Sex. Sex. Sex. And then there’s sexuality. I never thought I’d be ready to even bring up this subject to my kids! Just saying the words sex and sexuality to my girls makes it so awkward as a parent. Call me prude. Call me old fashioned. I still think of my daughters as my babies. Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was walking them to preschool and taking them to Gymboree class? Holy crap! Now I have to explain sex and sexuality? I’m screwed, no pun intended.
I can only imagine what our kids are hearing at school these days from other kids. We know schools are introducing sex education videos and talking to students. With this in mind, I need to do the grown up thing that parents do. Talk to my own teenage daughter about sex before someone else does and be as honest and open as I possibly can without overwhelming or confusing her. There is no perfect moment. No perfect talk. My motto, “Keep it simple.”
Don’t get me started with television. Even the networks are more revealing than ever before. Our children are bombarded daily with sexuality from TV, movies, commercials, magazines, advertising, and now I have the added worry of what’s out there on the Internet. Exposure to sex and sexuality is everywhere. Tween and teen girls twerking on Snapchat videos. Uugghh. I’m sick to my stomach, but I can’t shelter my kids. I only wonder how on earth parents are so completely unaware of all the dangerous apps that their kids are installing without their knowledge?
Then there’s TRUST. When I say trust, I mean this is HUGE in a teenager’s world. If I can build trust with my own daughters, then I’m hoping they will most likely feel comfortable talking to me about other things. No guarantees with anything, but the need to feel safe in coming to a parent is a big deal. If my girls don’t feel safe talking to me, then I might as well forget it.
Oh, and a major thing about being the real deal as a parent...refraining from giving nicknames for the penis and vagina! Why is it that parents feel the need to call the vagina “va jay jay” or penis the “peepee?" I personally can’t stand this! Seriously, the last thing any parent can do is mock the human genitals! Of course, giggling and laughing can lighten any tense moment or talk. But truly, referring to the male and female body parts should be kept to their actual name! Keep it real and once again, keep it simple.
I saved the best for last. SELF RESPECT. Teaching our children to respect their own bodies is essential. It encompasses every part of their being and ultimately how they will learn to value themselves in the real world and with future relationships. No parent should ever say, “what happened to my little girl?” You’ve already lost her if you can’t figure that one out. We’re living in a sex-obsessed culture where young girls are pressure filled with more than they can emotionally and intellectually comprehend. Sadly, sexting, porn and posting half naked pictures have become socially acceptable in cyber world.
So, pay attention to the little things when it comes to your daughter or son. I’m saying this because you might just miss that one big thing that’s affecting her/him. The last thing you want to say is “it’s too late now.”