It appears that there is a huge debate on how we (The US) should handle sex education. There are some who want their kids to be totally abstinent and not even know about the existence of sex. Then there is the other extreme who wants everyone to throw caution to the wind and just load them up with condoms and let them have at it. You know me, I am all about the happy medium.
Since I was never forced into the idea of abstinence or made blind to the fact that sex did indeed exist, I fail to see how keeping our children completely ignorant is going to help them make any kind of informed and intelligent decision when faced with dilemmas, and trust me, they will and probably are already facing them. As technology has grown so has our young people’s exposure to the world. And too many times, before parents even have the chance to have the talk with their kids, they have already heard about it from their friends… which could be alarming considering who our children might be friends with at the time.
Now I’m not saying we should drop a steady stream of porn in their laps and say, “Here ya’ go.” I certainly don’t think that’s the way to go either. However I think a lot of people (teachers and even parents) are trying so hard to avoid having these crucial conversations with their kids because it’s probably going to be awkward for both sides. But if they aren’t presented with the facts of the good and bad, information regarding the risks as well as the rewards from a reliable source then where else are they going to get it? Make no mistake, they will hear about it from somewhere.
My mom never forbade me to do anything (knowing it would make whatever it was all the more enticing if she did), but she talked with me about sex whenever she saw a learning opportunity (moment of mortification usually on my end). We had honest discussion (as she tried to ignore my beet red face) and went over what was appropriate and what wasn’t (based on our beliefs, the conversation may vary for some). But she never hid it from me. Now I am not against abstinence, however I believe children should have the knowledge to correspond with why they should be abstinent if that is your belief. Saying, “Just don’t do it because I said so,” isn’t going to cut it… I don’t think it ever has.
I am afraid for children who are kept in the dark since they are the most uninformed. I feel they are the likeliest targets for those that would wish to do them harm. When I see reports of girls birthing babies at thirteen years of age, I become concerned that we could be having these talks “too late” if at all. I believe that having an honest discussion with our children about why they should wait, or be careful and use protection (or whatever it is we want to teach our individual children) could have a larger impact than pushing it off until later (like preteen or teenage years when it could be too late) or never at all. Perhaps we won’t or can’t reach them all, but we could give them and ourselves a fighting chance. Just my opinion.