I have told my older daughter Laura that if she wants to know what I was like as a child, just look at Catie (her younger sister). Her comment? “I feel bad for Mum Mum!” (my mother)
Catie is inquisitive, curious, nosy. She’s intelligent, bright, quick, smart, snarky, She’s positive she’s right all the time and determined to not only tell you that you are wrong, but how. She wants to be in charge. She’s bossy. She’s caring and compassionate for animals, the needy, her brother Ethan, and stuffed animals. She’s been infatuated with the same boy for the past 6 years (I’m grateful he’s moved to middle school). She’s obsessed with horses.
In short, she’s very, very much like me as a child. Except for one HUGE, GAPING, MASSIVE difference. She’s never seen pornography. By her age (10) I had seen a fair amount. By Laura’s age (12), I had seen a LOT and was physically involved with a female friend. I cringe at those facts for myself, and am so incredibly grateful that my girls are innocent. Not unaware, exactly, because they know the facts of life. They know that pornography exists. They are more knowledgeable because there is more to know: AIDS, HIV, STDs, homosexuality, bi-sexuality (and those are fairly awkward conversations!), abortion….my mother’s talk didn’t cover any of these!
I know Catie is grossed out completely at the very thought of sex (and thank goodness!). I also know that in a few short years it will be something she will be very interested in. I can only hope and pray that we are teaching her not just to wait until she’s married, but WHY. And to keep her innocent while we can.
Yesterday Bennett got called “gay”. We asked if he knew what that word meant. Everyone at the table piped up “Happy” right away, but then Laura said ‘boys kiss boys and girls kiss girls.” quietly. Part of me REALLY wanted to ignore that she even said it, but then there’s that I need to be a good parent part that wouldn’t let me. So I asked her where she learned it. Of course the answer was “at school.” We let it go then, but Jim and I talked later and yes, we’re going to talk to her about it.
I’ll be honest–I didn’t see this conversation coming up for a few more years. I’m going to skim as much as possible (leaving it at kissing because she doesn’t know about sex yet!). What is this world coming to that an 8 year old has to have homosexuality explained to her!?
One of my friends on one of my boards (I post on three) brought up the idea of how and when to start having talks with her daughter about sex and periods and such. Being that I have some strong ideas about this, I thought I would share them with you.
I tend to believe that kids these days are WAY to sophisticated and knowledgeable about things having to do with sex. I half blame the media that encourages it and half blame the parents for allowing the kids to watch the media. My kids are pretty innocent about stuff. The have knowledge that is appropriate for 5 and 6 year olds to have. If they have questions, I definitely answer them, which is why Bennett knows that a baby grows inside a uterus, which only women have (and even the whereabouts of its location–he ASKED!)
We are going through a series of books called God’s Design for Sex. There are four books, one each for the following ages: 3-5, 5-8, 8-11, 11-14. So far I’ve read the first one to Bennett and Laura and need to read it to Catie and Ethan. I’m not sure how much Ethan will understand, but I want him to at least listen to what it says.
My mom talked to me as a kid, well, she says she did but I have no recollection of it. In 5th grade our school separated the boys and girls and gave them each a film. I have no clue what the boys learned about, but ours talked about periods, breasts and hair. As an adult, I think I’m a little blase about the whole thing, but I know that Laura and Catie need to be educated about what all is going to happen. I got my first period at 13, but I know that girls are getting them earlier and earlier now. A daughter of a friend of mine called from school to tell her mother she got her period at NINE. She had no clue what it was. Because who would think to talk about that at NINE? So I want to be prepared.
I want my kids to have more respect for themselves than I did. I want them to know they can ask us anything at any time. I want them to save themselves for their spouses–to respect both themselves and their future mate enough to do that. I want them to have a healthy attitude about sex–to have enough knowledge for their age, and not treat it as something either dirty or shameful or forbidden.
God created sex for us! (Thank you, God!) I hope I can instill His attitude about it in my children.