Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sex Ed

My daughter The Doctor and her pals are in a home-based sex ed class this month. A wonderful woman from Planned Parenthood named Cassie is leading the discussions.

As we moms talk about how are kids are doing in the class, one thing is clear to me. Kids are kids! Embarrassment is the main name of the game. I understand the "model for showing the proper application of the condom" demonstration went well...

Teen:  Mom, tell me that you and dad only did it (counts number of siblings) THREE times.
They have discussed STDs, alternate choices for contraception, and how to "do it". Everyone of the moms report having had the same conversation with their teen after the class.
Mom:  (grinning) Sorry, Kid.

In our house, I have always spoken frankly, honestly, and respectfully of all things related to sex and reproduction so we have had many discussions about these issues already. Dr. Who is SURE she is capable of teaching this class. Now THAT I would like to see...

The things is, I find the transmission of this information to be VITAL. I refuse to have my kids walk away with the belief that sex can be shameful or should bring a sense of guilt or should be hidden. It is private, sure. Not not hidden.

My daughter and I AND my son and I AND the family has a whole have all had conversations that I wish someone would have had with me when I was younger. Maybe I would have respected ... things more as a young adult.

These conversations probably won't keep my children virgins until marriage, but they will be, I fully expect, more confident and safe than I ever was! At this point, Dr. Who is mad about infants. She is attracted to their adorable little fists, to their sweet sounds, to their tiny toes. But she is appalled by PARENTING an infant! And THAT is what will keep her from becoming a parent too soon!

Look, I don't WANT her to "do it". But if she is going to, I want her to be wise...

I remember talking with some very beloved teens about ten years ago. They insisted that they would remain virgins until they were married, "You know, unless I love the guy."

Hang on, that is the caveat that gets every kids into trouble right there. Would you care to guess how many guys they "LOVED" before marriage? Let's say it was more than five each. Over all, not a terrible number, but these were girls who were SURE that they would never do it. So neither of them used protection. Happily none of them became pregnant or had anything untoward happen as a result of being sexually active. Having these conversations with these girls reminded me how very strong the emotions are and how they can move us.

Talking about the emotional aspects of puberty, sexuality, and affection of all kinds, I hope, will, further, make it easier for my kids to come to me when they are confused, have questions, or when they are thinking about taking things to the next step. I have already had some very frank discussions that, at the time, brought buzzing to my ears. But, after practicing what I preach, the conversations were wonderful and something that make me proud to recall.

AND prove that my daughter and I can talk about anything.

1 comment:

  1. It's a state law in TX to not teach most aspects of what I call sex ed. I found that out at a recent parent lecture. The doctor said that it must be taught in after school hours and not with school budget so the PTA paid for the presentation & offered it to parents & teens. As a new Texas resident it was news to me.

    The high schools here have day care centers inside them for the children of the students. I have never ever seen such a thing in CT where I am from. They even have the teens working in it, in a voc ed program intended to help girls become daycare workers later, a parent told me.

    I find that kids forget things. I have had frank discussions with my kids based on questions I'm asked (at ages earlier than I ever expected to tell them these things) but find that my son promptly forgot it all. Thus talking about this one time is not enough.

    I think some parents are so traumatized by talking about sex with their kid they think the info is as etched into their kid's minds as it is in their own. They are probably wrong.


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