let's talk about sex (again)
I discussed teenage sex and revealing clothing and the whole nine yards of that subject in this post the other day.
It appears that Lilli thinks I am frightened of the thought of my children some day having sex.
To me it seems, [Michele] has a huge problem with the thought of her children having sex, such a huge problem, she has problems or flatly refuses to tell them things they IMO have to know, at that age. I remember when once she told a story of being with her dauhter at a shop and her daughtr finding the condoms. I don't recall the complete story, but I still remember how I thought about that afterwards, I thought for myself "poor girl, she must be some weird kind of shy, because - who posts boobie-pictures but isn't able to explaina 13 year old about condoms?"
Lilli is going on some posts I wrote here and on Raising Hell, but either she hasn't read the entire posts - she just read the parts I excerpted - or she doesn't understand that I only write about the humorous side of discussing these things with your children. The whole condom post is here and as you can see, Natalie did indeed know what a condom was, she was just suprised that they came in something called "ribbed" and I didn't think it was the appropriate time and place (in the drugstore) to explain those things to her.
Nevertheless, Lilli is right about one thing. I am afraid of my kids having sex.
Before I had children, I would brag how I was going to be the Coolest Mother Ever. I would give my kids the freedoms I never had. They would be allowed to do all the things I was forbidden to do. And when the day came that they would come up to me and say "I'm ready for sex" I would hand them a condom and tell them to have at it, just be safe.
And then I grew up, and I became a mother. To a girl, no less. All the thoughts of sexual freedom and being a "cool" parent shriveled up and died the death of a thousand pre-conceived notions before them. I became one of those parents.
You can teach your kids all you want about sexual responsibility, but if you remember teenage passion at all, then you know that all it takes is one time for that passion and some raging hormones to take over and result in a very spontaneous and very dangerous liason. All thoughts of lectures and condoms fly out the window when your libido is doing your thinking for you.
I teach my children to respect themselves and others. This goes for my son as well as my daughter. They know all about sex, they know what sex is, what a blowjob is, what it means to let someone use you or to use someone. Respect for yourself and for the feelings of others is the single most important aspect of sexual education.
Of course the though of my kids having sex frightens me, on many levels. There's pregnancy, AIDS, other STDs, broken hearts, and emotional issues to deal with. Most of us see sex as something wonderful and beautiful shared between to caring, loving people. I can't imagine a teenager seeing it that way. I can't imagine my daughter, at 13 or even at 17, making that conscious decision that she loves someone so much she would share her body with them.
I have armed my children with knowledge and information and that's the most I can do. I have an open door policy when it comes to talking about sex, or any other issues they want to bring up, and they are not afraid to ask hard questions, nor are they embarassed to ask very private questions. I can control some aspects of their lives, but not all. I may be here every time they want to talk about it, but I won't be there that night when a guy slips his arm around Natalie's waist and pulls her into the bedroom. I won't be popping up from under the bed yelling "Don't forget the condoms!" I have to trust my kids to know the right thing to do and follow up on that, but I can't control how much the other party influences their decision.
I'm not ashamed that I've become that kind of parent. The one who doesn't let their kids watch South Park even though all the other kids are watching it, the one who won't let her ten year old purchase Parental Advisory CDs, the one who logs all their AIM conversations so I can be sure they aren't being suckered in by some deranged guy posing as a 12 year old girl. I keep a close watch on them while giving them the freedoms they deserve at thier ages, and that's a hard thing to do, especially when all the other kids are doing things and going places they aren't allowed.
I have an absolute mistrust of a society that panders to the idea of teens as sex objects and if you don't think that's true, just look in any clothing store, watch MTV for a while or skim through any fashion magazine.
I don't have a lack of faith in them, I have a lack of faith in the rest of the world. Sad, but true.