Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I figured I would title this in a way that no one would question the content of this post. Yes, this is a post about sex.
A friend of mine posted this link.
I agree with some of it. I like that the mother takes special time to be with her children. I like that she did some research ahead of time. I can tell her heart is in the right place and they way she handled it was maybe right for her family and her situation.
Yeah. We don't do it that way.
First, we suck at modesty in this house. My kids like to be naked and I think it is a stupid thing to fight about. We do discuss that it is bad manors to leave the house without underwear (though we did end up at the park last week sans-panies and in a dress), that it is polite to be properly attired when we have people over. We have found this to be a self correcting problem, Eliana now feels more comfortable dressed and there was never any shaming or "cover that up!" that lead to this, only maturity.
Second, we tell the kids that there body is there own. We don't fight about food because I respect the fact you know how hungry you are and I want you to listen to your body. Potty training is about listening to your body. We name parts. They know why a boy is a boy and it is no big deal. They understand that grown ups are hairy but girls won't grow beards, only boys. Since there body is theirs to care for, they know some of it is private and others shouldn't touch them there, pretty much if it is covered by your bathing suit it is off limits. They also have the right to tell anyone that they don't want to be touched and we do our best to respect the boundaries they draw.
Third, we have never had "the talk" but even Annabelle could tell you where babies come from. Eliana is almost 8 and she doesn't even blush about it. We have books, several in fact, that give pictures and everything. She also knows how her brain works, what happens to food when we eat it and what her bones look like. Reproduction is just another body system. Breasts are for feeding babies. We have discussed that just as it is impolite to discuss poop, it is also considered poor manners to talk about reproduction and can make some people uncomfortable, but they are all welcome to talk to us about it. Just maybe not at the dinner table.
Purity is another matter all together. I am not a fan of the "promise" ring idea. I also think that abstinence only teaching sets kids up for failure. I would love my girls to stay pure until marriage, notice I didn't say virgins, but pure. This isn't because I think that is the only way they are worthy of love or that I think that God will smite them, but because bad choices cause pain. So often choices made as a teen have long lasting repercussions. I don't wish any type of pain on my kids. My goal is to teach great decision making, ownership and respect of their bodies as gifts from God, and a deep belief that they are worthy of love and respect. This is not a pact between me and them, so I am not offering money or a ring, but between them and their God, their heart. I don't own my children and I won't "present" them on their wedding days as gifts to their husbands or wives as something I have done. They are autonomous people, not extensions of myself and something I have accomplished.
I do love the idea of celebrating a "coming of age". Our world is short on rights of passage and I would love to figure out how to make that part of our family's story. What a blessing it would be to celebrate a young teen, who is working on self image, as a whole person moving into adulthood!
Families are so uniques, made up of people and personalities and stories all so different. I don't know if they way we do it is "right" or even "best", but it is honest and without shame.