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It’s never too late to become a student again. In the process of talking to your kids about sex and their sexuality, take the opportunity to glean new information from trustworthy sources so you can positively shape your children’s future relationships.
Perhaps embarrassment is preventing you from delving into sexual issues with your child. Consider this: MTV isn’t embarrassed to talk candidly with her about sex. Why should you be embarrassed to talk with her about such an amazing subject?
Remember that your life experiences can be used as either building blocks or stumbling blocks in your child’s life. Why not use your experiences from the past as tools to grow from?
Take an honest look at your life. Healing will come after a genuine review of your life experiences and mistakes. This includes looking at how other have let you down and how poor choices you made impacted your life.
Share with a trusted friend or professional counselor. Find a reliable person with whom you can share not only the experiences described above but also the feelings that came from your experiences. Healing is unlikely outside of relationships, and talking with a trustworthy friend or counselor can provide a tremendous sense of relief from the pain and sadness of your past.
This is perhaps the most difficult part of the process. Forgiveness of those who have wronged you, and forgiveness of yourself for making mistakes in the past are essential to free you to help your children develop a healthy sense of self-worth and sexuality. Forgiveness isn’t the same as forgetting- and it doesn’t matter if the person has asked for or earned forgiveness. It’s truly a process of letting go and moving forward. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself!
Letting your kids know you doesn’t mean sharing all of your mistakes and weaknesses. Rather, you should share how your own experiences have impacted your journey. Allow your child to know that you have felt the same emotions she is experiencing. Help her see that you have walked in her shoes. When you allow your child to know that you experienced some of the same struggles growing up and had many of the same questions, she’s less likely to feel alone in her quest for maturity.
If fear is holding you back from exploring this important topic, it’s time to examine the root fear of such fear. Are you ashamed to talk with your kids because you had many partners early on and are embarrassed about the mistakes you’ve made? Maybe you’ve never experienced sex in the context of a committed, healthy (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) relationship, or perhaps you were abused as a child. Or maybe you’re just not emotionally ready to talk with your child about sex because you were raped, or she was conceived while you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or you weren’t married when you got pregnant. Perhaps a sexual addiction or an affair have cost you your marriage and family, and you’re not ready to be vulnerable with your child about the pain of your past.
This information comes from:
Coz, M.R. (Ed.).(2005). Questions Kids Ask About Sex Honest Answers For Every Age. Revell.
Your behaviors and attitudes about sex (spoken or unspoken) will forever be imprinted into her life. Some parents are scared to talk to their kids about such a personal issue. Others are flat-out unprepared (academically and/or emotionally).
Since you are probably not a physician and don’t hold a degree in anatomy and physiology, take heart. You’re not alone. One of the benefits of being a parents in today’s sexually saturated society is that there are plenty of resources and places to go for advice on this topic- but make sure the advice supports your worldview.