Mom to Mom
by Amelia Garcia
We often find it very difficult to talk to our children about the feelings that appear in adolescence. It is even more difficult to touch on the issue of sexuality with them. Responsible parents, however, know that we cannot avoid these types of conversations. God has entrusted us in Proverbs 22: 6: "Train a child in the way in which he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it." This also includes educating them in the emotional and sexual issues involved in different stages of life.
Talking about the issue can embarrass both parents and children:
“We would prefer that it be mom and dad who told us about sex, instead of
reading some books on the subject, listening to a teacher’s explanation, or
learning from what is shown on television or the internet,” says one young
“It's easier to ask a friend about sex, because we feel a lot of shame when talking
about the subject with our parents,” another says.
“I have questions about sex sometimes, but I do not dare ask my mother because
I do not want her to think I am interested in living these experiences, or even
worse, that I have already started in it,” shares a teenager.
"I have no idea how to start a conversation with my parents about sex," says
“I've heard things about sex that would scandalize my parents.”
Why do we as Christian parents need to address this sensitive issue? Here are some reasons:
1. Sex appears on television, in movies, in magazines, on the internet, but often remains untouchable between parents and children.
2. Children are exposed to erroneous information about the subject early on. Once they start school, what they hear about sex can cause them to develop a distorted view. also, children may be victims of unscrupulous adults.
3. Knowing where babies come from is not enough. Young people must learn how to distinguish between right and wrong. To do this, they must develop moral values that guide right decisions.
Why don’t our children dare to ask us about sex? And if they ask us, how should we react so they feel free to do so in the future?
The answer is that we must start educating our children early. If we wait for their teen years, we risk them being inhibited about it. The solution is to create an environment of confidence, informing them little by little. How? Let's look at the opinions of some experts:
• During early childhood, they must learn the names of the sexual organs and, above all, that no one can touch them. Children must learn to defend themselves firmly if someone tries to touch their private parts. They must also feel confident to tell their parents or caregivers what anyone has done, even if they have been threatened or promised gifts for their silence.
• We must work on the gender identity of each child as soon as he/she notices that there are boys and girls. I have observed that today it doesn’t matter if you are female or male when choosing costumes, toys or certain tasks. It is true that none of this determines sexuality, but as the child begins to recognize itself as a little person in this world, it is very important not to cause confusion or misinterpretation.
Keep in mind that in those early ages they have not yet noticed their own sex, and if we do not help them, they can gravitate to the opposite side. While society says you can choose what you want to be, we can help them accept the sexuality with which God created us. Once they are clear about their sexual identity, there will be time help them understand that tools or toys do not determine whether you're a man or a woman.
• We must talk to them frequently when they are in elementary school. We must investigate what they already know about sex and show ourselves willing to clarify the issues without forcing them to talk about it. As we time with them, the topic will come up naturally. It is better to have many short conversations instead of long and overwhelming ones. Help them know what they need according to their degree of maturity, without overwhelming them with too much information.
• During adolescence, let's make sure that our children understand the physical, emotional and moral issues involved in sex. As uncomfortable as it may be to talk about the subject, they have to be informed in order to maintain a biblical position. It may be difficult for them to talk about the topic spontaneously, but we want them to be prepared to counteract external pressures around them.
• Instead of directly asking our children what they think about a particular issue related to sexuality, we should ask them what their colleagues think about the topic in question. They are more likely to express their own ideas frankly.
• Young people must develop moral values that help them make good decisions. They must know the moral values of their parents. If we believe we should wait for marriage to have sex, let's say it clearly and concisely. Express often that sex between adolescents is unacceptable. When parents emphasize this, young people often delay sexual intercourse.
Always keep in mind that the fact that they know our principles does not guarantee they will adopt them. However, these can serve as a basis for forming their own moral code. Many young people eventually adopt the values of their parents, even if they rejected them in adolescence.
• Take advantage of news stories to start a conversation that allows them to express their values. My mother used cases from our daily life as examples of the consequences of not making the right decisions. She made me analyze the situation: “Why do you think that happened to her or him?” In addition, my mother never acted as a judge when asking me about sexual matters or my activities with my friends or boyfriend. I think it is important that young people not feel judged. If we show confidence in them, they usually try not to destroy that trust.
• We must speak not only of sin before God, but of the consequences for our body, such as venereal diseases that can be contracted even using condoms. Help them understand that any protection is not 100% effective, and that early pregnancy can drastically change the course of their lives. Remind them that as Christians we recognize that abortion would never be an option.
• Remember that God describes sex as a gift and not as something bad (Proverbs 5:18, 19): "Blessed be your spring, and rejoice with the wife of your youth, as a beloved servant and graceful gazelle, your caresses satisfy at all times, and in your love, always rejoice." If we always highlight the negative aspects, our children will develop an incorrect concept of sexuality and hate it as something unworthy. Explain that God made sex pleasurable with a specific purpose: to guarantee the perpetuity of the human race. He intended us to enjoy it as part of the beauty of marriage.
Let us pray that our children reach marriage full of the dream of discovering in their union the delights and responsibilities they will experience. "Draw me after you, we will run. The king has put me in his chamber; we will enjoy ourselves and rejoice in you; we will remember your love more than wine" (Song of Solomon 1:4).
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