Monday, February 24, 2014

Do Me A Favor...



     Do you love your child?  If so read on.  No, this is not an ad for a brand of condoms.  What this is is another small step in the endeavor to educate our children into understanding their bodies 100%. To enable them to make informed decisions about their lives as they grow into adult, members of society.

     So talk to them.  At the very least, around their 9th or 10 birthday, (not for their birthday, I've been instructed) get a copy of Where Did I Come From, or another birds and bees book and tell them to read it, (or read it together) and feel free to ask you any questions.  Let the chats go where they may.  What is the worst that could happen?  

     Worried that they might learn new things and be eager to try them out?  Well, that's why you drill into them that every choice brings consequences, some good, some not so.  They need to know a possible-probable side affect from sex, is creating life.  Also, a possible side affect, is a plethora of other things these days.  I grew up in the 70's and 80's.  I remember a time before AIDS; as I am sure do a lot of you who are reading this.  Know how I interpret that?  A new disease was discovered in my lifetime that was not known before.   Ergo: What disease will tomorrow bring?  Not that crazy of a concept.  And AIDS was a killer.  Thankfully there has been progress, and I don't think it's the death sentence it once was.   Just think, the world used to be flat; and that knowledge was widespread less than a millennium ago.  Also, be assured, the much touted phrase, "Just say no," belongs in fairyland.  It does not take into account, hormones, peer pressure, or anything else that a 12-17 year old experiences.  Did it work for you?

     There's a lot of sombering studies.  Here's a link to Tyra Banks talking about an anonymous survey her show conducted in 2008: http://www.today.com/id/27706917#.Uwt1g4VyCg8
Among other lovelies; 14% of the girls surveyed that are having sex, are having it at school.
I seriously doubt that things have improved in 6 years.

     If you have very young children, start practicing, (in your head, in the car or wherever) until you are as comfortable talking about sex with your child as you are about discussing the weather.  If you don't, be assured others will.  And the message may not be one you like.  Not to mention, it may not be true.  "It's just sex, it's no big deal," is a popular statement touted as long as I can remember.  You know, back at the turn of the 21st century.  I say that simply because my daughters keep asking me if I was alive "back then" for topics; including the first car, the first plane, and the first computer.  Pleased to say, "no" to all.  The first computer was built in the 1800s.

     If you don't talk to them, will it be much consolation, when something such as an unplanned pregnancy, or an unwanted disease "just happens" to your child?  Likely, you won't even know.  What secrets did you keep from your parents?  If you don't get to the point of being comfortable with talking with your kids about sex, how on Earth do you think they'll feel about telling you that they have a disease?  Reminder: lies and secrets, beget more lies and secrets.  Doesn't quite make for happy family relations.  Possibly for years to come.

     A well adjusted, emotionally mature, contributing member of society does not simply "pop-up" from that cute little bundle of joy.  They must be raised.  These are our babies.  No, it's not always easy; often it's awkward as arse.  However, parents must be involved in order to guide them through. To try to get through to them that it is up to them, and them only, to keep themselves safe, and healthy.  Life is messy.  Being a parent only makes it messier; in so many ways.  It's up to YOU, the adult, to ensure that it's all worth it.

Good luck.