Talking to your children about sexFeb 04, 2014
I was 14 years old when I found myself in a huge school hall, watching a sex education film. I was sitting in profound and stunned silence when I realised that ‘that’ went into ‘that’ and by the way, how was that physically possible? I shuddered with fear and responsibility that I would have to ‘do’ this one day.
There was nothing spoken about pleasure, love, how magical our bodies actually are, the profound mystery of creation and birth, or simply the potential for elevation and expression of love through our bodies.
Empower your child
A dear friend shared how when her daughter was 5 she asked how babies were made. She answered in a very beautiful, honest yet story-like fashion illustrating the magical mystery of our bodies.
“I remember on the day I told her this, it was an incredibly bonding moment for us. She was looking up at me with awe. She was totally connected to me with this authentic appreciation for being allowed to share in this extraordinary mystery…. “
Children want to know. And it is necessary for them to know so they receive accurate information they can trust and can appreciate that their bodies are special.
The sex talk can be an ongoing dialogue throughout the child’s life, helping them make sense of their bodies and feelings. The more comfortable you are as an adult, willing to challenge your own fears of sex, the more empowered your child will be.
It’s good to not shame your child for what he or she says or does. A new and scary reality at this time, that wasn’t around in its proportions when I grew up, is the influence of media, with children as young as 8 watching porn on their phones.
Which makes it even more important that parents guide their children from an early age.
When talking to your kids about sex, there are three things it’s good to consider – teaching about biological function, teaching about pleasure, and teaching about protection, in age-appropriate ways.
A child needs all three to be able to differentiate and develop their own confidence and discernment as they grow.
If you taught them only about function, they could end up feeling confused and unsafe like I did. If you taught them only about pleasure, they may end up in unsafe situations. If you just taught them about protection, it might block them from the natural expression and joy that is available to them in safe and appropriate spaces.
Every child and parent's circumstance is different, and it changes over time as they age, but the important thing is to be open and natural, and honest in a way that is appropriate to your child and your family's circumstances.
The Making Love Retreat is an amazing life-changing event that is a wonderful resource for parents to be able to share with their children at age-appropriate times. It will give you the confidence you need as a parent to engage with your children about sex in a loving way.
This article was published in the April 2014 edition of Holistic Bliss magazine.
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