I heard a lady exclaim the other day, “Parents shouldn’t talk so openly with children about sex or else it will awaken their desires!” Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more.
Ask any teen, “The last time your parents tried to talk to you about sex, did it cause you to have to run off to your room and masturbate?” I promise, they’ll turn green at the thought and might even puke on your shoes. Kids don’t get “turned on” by healthy conversations with their parents. But they might get turned on by what the world has to offer if we don’t coach them on how to guard their minds, hearts, and bodies in this sex-saturated world and let them know how to have the best sex… by waiting until marriage, of course!
There’s a BIG difference between INNOCENCE and IGNORANCE!!! We simply don’t keep kids innocent by keeping them ignorant! If anything, we set kids up to LOSE their innocence when we try to keep them ignorant. My life is a testimony to this fact. My parents never told me anything, so I didn’t have words to communicate what was happening when I was sexually abused at 12 by several uncles, then acquaintance-raped at 14, and became sexually active from 15 to 20 years of age. I truly believe if they’d told me a little more than, “Why will he buy the cow when he gets the milk for free?” perhaps I could have made much better choices. I’m not trying to blame my parents entirely for the poor choices I made, but you can bet my kids have gotten a whole heck of a lot more in the way of honest, open conversations about sexuality at every stage of their development!
I want to hear from you — What did your parents tell (or not tell) you about sexuality, and what impact did that have on the sexual choices you’ve made in your life? What do you wish they’d done differently? And an even bigger question – what are you going to do differently (or the same) with your OWN kids?
Wishing you sexually healthy children (who grow up to become sexually confident wives and husbands, who give you all the grandchildren your heart desires!),
P.S. If you’re wondering when & how to talk to your children about sexual issues, I encourage you to read the last chapter of The Sexually Confident Wife (called “Passing the Baton”) as well as the following books:
Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle
(available at www.shannonethridge.com),
Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle
(available at www.fredstoeker.com)
My parents didn’t tell me anything. My mom actually sat me down a month or two before my wedding. Hello!?! I actually found a christian website on sex before that and learned what I needed. I did stay pure until my marriage though. But I did have a hard time dealing with different aspects because of misguided comments my mom made. With my kids I will be honest and unembarrassed. Sex isn’t a bad thing. I will answer their questions as they come, on an age appropriate level.
Shannon Ethridge says
BRAVO for not repeating history and being braver and bolder with your own kids! You go, girl!
We were not allowed to even “say” the word sex in our house. As a result, all 5 of us siblings ended up messed up. I was molested by an older cousin from the ages of 2 and 4, which my parents didn’t tell me until many years later. I was raped at 18 by a stranger. I had a husband who thought sex was “his” right and not mine. I am now 47 years old and have spend the last 5 years of my life studying sexuality and talking to couples. I have 4 daughters and 1 son. I am very open with them about sex. I don’t want them to go what I went through. Sex should be something we rejoice in and not be ashamed of. My daughters friends even come and talk to me. Boys and girls. They said they would rather have someone to talk to than go out and find out for themselves the wrong way. I feel it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children about sex and intimacy just as we teach them about other life lessons. I know it has helped my daughters and also helped my son understand what “not” to be in a man. He is so very respectful of girls and someday will make a very loving, kind husband. Yes, sometimes it can get uncomfortable. I have to research questions, but if it saves them from feeling that intimacy is a “bad thing” it is well worth my time. I want them to be able to enjoy what God has given them as their birth right in the context of a loving marriage.