I just read this article by Lisa Ling and I have to say – I THOUGHT kids had a better understanding about sex, STD’s, abstinence, pregnancy and prevention of (including STD’s), but I am SHOCKED at the number of states where sex ed is not mandated.
My home state of Massachusetts, where I DID learn about the birds and the bees, is not mandated to teach about sex?
That’s f’d up.
That being said, I know parents find it difficult to discuss sex with their kids. I don’t.
When the kids were young, and I struggled to fit in as “the perfect parent” I made nudity a shameful experience for my kids.
“OMG I’m in the shower, GET OUT!”
Now if they walk into my room and I am sans clothing I simply say “I’m naked.” I have one kid who could care less and points out the gazillion times she has seen me without clothes, and one kid who is relieved to be warned of my state of undress. It doesn’t stop him from asking what ever question he came to ask in the first place.
My kids know they can ask me anything.
We’ve discussed women and their periods, with me responding one time with “Do you want to see? I can show you….” Of course they didn’t want to see mom’s body parts, but later that day I did have a discussion with one of my children on how a woman’s body is designed.
We’ve discussed boy parts as well, but I don’t own those parts, so I really can’t speak honestly about them. I know how they work. I’ve told them erections are normal, periods are normal, sex is normal and healthy!
Sadly, we live in a society that has created so much shame surrounding sex that it makes us difficult to lift the stigma.
Do you remember sneaking around so you could “fool around” with your boyfriend (or girlfriend)? I certainly do. I don’t want my kids thinking they need to sneak around. I want them to understand that as humans, sex is normal, it’s how we are designed, just like eating. sleeping, breathing, etc…
End the shame. Talk to your kids. Don’t treat them the way we were treated. Be honest and make sure they are safe.
Sex is a healthy part of being an adult. We need to stop the cycle of shame.
I hope my kids are on the road to a better life. Isn’t that what we all wish for our kids?
Love yourself, Love your kids, and tell them the truth.