What Say You?

I was reading this post by Jessica Gottlieb and it got my mind working.

My kids aren’t into their teens yet. Still haven’t quite reached the preteens. (Tweens?) But the days aren’t far around the corner. Eight, almost nine, years have already gone by with Brodie. I watch her everyday, her curiosity peaking. (Peeking?) I’m afraid. I’m not. My nieces and nephews have reached that age. My niece actually has reached the teens. Her hormonal filled mind making decisions, I too made, but I wish I could warn her. Stop her before she makes a move she will not regret, but be disheartened by. Life is filled with stepping stones. Sometimes we move forward, sometimes we move five steps back for that one step forward. We learn by each stepping stone.

My mother in law used to spend a great deal of time discussing the road to take with our children. There is the, motto, if you wish, “Do as I say, Not as I do”. Which I for one have a hard time with. How can I as a parent go and do drugs, drink and drive etc then turn to my children, who are very capable of understanding and say “No! You cannot do that”. Am I not the role model? Am I not the one who is supposed to be teaching my child right from wrong? The guider. Not the tyrant. Then there is the in the dark approach. When a controversial issues, of sorts, comes up, let’s just not approach it. Let’s just pretend it didn’t happen. I do take this stance with somethings in my life. It’s a method of shutting down for me. I hide within myself and weather the storm. But I do not take this method with my children. I don’t want them to experience shutting down. It’s a difficult habit to kick. There is also the, it’s always wrong, approach. This one by far scares me than anything else. Cursing, while may prove to be distasteful in certain situations, is not “bad”. Only inappropriate. Smoking, while may not be the healthiest, is not “bad” either. Just a habit that may need to be kicked. Unhealthy would be the best word in this case. Sex, not at all bad. It created my children. It’s enjoyable. There are ways sex can be bad, i.e. rape, molestation, being a pedophile etc. But sex is not “bad”. The last approach is the open approach. A child talks about sex in a nonchalant way, you instead of punishing etc, educate. A child asks how a baby is born, you educate. It’s the open line of communication. This is the approach I attempt to take with my children.

Brodie when we first moved here, hung out with some older children. They taught her the word sex. She had heard if before, but with age, her curiosity peaked when she heard this word. She then wrote this word on school papers and was sent to the office over it. The principal did not “punish” her, more advised her on it being inappropriate. We at home also did the same thing. Brent and I tossed around how we would approach her with this. Should we tell her exactly what sex is yet? Instead we chose to tell her that sex is a word that she should not be using at this age. That in the future we will explain to her what it is. That like life, there are stepping stones. With age you get privileges.

What do I mean?

Just like driving a car. I will not let my child drive a car at 8. I will tell her she is not allowed to or ready to yet. That happens when you are 16. Make – up. You want to wear it. But I think there is an appropriate age for it. Same with dating. Going out. Having sex. And more. You do it when you have reached the age of appropriateness.

They are going to experiment. They are going to do it without us knowing. Sometimes they are going to do it, with us knowing. We can tell them no, but will they listen? I didn’t. So instead of telling my children at 15, no you can’t have sex. I can educate them. Isn’t education the root of knowledge and choices? I’m not saying if you teach them everything about sex that they will not do it. I’m just saying they if you educate them, what are the chances of the situation turning out different. It’s hard. It’s scary. I hope that if I educate them enough, then they are able to grasp it more and I will then pray things will be OK.

But this is my stance. What I believe. Not what is right or what is wrong.

What is your stance?

Comments

  1. Since I learned all about sex at a very early age (6) because we had a slutty babysitter that explained all the things she did with her boyfriend. I was bound and determined that my girls would hear everything from me….way before they could hear about it at school from classmates.

    Remember once you are the authority on the topic, then that's who they come to with all their questions. I wish you much luck because it is tough!

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  3. I'd have to say that your approach is very very similar to ours. My oldest, now 14, learned at 8 about sex because I was pregnant & he had questions. We kept it simple, only answering exactly what he asked & not going into more detail. That's something we stick to with all subjects…because most kids are only looking for the simplest most straight forward answer…until they hit older ages anyway 🙂

    My best friend had troubles with the don't do as i do part wrt drugs…they went with the educate path – so their daughter understood the consequences of the different things out there…hoping that if she were to try any, she'd at least know which would cause the most harm & avoid those.

  4. Awh:) Was that niece thats a teen me??? 🙂 Awh:) I’m 15 now!! Woohoo! To much to deal with:/ Your right there are wrong and right choices there are always something you can choose. I myself hae made wrong choices yes. I do not regret them but do regret that i should have done it at a diffrent time in life. Your right Aunty.. Should have listened then.