Do You Answer Your Tween's Sex Questions?
And while I was grateful I never had to talk about sex with my Mom back then, I will tell you that I wish I could have heard from my Mom the things about sex that health class and books don't tell you.
Things like: A boy can tell you he loves you and not mean it, because he wants to have sex with you. You should pay attention to how he acts when you're not being physical. Things like: Sometimes when a boy is kissing you and pushing his body against yours it can feel so good you forget yourself and make quick decisions that can alter the entire course of your life in a heartbeat. Take a minute. Think. Be smarter than that. Things like: If you're having sex because everyone else is and you feel like you should be too, then you're letting other people make decisions for you about the use of your own body. Why would you want to do that?
My Mom never had the opportunity to tell me that because I never trusted her to tell me the truth -- if she was even going to tell me anything at all, mind you. She could have said all that, and I wouldn't have believed it, because I had no basis to trust that she knew what she was talking about. If she had answered my questions honestly, then told me how she felt about the subject, based on her convictions and beliefs, I would have known I could trust her to inform me, at least. I may not have ended up agreeing with her beliefs or supporting all her convictions, but I would have known where she stood -- and that she stood behind me as I faced this new and frequently frightening world brought on by puberty.
I tell my daughter now what she needs to know. Sometimes I touch on the deeper subjects mentioned above, and sometimes I just give her a straight, somewhat dry and clinical answer. It has depended on her age at the time of the asking and sometimes, her question is followed by my asking "Where did you hear that?" or "Why do you want to know about that?" which leads to even more open dialogue. The important thing is, she knows I'll tell her what I know, and she knows that sometimes I'll tell her how I feel about it, based on my own life experiences. Maybe those lessons will stick, maybe they won't entirely. I did my part, and will continue to do my part.
We need to be honest with our kids. We don't need to be overly explanatory or incredibly graphic, but we do need to tell them the truth.
After all, if she doesn't hear it from me, who should I trust her to hear it from?
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Photo Credit: sjsharktank.