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amother






Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:00 pm
My 12 year old Charedi daughter came in to me this evening and asked me if husbands and wives are allowed to hug and kiss. Shocked Turns out she was standing on our porch and speaking with her friend who lives 2 floors down. The apartment directly under us has a newly married couple living in it. Their blinds were completely open and dd watched for a few minutes while the couple made out on the couch. Obviously I'll never know just how much she saw but she was in total shock that this couple were "behaving like chilonim" and she was nauseous over the whole thing. Needless to say, my dd is very sheltered and could not imagine that anyone Charedi would do something so disgusting!

I am curious about how Charedi (Litvish or Chassidish) mothers would deal with this.
FS -What do you think?

I probably made the biggest mistake of my life and told her that husbands and wives can do that but that it's not tznius to have the windows open. She was not happy with that answer and of course, started to ask me about her father and myself Confused I didn't give her a straight answer but I did let her know that it's normal and natural.
When DH found this out he was not a happy camper. He would rather have her think that the neighbors are pervs or something. Oy.
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Isramom8









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:04 pm
Good answers, yasher koach! I might say that the couple probably didn't realize that they could be seen...
Now you know you have to tell the dw, or your dh has to tell the dh, right? Not that "your dd saw" but that
"they were seen" or "they can be seen".
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amother






Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:06 pm
I'm sure they didn't know they'd be seen but I have to put a stop to it or else it will continue.
I may have to confront her tomorrow.

You think my answers were so good? So now she's going to be thinking about what Ima and Aba do?
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Isramom8









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:09 pm
No, she'll be thinking about those neighbors!
Please talk to the young woman like you're telling it to her in confidence, woman to woman, because you care about her privacy. You wouldn't want this to happen to your daughter as a newlywed, right?

Yes, your answers were great, because you were honest and also modest. Hashem made her have this experience now - that is not in your control. What is under your control is whether she can trust you to be honest with her in her teenage years.


Last edited by Isramom8 on Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
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shalhevet









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:09 pm
I really don't know how I would handle it. I tend more to your side of saying husbands and wives do behave like this, because saying it's assur is even worse - but it's kind of like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea...

BTW, I would have a word with the wife there - I would kind of blurr exactly what your dd said so she won't be TOO embarrassed, but enough embarrassment so that next time they'll remember to close the blinds...
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lilacdreams









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:21 pm
ahhh this is going to turn into one of those threads with us arguing about how important it is for kids to see their parents being physically loving towards each other (ie pecks on cheeks, or a hug here and there). I am all for it, so that when the time comes for them to build a healthy physical relationship with their husbands they wont be grossed out or shocked for the first 6 months of their married lives, or thinking that s-x is only for chilonim. Note I did not say that I think full kissing etc is ok in front of kids. Its sad that she already has in her head that this type of behaviour is like the chilonim.

You answered her well. There is no use in lying now, since she saw it but at 12 yrs old my kids know parents do touch and its not a bad thing and would not be shocked and nauseated to accidently see a couple kissing. I would also praise her that she came to you to ask what it was all about, and that you are always there to answer her questions (as opposed to her school friends) because you know all the answers and they don't.
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Raisin









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:49 pm
When I was a teenager (maybe 14 or so) I saw a frum couple hugging. No I was not nauseated. I was not shocked. I knew my parents did such things in private, but I'm sure like most kids I didn't and don't let my mind go there. If you learn chumash there are plenty of pretty open referances to people having relations, and even kissing.

never for one minute did I think that this was something only chilonim did. I knew frum people did it after marriage and not in front of everyone.

far far worse to have your daughter think that kissing is disgusting and wrong.

oh yeah, say something to your neighbours. Or maybe not, if you want her to talk to you again!!! Laughing Laughing maybe an anonoymous note is in order...but then she will not be able to talk to ANY of the neighbours.

btw I hope this was not on Yom kippur that she saw them.
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Liba









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 6:54 pm
I think you did a good job on your initial talk with your daughter, but it is also time to talk to your daughter about the hilachos surrounding looking into other people's windows.
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Brown









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 7:09 pm
I like the idea to praise your daughter for coming to you. Not an issue to raise with friends. 12 is young but better not to lie. My daughters are much younger so I haven't asked for advice yet, but I do want to find out what to tell them about and when so they won't be shocked the week of their chasunah. My (chassidish) friends were mostly not shocked, by the way, cause they heard stuff from friends or older sisters.
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life'sgreat









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 10:25 pm
amother wrote:
My 12 year old Charedi daughter came in to me this evening and asked me if husbands and wives are allowed to hug and kiss. Shocked Turns out she was standing on our porch and speaking with her friend who lives 2 floors down. The apartment directly under us has a newly married couple living in it. Their blinds were completely open and dd watched for a few minutes while the couple made out on the couch. Obviously I'll never know just how much she saw but she was in total shock that this couple were "behaving like chilonim" and she was nauseous over the whole thing. Needless to say, my dd is very sheltered and could not imagine that anyone Charedi would do something so disgusting!

I am curious about how Charedi (Litvish or Chassidish) mothers would deal with this.
FS -What do you think?

I probably made the biggest mistake of my life and told her that husbands and wives can do that but that it's not tznius to have the windows open. She was not happy with that answer and of course, started to ask me about her father and myself Confused I didn't give her a straight answer but I did let her know that it's normal and natural.
When DH found this out he was not a happy camper. He would rather have her think that the neighbors are pervs or something. Oy.

You'd rather she walk around for the next few years thinking that hugging/kissing is wrong and perverted and things that only chilonim do? Do you have any idea how this would affect her beliefs of marriage?

I think you did well with your answer, given the circumstances. You can't make her 'unsee' what she saw, and had to work with that.
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mama mia









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 10:30 pm
I love that you were honest with her. Honesty in relationships is much more critical than her finding some things out before you were "ready" to share.

On the flip side, had you said it was "disgusting and assur" she would have eventually (and probabely sooner than later) have found out anyway, which would then really have thrown her trust in you into confusion - meaning - did Imma lie to me? maybe Imma just does not know that this is what people do? maybe I cannot trust Imma? Or worse - maybe this whole topic is so terrible that I should not broach it with Imma?

We cannot always guard what our children see. Open lines of communication and honesty help ensure that they will KEEP talking to us and not feel ashamed.

Good for you!
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GetReal









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 10:32 pm
I think that you did the right thing. We don't show physical affection in front of our kids, but if they find out on their own - and 12 is almost a teenager! - then let them understand that it's normal and healthy.
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RedRuby









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 10:34 pm
lilacdreams wrote:
ahhh this is going to turn into one of those threads with us arguing about how important it is for kids to see their parents being physically loving towards each other (ie pecks on cheeks, or a hug here and there). I am all for it, so that when the time comes for them to build a healthy physical relationship with their husbands they wont be grossed out or shocked for the first 6 months of their married lives, or thinking that s-x is only for chilonim. Note I did not say that I think full kissing etc is ok in front of kids. Its sad that she already has in her head that this type of behaviour is like the chilonim.

You answered her well. There is no use in lying now, since she saw it but at 12 yrs old my kids know parents do touch and its not a bad thing and would not be shocked and nauseated to accidently see a couple kissing. I would also praise her that she came to you to ask what it was all about, and that you are always there to answer her questions (as opposed to her school friends) because you know all the answers and they don't.


I completely agree, lilac dreams.

My 12-year-old daughter knows the 'facts of life' and 12 is a fully appropriate time - if not earlier - (in my opinion) to know some of the basic facts.

Maybe you could start with the concept that a husband and wife do (and should) hug and kiss each other, but that in your Chassidish community they do it in private, because it is special and beautiful with the right person.

If you don't want to get into the facts of life per se, then at least let your daughters know that
loving affection is a good thing with the right person (husband & wife) at the right time (after marriage).

Pat yourself on the back for handling an awkward situation tactfully. Thumbs Up
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amother






Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 10:55 pm
So I'm more "modern" than the people you are targeting with this question but I am still frum and consider myself orthodox (not modern orthodox)

But I had a funny situation last week that kinda is relevant. DH came home from a long crazy day and I hadn't seen him in almost 24 hrs. so I ran to the door and gave him a hug. My 4 yo DD came over to join in the hug and give her Daddy a kiss. She then asked if she could kiss him on the lips like mommy does (yes my kids see us hug, kiss (not s-xy but regular even on the lips) etc. all the time). We explained to her that some kinds of kissing and touching is only for married people and that its not appropriate for anyone else to kiss like that except married people. She understood completely and in a way I'm happy that we had an opening to discuss that with her.

OP I do think your daughter is old enough to know that people are intimate (no not everything... but to understand that spouses hug and kiss should be ok at that age) although that was a horrible way for her to find out. I think you must be a wonderful mother that she right away ran to you with her question rather than bring it up to all her friends at school. Your answer to her was also spot on! I think your DH needs to understand that you are the one who needs to decide about your daughter right now, you are her mother and you are doing a great job!
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IloveHashem613









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 11:07 pm
amother wrote:
My 12 year old Charedi daughter came in to me this evening and asked me if husbands and wives are allowed to hug and kiss. Shocked Turns out she was standing on our porch and speaking with her friend who lives 2 floors down. The apartment directly under us has a newly married couple living in it. Their blinds were completely open and dd watched for a few minutes while the couple made out on the couch. Obviously I'll never know just how much she saw but she was in total shock that this couple were "behaving like chilonim" and she was nauseous over the whole thing. Needless to say, my dd is very sheltered and could not imagine that anyone Charedi would do something so disgusting!

I am curious about how Charedi (Litvish or Chassidish) mothers would deal with this.
FS -What do you think?

I probably made the biggest mistake of my life and told her that husbands and wives can do that but that it's not tznius to have the windows open. She was not happy with that answer and of course, started to ask me about her father and myself Confused I didn't give her a straight answer but I did let her know that it's normal and natural.
When DH found this out he was not a happy camper. He would rather have her think that the neighbors are pervs or something. Oy.


Can we put litvish or chassidish aside for one second, why would you or anyone want their daughter to walk around thinking that hugging and kissing and having a physical relationship with a husband or wife is disgusting and perverted?? I believe that that is completely against what the torah wants us to believe. I'm sure you want your daughter to grow up with positive feelings about having a marriage relationship so when the time comes she will embrace it and not feel like its something disgusting. That being said, I think you answered her very well and you definitley should not think you made the biggest mistake of your life.

While I completely understand that you are upset your daughter had to see something like this, the bottom line is that she saw it and now you have to deal with it in the best way. Since she's already 12, she's gonna know something is up if you are trying to hide things from her. I wouldnt' say that you should get into every nitty gritty detail but I think you should give her a vague overview of the physical aspect of a marriage (again you do not have to get into every detail) and that usually people do it in private and this couple made a mistake because they didn't realize you could see in their window. I would definitley not make it seem like a disgusting thing, shameful thing but rather something that people do because they love eachother and its not a bad thing. Maybe you should speak to a rav about this... I think the Torah wants us to have a heathy view on sexuality and maybe you can help make this a positive experience in the end...
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SavtaHelen









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 11:22 pm
Let's remember that the basic "stage is set" here. Once the children realize that while they don't share rooms with siblings of the opposite relations, their parents sleep in thesame room together nightly, they have a basic intuitive sense that something else is going on. I personally feel it is important for children to see mutual respect, consideration, caring and yes, limited physical affection between their parents. But I am sure that even those who never see their parents hug or kiss know that something is going on even if they have not idea of what that something is.
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anon









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 11:25 pm
I may not be litvish or chassidish, but I still think I can question: Why on earth would it be a good thing for a girl to think that these things are "perverted". She will eventually get married, her husband will want to, and it's not easy to undo an entire childhood of misconceptions. It's one thing for it to be so private that your child just never considers it. But to learn it's perverted? Not only would it be damaging to her future marriage, it's LYING.
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life'sgreat









  


Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 11:26 pm
Another thought - once your daughter'd get a little older and learn the facts from others, friends, from life itself, could you imagine what she'd be carrying around? That mom hates what she does etc...?
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amother






Post  Sat, Sep 18 2010, 11:41 pm
anon wrote:
I may not be litvish or chassidish, but I still think I can question: Why on earth would it be a good thing for a girl to think that these things are "perverted". She will eventually get married, her husband will want to, and it's not easy to undo an entire childhood of misconceptions. It's one thing for it to be so private that your child just never considers it. But to learn it's perverted? Not only would it be damaging to her future marriage, it's LYING.

I'm not Litvish/Chassidish/Freidasima but ITA with this.

I would pity her and her future husband if you tell her that physical intimacy is "perverted"
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Grandmama









  


Post  Sun, Sep 19 2010, 12:24 am
I think you did the right thing. Once she saw, there was nothing else you could do or say.
I believe in telling children the age appropriate truth. So when my DD asked me if only non Jews do such things, when she sees it on the street, I tell her that frum people do it also, but its not tznius to do it in public, and even non Jews who are more respectable do not do it on the streets either.
My chasidish husband would agree with yours, but I usually dealt with these things, he just did not feel comfortable. I always answered and spoke about anything they asked at any age. I would rather they get some truth from me, than misconceptions from friends or the street.
We do not kiss/hug in front of our children, because that is the way we were brought up, and there is nothing wrong with it. I feel very strongly that children do not have to see their parents behaving intimately for half the month. Especially not older children. It is an issue of tznius, and teenagers would totally know what is going on, which is not their business. Parents can express themselves in other ways, if they choose to do so.
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