Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let's Talk About (The Way We Talk About) SEX.

Jill and I are teaming up again, this time over at a Deeper Family, and this time we're talking about sex. Should be...fun? Come on over and join the conversation!
 

We recently came to a conclusion: there was something very wrong with the way we were talking (or more appropriately, not talking) about sex with our kids. 
I (Luke) was 12 (strike one) when my mom (strike two) first told me about sex using a cartoon book (strike three). I had learned more about sex from discarded magazines and those analog cable channels that we watched between the squiggly lines than I learned in that conversation, but God bless her, she soldiered through the awkwardness and marched on. But that embarrassment we both felt said something in itself: that sex was shameful, dirty, and not something we really talk about. 
I (Jill) was 6 when a neighbor girl told me that sex was when someone “kisses you all over every part of your body and you make a baby.” As we walked down the street pulling the wagon with our dolls in it, trying to imagine how the baby gets from the inside to the outside of the mommy, I couldn’t wait to get home to ask my mom if it was true. My mom, however, was not nearly as interested as I was in having the conversation. “You’re not old enough to know about that,” she said. So from that moment, sex was a secret, something to be hidden, maybe even something to be feared. 
And our experiences, we’ve found, are not unique. I mean, let’s be honest, positivity and openness about sex aren’t exactly common in the US period, and in the church
Forget about it.  
A lot (and I mean a lot) of us grew up with some pretty distorted and destructive views of sexuality, and like most parents, we’re just hoping that we can provide our kids something better than what we had. 
So, now we have two boys (granted, they’re only not quite 4 and not quite 2) and we’re already wondering how and when we’re going to have to start talking about these sorts of things. 
Are we jumping the gun here?
 
Click through to A Deeper Family to read the rest!

2 comments:

  1. One of my boys has been asking very specific questions about the subject since he was three. I did some reading about it myself because I felt it important to answer honestly but wanted to get some ideas of how to do that without giving too much or too little information. One important thing is that I really try to never put off his questions. I do always answer all his questions on the spot because I want to make sure he never quits asking us, that he is always comfortable asking us. That means that some times I am the one talking to him about it instead of daddy because I am the one there at the moment.

    My son loves nature studies and has learned alot about sexual reproduction in reading these books, and watching other living things. He has kind of naturally connected the dots through these books, observations, and questions he has asked us about it. After seeing some frogs mating he asked me if that is how moms and dads make babies and even described what he saw the frogs doing... it was shocking and funny all at the same time. There have been so many similar questions and funny stories.

    ANYWAY, I believe that there should not necessarily be one big "birds and bees" discussion but several small, natural discussions as they grow, develop and ask questions.

    I believe it is important to always answer TRUTHFULLY but with limited information at first, and keep answering, giving more info, until he is satisfied with the answers. But, I also remind him that this is a "family conversation", not a friend conversation. (He is familiar with the "family conversation" term as they are other things we discuss that we say are private...)

    We reassure him that he can always ask as much as he wants about this subject and any subject with mom and dad, that asking questions is a good thing...

    One good book that gives guidelines and ideas about what to say and when to say it is, "Raising Sexually Pure Kids" by Tim and Beverly LaHae. Josh McDowell has some good stuff about the subject too and echoes the importance of beginning to talk about it openly from a very young age and building on that conversation over time.

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  2. You're most definitely NOT jumping the gun! My kids are 5 and almost 8, and I am eager to read your discussion. Heading their now!

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