The importance of talking to your kids about sex.

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This is always a hard topic to address. Yes, it is an intimate subject – because it’s an intimate and sacred activity to participate in. For some reason, parents are so intimidated to talk to their kids about sex. I’m going to start off by saying: It is no ones job but YOURS to talk to YOUR kids about sex.

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Both my mom and grandma were teenage parents. And in both instances, the biological father did not stick around. Luckily my mom and grandma both later married wonderful men, who I proudly can call my dad and grandpa. Clearly sex wasn’t talked about appropriately in the generations before me.

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(this is my Grandma, Grandpa and mom at my wedding)

I remember when I was about 8 years old, I was at the store with my grandma. Earlier that week, I had heard someone say that you should only have kids when your married. That confused me as a young girl because I knew that my mom was not married when she had me and my older sister. So I asked my grandma “How can people that aren’t married have babies?”. I don’t remember what my Grandma said, but she obviously talked to my mom. I remember my mom bringing up the topic in the car one day. I remember that it was short and sweet and to the point. “People don’t have to be married to have babies, they just have to have sex.” – that might be paraphrased a little but it’s as best as I could remember. But that was all that was said. It didn’t turn into a long conversation of who, what, why, when or how. It was just left at that.

I was in 3rd grade the first time I heard my peers talk about sex. I learned about sex through peers. My mom always said “If you are going to do it, be safe about it!” But I don’t remember ever having a conversation about the different types of contraceptives. I’m pretty sure I learned that in school.

I was 16 when I lost my virginity. And the guy was a TOTAL jerk. I went to his house “to watch a movie”. He gave me my first beer and… well, you can put the rest of the story together. I struggled a lot after that point. Constantly feeling the need to feel wanted, attractive and loved, I had multiple partners. I just thought that’s what your supposed to do when you are dating. No one ever told me other wise. I didn’t have good quality friends at that time. In fact, the quality friends I had before I had sex, decided that it was best that we weren’t friends any more. I lost sight of my dreams, goals and ambitions. And I was confused with my sexuality. I got into drugs and alcohol. I snuck out at night and wouldn’t come home. I was a mess.

When I was 17, I was with a friend at a party. We were the only two girls there with 7 or 8 guys. We were all intoxicated. My friend went in the back room with one of the guys. I didn’t know any of these boys so I had told another guy that I didn’t want to go back with him. I heard one of the boys say “lets rape her”.

Terrified, I snuck away to my car, locked the doors, drove my car around the block and called any friends that I thought would be up at 2 am. My friend, Jeron came to my rescue. To this day, I am incredibly grateful for his willingness to be there for me at a drop of a hat. He left on his mission shortly after that. I wrote him a lot while he was out. He not only saved me that scary night, but he saved my spirit. In our letters, he never once talked to me about the church. But he treated me like a person, he never judged and he was just there. Always.

In December of 2008 after getting one of his letters, I took a look at my life. I didn’t like where my life was headed. It was a dark scary road that I no longer wanted to be part of.

At the time, I feel like my transformation took FOREVER. But looking back, it was pretty quick. But it was baby steps.

I started by moving back with my dad. I was living in a house with several roommates and there were always parties there. I figured I couldn’t change if I didn’t move. After I moved back with my dad, I said “No more sex, no more alcohol.” I was proud of my self for sticking with it. In June of 2009 I went to church for the first time in YEARS. I went with Jeron’s family before he came home from his mission. Jeron came home from his mission at the end of June and took me to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House on July 9 2009. I remember falling in love with this temple. In 2011 I took my endowments out at this temple. 🙂

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I also approached one of my old friends, Patricia. We had lost contact and our friendship fell apart when I started misbehaving. I apologized to her and asked if we could be friends again.

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I kept going to church. In September of 2009, I went to a Young Single Adult activity with Patricia’s ward. I met my husband there. My husband and I were not sealed when we were married, but we were sealed 13 months after.

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Thinking back on it, I pin point my mess of teenage years to that one summer day. I spent the day a lone with the JERK at his house. I think “If I would have never went there that day, I would have been a perfect teenager”. But that’s not true. If it wasn’t that day, it would have been another. I wasn’t armed with the knowledge that I needed to avoid it. This story is MY story. I may not be proud of my past, but I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for the mistakes I made.

I do however think this could have been avoided if sex would have been addressed early, often and thoroughly in my home. I will repeat: IT IS NO ONES JOB BUT YOURS TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX. If you don’t talk to them about it who will? The boy your daughter has a crush on? Your son’s buddies? Will their curiosity lead them to pornography? Do you really think other children and the media are the most reliable source to teach your kids about sex? Do you really think their sex ed teacher will pull them each a side and tell them how special their purity is? If you think that, you are NAIVE! No wonder babies are having babies. I don’t want my daughter to have the same teen years that I did.

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Talk to your kids! Tell them how special their wedding night will be if they wait. Talk to them about dating and what is appropriate. Be involved in their lives. Make sure they aren’t going to some ones house a lone. Know their friends personally. Group dates are best. Dates should always be in public; group or single. Talk to your daughter about how boys should treat her. Defend her. Demand respect for your daughter. Teach your sons how to treat a lady. Teach them how to open doors. Make sure your son’s don’t honk for their date. In return, make sure your daughters don’t come out if her date does have the edacity to honk! Teach your kids to be respectful. Teach your kids the blessings of following Heavenly Father’s plan. Have a strict curfew. Set rules and follow through with consequences. You are not their friend, you are their parent. Help them feel special, beautiful and loved. Take them to church. Don’t shelter them. Sheltered teens are rebellious teens. Be an example. Dads, hold the door open for women. Moms, dress modestly. Demand respect for your self and your kids. Your kids will do what they see.

As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to approach this.  There are so many opportunities and no one takes them these days.

Teen pregnancy is 100% preventable. Guarding your kid’s purity is so so so so important!! If you need help, I’ve provided a few websites for resources. I also LOVE the way this mom talked to her daughter about sex.

www.stayteen.org

http://www.valuesparenting.com/talktokids.php

http://www.parenting.com/article/talking-to-kids-about-sex-21335549

Good luck.

-Amanda.

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