Showtime knows it’s crucial to be honest with his daughter about sex when the time comes… But he’s terrified of screwing it up.
How do you talk to your kids about sex? This isn’t a rhetorical question. I am genuinely asking as a concerned parent who may or may not be ready to talk to talk to my 9-year-old daughter about the birds and the bees when the time comes. I think I have what it takes to be able to answer any questions that are thrown my way when it comes to this topic. But don’t all soldiers think they are ready for battle when they first go into a war?
I have no problems communicating with my child, or being open and honest with her about any issue. When she asks questions, I answer as honestly as I possibly can. When I think she needs to know something that might be difficult to understand, I find a way to tell her. She is a smart girl, pretty quick on her feet (of course, she gets that from me), so there are some things that she just happens to figure out on her own. But when it comes to sex, lets just say that I am afraid! Not afraid to talk to her, but more so afraid of what will happen if I do talk to her, but don’t do a good enough job explaining to her the ins and outs (no pun intended) of what sex is and what it is intended for.
What if she asks me how old I was when I lost my virginity? What if she wants to know why I decided not to wait until marriage? What if, God forbid…she asks how many people I have slept with in my life? How do I explain to her that boys usually don’t think with the head on their shoulder, but instead with the one… Never mind!
I was having a conversation with a friend earlier this week, and he told me a story about some teenage girls who his daughter knew that made a “sex pact”. The terms of this agreement included both girls losing their virginity to two male classmates on the same night at the same time while one of the girl’s parents were away. Well, on the night that the “arrangement” was scheduled to take place one of the boys couldn’t make it out of the house. Instead of calling the entire thing off, the other young man decided that he was still going to go for the gusto and bring along another friend to take the place of the teen who couldn’t make it. The girls involved in the pact had no idea who this boy was, but when he arrived at the home they let him in, and one of the girls decided that she would still go through with it even though she didn’t even know the boy’s name. After ironing out the details of how the night would go down, the girls end up having sex with these two boys. Three months later the girl who slept with the boy she had never met before ended up pregnant! That’s right, a 15-year-old girl ends up being pregnant by a teenage boy whom she had never met before. How crazy does that sound? As a parent, just imagine if your child came home and told you this story. Or better yet, imagine if it was your child who was involved in the situation. It’s frightening!
This type of horror story really causes me to question what I can do as a parent to prevent this from happening in my home. I know that there is no way for us to make sure that our children always do the right thing when they aren’t under our watchful eyes. I know that you should train a child up as they should go. I know that open dialogue is the best way to communicate your concerns with your kids. I know ALL of that. But my fear is what will happen when my child is confronted with the idea of doing something that is flat out stupid and totally against everything that I have instilled in her. Will she make the wrong choice, or will she hear my voice in her head reminding her what she should do when faced with certain circumstances? Will she even tell me what what she was up against and what choice she made? So many questions that only time and dedicated effort of constantly instilling morals and values into her will be able to answer.
Talking to your kids about sex isn’t about knowing what to say at all times, because I believe that our children thrive off of honesty and authenticity. They want to know what you know, how you know it, and how important it is for them to know it. We have got to make sure that we are not sending them out into the world without the tool of knowledge to help them fight the battles that they are facing. In many places teen pregnancy and STD rates are climbing at an alarming rate. I firmly believe that these numbers have to first be combatted with fathers who are in the home giving knowledge and information.
We have to show our daughters what it means to be respected by a man. As fathers, we are our daughters’ first love. It’s our responsibility to teach them expectations and self respect. And for our sons, we have to teach them the value of respecting young ladies and help them to think with the right head instead of the wrong one. Teach your sons that chivalry isn’t dead, and it’s unacceptable to disrespect females.
Am I looking forward to the coming days when I will have to talk to my daughter about sex? Hell NO! Am I even more afraid of her getting misinformation and making the wrong decision because I didn’t give her the guidance that she needed… Hell YES!!
These conversations that we have with our kids about sex need to be continuous and ongoing. If they ask you about your first time…tell them. If they ask you who, what, when, or why you did it in your high school and college years…tell them. Tell them what you would want someone to tell you if you had questions. They deserve it. Every day we are sending our children out to fight a war. A war against promiscuity, immorality, and so much more. If we want them to be victorious, we have to arm them with the best weapon ever known to man…KNOWLEDGE!
Originally appeared at The Single Fathers Blog
Photo: Flickr/Rosana Prada