I think we need to understand why Michael had any sleepovers with children at all. Not PRETEND we understand it but REALLY feel what he felt like when surrounding himself with children day and night.
With due respect to Mary Fischer’s arguments in her “Was Michael Jackson Framed?” article I cannot agree with her that “Michael’s early experiences translated into a kind of arrested development and he became a child in a man’s body”.
The key to Michael’s behaviour seems to be in his extraordinary loneliness in the first place and his exceptionally strong fatherly instinct in the second – coupled with immense love he kindled in his heart in anticipation of having a family and children of his OWN. All those girls throwing themselves in his arms on stage were fools enough never to say the right thing in his ear – “I’ll give you children” instead of “I love you”. If they had he would have been all theirs…
The children around him naturally took advantage of his fatherly love for them in a way only they are capable of doing it – which is very well known to those of us who are parents themselves. In their simple admiration for Michael they did not understand WHAT they were asking for when they wanted to stay by him day and night and did not realize how difficult it is for a loving adult to turn them down in situations like these.
Considering that Michael’s early childhood years were spent day and night in one and the same room with his older brothers – both at home and in hotels – I think he TRULY did not understand what was wrong with sharing the same room with those he liked. Being on the move since the age of 5 his whole life was like a revolving door with people coming and going whenever they wanted to…..
While reading the Floacist I came across Heather’s comments on this issue. She is a preschool teacher and knows what she is talking about: http://floacist.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/jordan-chandler/#comment-4817).
“Let’s get one thing clear. Michael had sleepovers at his house where he would be in the same room as the kids, but he would sleep in a separate bed, or on the floor, and the kids would sleep in another bed. Haven’t you ever heard of SLUMBER PARTIES? I am a preschool teacher myself, and I enjoy the company of children. Once a year we have a slumber party at school for the biggest children, where a few teachers and a bunch of children sleep in the same room area. Parents are also invited to stay if they wish. At these parties we play fun games, we play hide and seek, sing songs, read bedtime stories. There’s an exchange of hugs between teachers and children before they actually go to sleep.
There’s nothing wrong with any of this behavior, and I believe these are the kind of activities that were going on at Michael’s sleepovers. And anyone who automatically reads sexual intentions into this behavior, must be some kind of a pervo himself.
MJ probably would have been a great and fun kindergarten teacher if he wasn’t a multitalented superstar.
As an early childhood educator, I’ve also had some babysitting jobs in the evenings, where at times I had to lay in the same bed as the child to comfort her/him for one reason or another. The child could be anxious and stressed because mom and dad were not present, and may have had a hard time sleeping, and it had occurred that the child would ask me to lay with them for a while and for example read a story together. That’s a natural request from a child that feels comfortable with the person they’re with. Of course, we have to be careful as adult caregivers or friends to young children who are not closely related to us, because these situations can be misinterpreted, especially when the adult is a man.
I see MJ as a nurturing mother/father figure. He was strange-looking, eccentric and a bit wierd like any uniquely talented person usually is, but if you look beyond all that, he was just a nurturing parent figure with a childlike heart, but an adult mind, just wanting to give all the love, compassion and childlike joy that he had in his heart.
I believe these kids wanted to sleep with Michael because he’s so fun and Michael didn’t see it as being unusual anymore because he saw the kids and treated them as his own.
I can see where MJ had a hard time saying NO. Kids can truly be bratty and demanding and make you feel bad if you say NO. But if you do not have the experience of having dealt with kids, you do not know how to say NO and they don’t give up until you say YES.
So I can see how MJ would have a hard time to say NO… to the kids and to their families…. that’s how they got all the gifts.
The cancer patient even said MJ slept on the floor…..well, I believe MJ saw it as a sleepover and didn’t distinguish whether or not these kids were blood relatives or not. I can see where some of the kids at school just want to hug me all the time…. and I have to keep my distance because I am afraid of being accused of exactly what MJ was accused of.
MJ didn’t know how to say NO. That was his biggest flaw…to be kind and to be unable to say NO to children whom he loved so much. I could never love children like MJ…..I will spank my kids if they are bad, MJ probably would never do that”
Since the above was copied from my thread in the forum of www.michaeljackson.com below are the comments which followed the post. I treasure them very much and wouldn’t like them to be lost:
MJJmahal November 27, 2009: When my daughter was young, we always had children sleeping over. It was a lot of fun and no big deal. When kids are having fun in someone’s house, they don’t want to go home. And yes, modesty aside, I am a lot of fun with kids. I allow them things that parents would probably not allow on a regular basis – mud fights, lots of art projects with professional art supplies, late night movies, playing dress up with my high heels, climbing trees, nature trips, and lots more. As a group, they didn’t want to part from each other. And they all slept in the same room, on the bed, on the floor, on the sofa, kids everywhere.
When one of the kids would get scared or lonely at night, they ask to be comforted – for a hug or a kiss. If they were small enough, they wanted to sleep next to me, hugging them to sleep. Because to all my firends’ kids, and my kid’s friends, I was Auntie T. It truly isn’t weird or unusual for kids to see an adult as a loving figure when the adult truly appreciate their company. Just like one big happy family! They begged their parents to sleep over. It is truly all innocent and fun. Yes, a slumber party!
Is the U.S. such a hyper-sexualized society that innocent love and caring is often shunned upon as sexual. It is sad that as a volunteer working with young children, I was told not to hug or kiss little kids, Even when they are hurting and need reassurance. I was also told that I couldn’t physically separate kids who are in a fight; I just needed to talk with them. And sometimes talking didn’t work! What has become of us that what is innocent and even necessary has become so twisted?
I guess nobody bothered with me because I did not have MJ’s millions.
helena1247 : MJJamal, I’m happy you are thinking along the same lines. But are you serious about those instructions of no physical contact with kids? What is WRONG with your people if you can’t hug a child for fear of a lawsuit? Reasonable precaution is necessary of course but if people get so oversuspicious they’re trapping themselves in their own fear and anticipation of dirty intentions on other people’s part.
If the situation is THAT bad in the US society then Michael had no chance at all to explain to anyone around what his slumber parties were all about. This is probably why he never really tried.
MJJmahal: Yes, as a volunteer in school and youth organizations, I was given those instructions – no touching kids!!! My daughter was small and I was always hugging and kissing her. Some kids have less demonstrative parents and were so needy for a loving hug. Sad how something that may make such a big difference in the way a child might feel loved are deemed suspicious.
A young boy even came to me to tell me he felt so lonely and unloved, I just felt like hugging him but had to be very discreet about it.
It is sick when a society cannot comfort the children without being suspected of ill doing!