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I Have Some Questions About Dealing With Sensitive Issues As Children Grow Up.

by Marcie

I really want to ask you about introducing the sensitive issue of sex to our children. I noticed on this site that you mention that it is important to be up front with them from the start.

As I have mentioned my oldest is 10 and really so far the only thing that has come up is where do babies come from. Well, they know where they come from, but we have not discussed how. Is there an age that is most appropriate to introduce this?

I am also very confused about exactly how to guide them with this sensitive subject. For me personally and without doubt, abstinence was my firm choice until I met and married my very charming Prince Charming. I never dreamed I would ever guide my children in any other way. For me it was always sacred rather than recreational.

I know I am not supposed to ever attempt to put them in my box and condemn them for not choosing certain options. Perhaps as I allow for them to connect with their own inner guidance, they will find these answers?

Also, I understand that anything we try to control in others will not unfold naturally, so I am interested in your advice about the Internet. As they become more user friendly with the computer, do you recommend a filter to block adult material?

Thank you so much for all of your insight and I so appreciate the time and attention you give to my questions.

Comments for I Have Some Questions About Dealing With Sensitive Issues As Children Grow Up.

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Teaching Children About Sexuality
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Marcie,
It is easier to discuss sexual stuff when children are younger, rather than waiting until they are teenagers and in the grip of teenage passions!

It's harder to have the big sit down talk about sex and sexual values and behavior, than it is to answer questions when they arise. And preschoolers ask a lot more questions about sex than a ten year old! Ten year olds don't like to think about their parents having sex, but your oldest child is at the age, where the opposite sex starts to become more interesting, rather than ewww girls are yucky!

You have really answered some of your own question! Sharing how you view a sexual relationship is a big part of how children make their choices about their sexual values when they grow up. You may have moved away from the fixed idea about what is right or wrong in sexual relationships, but that doesn't mean your values and decision are wrong. Your kids need to know how you feel or felt about entering into a sexual relationship, and how it is a spiritual connection for you.

Be guided by your kids as to how much information you give them. If they ask, answer, if they are looking like "wow, Mom, too much information" then back off. But when you think about it, learning to be a loving sexual partner is not something we are taught. Many young people's experience of sex is awful, because they have never learned about their own bodies and responses, let alone about the opposite sex.

I would start by getting story books for young kids. I can't think of titles off the top of my head, but there are some good ones that don't only talk about reproduction, but also talk about the loving side of sex with Daddy or Mommy. Your older child will hear you reading them to the younger ones, and you can talk about the relationship side of sexuality with them and he will get it by default!

There are also some very good books for teenagers which I would recommend you get BEFORE they become teens and get embarrassed about. You can even have some books as part of the family library that are just accessible if they want to find out something.

You may also be able to introduce a discussion after a TV program or movie. Relationships are commonly portrayed in one form or another, and bringing in your own perspective or choices as a comparison can set the scene for a discussion.

Part Two Follows

Internet and Children - Should You Filter?
by: Annie Desantis

Now about the internet. I tried a filtering program when my kids were young and the internet was becoming more available. I am not up to date with what is available now, but I do remember then, it was just a nuisance. This page for instance would not get through the controls because we have mentioned sex. I know you can make exceptions for certain websites, but I found it more of a hindrance than a help.

When I thought more about it, I decided I didn't see the need for it. My kids were seldom on the internet unless I was around. Not that I was checking over their shoulder, but I was reasonably aware of what sites they were visiting or what they were looking up on the internet (and you can check!)

Also I wanted to encourage them to search out information, and evaluate it and make decisions. I wanted them to talk to me about what they found, and discuss what they thought, and if they believed the information (just because it is on the internet doesn't make it right - including my advice!)

Yes, there are predators out there that are not something you want to attract into your home, and there are very violent sites that you would not want a child spending time on. But I would tend to be open with your kids, and discuss them, and some of those sites can even open the door to a discussion about what is a more loving kind of sexuality, rather than sex as recreation. Better to talk about it than have it as something they keep hidden.

You can make sure your kids are aware of taking care of themselves, not by talking about online sexual predators necessarily, but keeping values like openness and honesty in the foreground. It is the secrecy and dishonesty that causes problems.

On the other hand if it gives you peace of mind to have a filtering program installed, then go with what helps you to feel good about your kids spending time online.

Hope that gives you some ideas,
EnJOY your day,
Annie Desantis

Thanks Annie!
by: Marcie

Wow, thanks so much for your detailed and helpful reply!!! It certainly does make more sense to approach it this way. I mean they understand why I am Mama, but they have shown curiosity as to what makes Daddy their Daddy.

I have just avoided the subject. :) It is difficult for me to imagine talking about it to them, but I will get there. I will definitely look for some books and thanks again!!!!

Problem With Avoiding Talking About Sex With Children
by: Annie Desantis

The tricky thing if you are avoiding talking about something, is your kids start to pick up maybe there is something wrong, or "not nice" about it.

Kids need to grow up knowing their bodies are lovely, respecting their body, and being empowered to make good choices. If they get the impression there is something to hide, or sexuality is an uncomfortable topic, then that shapes their beliefs.

Having said that, it isn't an easy thing to talk about, particularly if one has been raised with "stuff" around sexuality. (I'm not suggesting you have!)

However you also have to respect your own boundaries and level of discomfort, and be creative about finding ways to honor yourself, and not force yourself to talk about something when you are uncomfortable, because they pick that up anyway!

You can bring that out into the open, if they ask you something tricky, you can say, "it is hard for me to talk about this because I was raised not to discuss sexuality." "Lets see if we can find a book, or look online" (Or send them to Ask Annie!)

Also since you homeschool, you have lots of opportunities to raise issue through the activities you do.

Good luck!

I agree.
by: Marcie

I agree! I am kind of waiting for that perfect moment and that green light feeling inside. I'm learning that when something doesn't quite "feel" right, that there is a reason. So, definitely I should wait for that opportunity. I mean my 3 year old said recently that we got her at Walmart!!! We did get a kick out of that one. That was even after the baby was born and she knew where he came from. :)

I have kind of wondered about some of my insecurities that I brought with me into adulthood and wanting to avoid passing those to my own girls. That is one of my BIG questions about modesty. I mean where is the line? Does modesty make you feel shameful? Are there guide lines for dressing appropriately, so on and so forth for girls as they mature? Is modesty good or bad? My husband has been exceptional at moving me past insecurity things, but I still think some things linger that need to go. Perhaps EFT, huh. Oh well, this is a discussion for children, not me. LOL!!!Thanks again!!!!

Parent's Stuff!
by: Annie Desantis

Hi,

You are very welcome to submit questions about adults/parents, not just related directly to the children.

To be a brilliant parent we need to clean up our own stuff. All our beliefs and conditioning tends to unconsciously be passed down to our kids, until we become more conscious about what is driving us and clean it up.

I have many years experience as a Psychotherapist and counselor, so my expertise is not just related to parenting and child development.

Just to warn you tho there may be a little delay in my reply, I am currently building up to the launch of Super Skills 4 Kids, so have a lot of deadlines. But I will answer any questions!

Annie D

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