Saturday, June 18, 2011

A borrowed blog about our topic tonight, written by a teenager: Sex Ed.

Here is a blog article written by a teenager!!  I really appreciated how honest and insightful it was.  This is a touchy topic, but I think this is a good start to talking about it.  Check it out, talk to your teenagers, and ask them what they thought about the article.  I think you could really gauge a good discussion.

How to Teach Your Kids about Sex

Beyond the study of anatomy and sexual reproduction in public and private school systems lies a bigger issue. Parents just don’t teach their kids everything they need to know about sex. The number of teen pregnancies, teen abortion and teens affected by sexually transmitted diseases should humble and shame every parent who has ever passed over the topic of sex.
As a parent, it is your duty to prepare your child for everything they’ll face in their adult lives. Be real here, the schools and government should only ever have a basic involvement in how a child is raised to handle difficult issues.
Hold on, give me a minute to put away my soap box.
All right, so the first steps to teaching your child about sex should start very early in life, right along with learning to walk and talk. Come back and finish reading after you’ve finished having your heart attack, because there’s more.
I know the allure of using funny words with your child so they don’t learn words like “penis” and “vagina” at an age when they are very impressionable and parrot everything they hear back is a strong one. By dumbing down important words, you are not only inhibiting the natural speech lessons for your child, but you also create an air of hilarity to their intimate areas which is the seed for embarrassment in regard to the changes in their bodies during puberty. In short, don’t be afraid to use the proper terms in a calm and matter-of-fact way.
Fast-forward a few years, to grade school. It is at this point when we begin teaching our children that strangers are bad, and what the ‘no-no’ spots are. Reinforce these lessons at home by having a serious talk with your growing child. Through these talks, you will keep your child alert to behaviors that are unacceptable, and drive the things about staying safe that the school teaches them home. The consistency between lessons learned at school and talks had at home will give your child a level playing field to deal with these issues of safety.
The importance of open communication between parents and children on matters of a sexual nature only rises as your child grows up. As they inch closer to adulthood, more issues pop up. Their first kiss, first boyfriend/girlfriend, even their first sexual encounter are all things your child should be comfortable speaking with you about. This is a tricky time for your child, and you can make things much easier for them by being available and willing to talk and answer any questions they might have.
On the note of teenage sex: We can teach our children that abstinence is the best way to prevent disease, pregnancy and heartbreak while they’re young, however at the same time you should also teach your child about consequences for their actions. When your teenager hits the point where they have developed a healthy liking for romantic involvement, make it your goal to inform them of possibilities. With sex comes the possibility of sexually-transmitted disease, which can not only damage your teenager emotionally, but can render permanent damage to their changing bodies.
Getting pregnant or getting a girl pregnant is another of the possible life changing consequences of sex. Explain to your child what happened when you were preparing for them to come into the world. Relate to them the trials and hardships you faced, but don’t ramble about it. A story here or there will give your child a pretty good idea that having a baby is a serious responsibility and should not be one of their goals at this stage of life.
The final tip I have for you in regard to teaching your kids about sex is to always monitor them. I don’t mean hover over the poor kid like a vulture, but keep tabs on their life. They’ll appreciate the bond you form, and you’ll be able to deal with issues they face as they come rather than years and years down the road. Your involvement in their life is just as important as food and shelter. Don’t let your son or daughter down by leaving them in the dark.

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