themselves are bad? Do they ever trust anyone at all? What are the long term consequences of cutting off completely normal actions of the people around them?

Fathers and mothers need to stand up for the right of their children to be children and do the normal things that all little children do. It is really past time to attach shame to the so-called professionals who don’t use common sense and indulge themselves in bringing harm to little children.

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