I have felt for a LONG time that this post needs to happen. That was only confirmed when I was dealing with my son and his bullying problem at school. I am passionate about being an advocate for my children. This is yet another way that we must stand up and lead them.
This post is going to come in two parts. There is a lot to cover, but the digestion might be the hardest part! :)
Some of you are going to be a little uncomfortable reading this. However, I want you to know that I believe this is SO very vital! Also, I want your input. I want to hear what you think. With the fabulous forum up, there will be a link below to the discussion on this post. I really want to hear your thoughts, ideas, things that have worked for you, questions, worries, anything!
Here we go!
How many of you had "THE TALK" when you were growing up? Did your parents sit you down and tell you all about sex? Did you learn it from someone at school? I think most, if not all, of us remember the very first time we learned about it.
A bishop in our a ward we used to be in called a "Mandatory Adult Meeting". He didn't give the subject. We were all curious! I think every adult in the ward was there. The topic: Sex and Pornography. YOUCH! I can't imagine how he felt before the meeting! :) He wanted to drive home the importance of the avoidance and damage pornography can bring into our lives and impress upon all of us how important it is for us to teach our children about sex. In that entire room, when asked, only 3 people raised their hands to say that their parents had taught them about it. WOW! I am glad to say that I was one of the 3. My Mom was incredibly comfortable answering our questions and teaching us. What a service to us!
Let me tell you about an experience I had with Jake, my now 10 year old.
About 2 years ago, when Jake was in 3rd grade, we were both in his room. I think I was helping him organize his toys or something like that. All of the sudden I had a very strong impression that I needed to ask Jake if he had heard anything about sex at school or anywhere.
Up to this point Jake and I had very small talks. Answering little questions here and there, but nothing with that much detail.
Jake said, "No."
"Well, would you like to know what it is?", I asked.
"OK." He said.
I start by saying, "When a man and woman decide they want to have a baby...."
He cut me off, "I know how babies are made."
So, I asked him to tell me what he knows. Now, I will tell you that I am not an easy person to shock. But this kid knocked my socks off. A wealth of horribly wrong and damaging information poured out of him like it had been waiting to be released. UGH! The stuff that he told me. A boy on the playground had been unloading filth, that I would not burden you with, on my boys ears. Simple terms like "Make Out" included descriptions that we would consider rape. I'm not kidding. The kid had been mislead and burdened with a view of sex that was as far from what I knew to be true as it possibly could be.
This is where I want to tell you....if you are afraid or uncomfortable with this subject, I am SURE that it is vital that you GET comfortable, or at least fake it really good. No wonder children are so mislead, curious and experimenting so early!
I have heard from many people that they feel uncomfortable because of a lot of different reasons. One of those reasons is that parents think that by talking to our kids, especially when they are young invites new thoughts and curiosity.
Can I submit that I believe that the opposite is true. AND it depends entirely upon delivery.
When we as parents do not bring up the subject, and our kids are peppered with description at school, we only confirm the secretive or shady nature of the subject. Kids are left to let their imaginations wander. To try to figure out the feelings they experience when they talk or hear about the details...the very murky and misguided details.
Likewise when we act uncomfortable when questions are asked or we pull away in anyway, we confirm that this subject is unapproachable or bad.
Through my experience, appropriately answering questions, using correct terminology and a different approach to sex, like seeing it as a possitive, yet sacred gift, that is meant to be saved to share between a husband and a wife, can turn curiosity off, invite peace and give your child a sense of confidence, both in themselves and in your relationship. When you can approach such a tough subject, answer questions honestly and openly and teach the way it should be taught, YOU become their source to go to for information. Which based on what my son had learned, is a REALLY big deal!
Now, one more thing, before we really get into it, I am passionate about my hubby and I being a source of information for our children. If they hear it from us first, it gives them the power to know truth from false information when it is presented to them in other situations. They also know that when they hear things they questions they are free to discuss any of it with us.
Here is the thing. The adversary, or Satan, wants to corrupt and mislead these sweet innocent children of ours. What if my 10 year old knows the definition of pornography and he immediately recognizes it if presented with it? Because of the talks we have had something triggers in his mind. "Oh, I know what this is! My parents told me all about it! They told me that it is a dangerous and deadly trap. That it is one of satans greatest tools and they told me to avoid it like the plague." Then he makes his choice. What choice is he more likely to make? Don't you think that knowing the evil plot behind the images deadens the effects a bit?! I tend to hope so!
What if I decided that this subject was far too uncomfortable and I didn't bring it up. He stumbles upon it. Sees it and his curiosity over takes him. Images are imprinted in his mind that will never leave. What if the feelings that occur within his body are totally unexpected and his curiosity is sent spiraling out of control? The trap is set....and he falls into it easily. Curiosity drives him to seek out more of the same.
Having the information before hand, knowing how his body and feelings would react and knowing that is part of the very trap set, recognizing the source and not wanting anything to do with that, will give him an amazing amount of strength!
Are you squirming yet?! Well, tomorrow I am going to go into the conversation that Jake and I had. I am going to give you all the detail that I gave and how I gave them to him. I will also tell you a few of the things that I have learned that made all of this easier to do. There IS such thing as too much information and their is also too little. When I tell you that we spoke to him about everything, I mean it. From pornography to sex to masturbation. All covered!
Now honestly, I would LOVE to discuss this! Make sure you head over to the forum.
THIS is the link to the discussion.
If you haven't registered for the forum yet, get going! There is a $100 and a $35 Visa Gift Card up for grabs, people! And that is just before Christmas! Click HERE for more information!