Doing It By The Book
How to talk to you kids about sex
By: Mary Fagan on: Tue 30 of Oct, 2007 [12:44 UTC] (1592 reads)
Do your kids groan at the mention of sex? When mine were younger, they had stronger stomachs (or didn’t have much of a clue yet) and I could broach the subject without ruining meals, their day, their life or whatever. Despite their gagging, it is something I bring up from time to time because they’re bombarded with sex and sexuality from everywhere else. I just want equal time for my opinion, guidance, information, perspective and yes, my experience.
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I learned about sex from what the moms in my whole suburban development called “the book.” This well-used pass-around had photos of chickens, eggs, sperm, a couple of babies, and some brief text about what organs went where in the process - the usual. Moms swore by “the book” and it brought all the girls and boys on Forest Stream Drive from “where do babies come from” to estimating how many times our parents did IT based on the number of brothers and sisters we had. I read “the book” 3 times to make sure I understood IT correctly. I was a slow learner and was, and still am, hampered by a vivid 3-D imagination. I remember my deep gratitude for the selfless sacrifice(s) my parents endured creating me and my siblings.
When a younger kid in the neighborhood began asking questions, we’d tell our parents, bringing on arguments over the proper timing for the delivery of “the book”. (Our English teachers recruited us en mass for the debate team in high school.) The moms would always hold out until the very last minute, causing the older kids to have to take on the parent’s discomfort in dealing with IT. After the offending child finally turned “the book’s” pages, we’d all get together, share our revulsion, make our estimations, identify the grossest page of the book and then go play ball, Barbies or climb trees.
Thankfully, parents now days have a few more resources like “What’s Love Got To Do With IT” by Dr. John Chirban. It’s a new “talking to your kids about sex” book that covers what to expect and what to share at every age level. (Confession - I read it to see if I had done anything that even closely resembled good advice.)
Well, praise the Lord and pass the scrambled eggs: The man advocates using humor, the importance of involvement with your children, stresses RELATIONSHIPS and when talking about IT with kids, he even dares to mention the role of spirituality. Thank you, Dr. Chirban for this excellent book with easy-to-follow and practical tips on what, how and when to discuss sex with our children.
What I liked most of all is his belief that parents and children need to be connected, and to do this, parents need to be involved with their kids. To be involved you need to be present. As far as I am concerned, this goes beyond any one topic - it is a universal truth. Dr. Chirban also gives specific things to expect at all the developmental stages and he recommends activities. In addition, there is a list of things not to do (as some of us only had “the book” and can use a bit more direction).
I do have one criticism though. Dr. Chriban gets to the “vast disconnect between sex and love in our culture” toward the end of the book. This is HUGE to me. Well, perhaps it really is an opening to another future book that would go into even more of what parents can do to connect sex and love for our kids when everyone on TV, radio, magazines and in the movies is getting a piece - without much of a love connection.
And Dr. Chirban shares some heartening news. On page 161, I see that men find women’s buttocks TONS more erotic than hair, eyes, thighs, hips, and waists. I have that #1 item well covered, so it looks smart not to have wasted money on a Thigh Master and I bet I can shave off some time in the makeup department. Va va voom!
On a more serious note, parents rejoice! According to a report in this book, you exert significant influence on your child. We need to be reassured this is true when all we seem to get is a lot of huffing and puffing from them.
On second thought, as long as the huffing and puffing is directed at me I can live with that.
Mary Fagan has an M.S. in Education and is the mother of three children with the gray hairs to prove it. When not watching them closely, she offers lighthearted parenting humor at http://motherwise.us.