Sex is such an awkward topic. I remember when I asked my mom where babies came from, I was about 8 years old. I guess her RN training kicked in because she broke out the books and pictures. I walked away from the whole thing shell shocked, certain being a mom would never be in my future. It was also confusing, because of the secrets I was already burdened with carrying. Fast forward to adulthood. With so much shame about my body and sex growing up it was difficult to consider how to broach the topic with our kids.
As adults our sex lives are personal and often complicated, even without the added baggage of abuse. I wasn't afraid of the topic, I just didn't want to pass on my hang ups & issues. I'm grateful for a partner who understood my difficulties and worked together to establish a healthy environment for our kids.
Tommy and I decided we would start talking to our kids about sex as an ongoing conversation instead of a one time "talk". We have two sons and my husband first cornered our oldest off guard while doing laundry when he was just starting sixth grade. Our youngest showed a keen interest in girls in elementary school so he was about 9 or 10 when we started the conversation--also at the washing machine. We still laugh about the washing machine ambush that took place. Laundry has never been the same with them wondering what deep conversation will pop up next while folding towels. When they were younger I made a point of how much prettier girls were who kept their privates, private...and they agreed. (Now that they're older I may have lost that fight, but hey I tried!)
Now that they are in high school and college we continue to talk to them about topics related to sex. It's important to us to keep asking and teaching about love, dating , showing respect, our values and expectations. We even bring up body types and ethnicity preferences. Because the communication has stayed open and ongoing, it's easier to bring up over a movie or after something we see in daily life. Of course our conversations have changed over the years since they are older.Also with an adult son we want to be respectful of personal space. Many of the talks center around where they are now and where they want to go and how sex can effect those future plans.
We know what we would prefer for our kids to do (or not do), but we taught our church youth for seven years. We know what goes on in the real world regardless of being raised in the church. Despite the teaching we instill, a sexualized society can have a powerful pull. Have you seen the cover's of magazine's lately? The teen shows on ABC Family, Teen Nick, and some other channels could make anyone blush. Then we have, MTV's Jersey Shore which is just an entire what-not-to-do example of poor sexual choices. Throw in the peer pressure and hormones and it's landmine trying to navigate the territory of sex and relationships. So I stay in prayer, remain realistic and make it very clear becoming a grandparent is something I want to look forward to years from now. Way....way down the road.
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