Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sex Education

While in NJ I sat next to a wonderful author who writes for another publishing house and we had a great conversation about talking to our kids about sex.

My oldest is 13. Hers was 15. Both are boys. She hadn't had "the" discussion with him yet. I strongly urged her to do this as, unfortunately, odds are this is something he's dealing with now. As many of you know, I work as a health care provider and do a lot of women's health and counseling. I told her that I start counseling on sex ed at around 10. TEN??? You're saying. YEP, I say. Why??? Because I have parents bringing in kids who are 12 & 13 who've been sexually active for years. I've talked to colleagues around the country. This isn't something that's localized to my area of the country. Fact is, KIDS are having sex. Either we educate them to protect themselves and teach them the risks of unprotected sex or we deal with telling kids that they have diseases they'll have for the rest of their lives.

So, if you have kids, talk to them. How? That's so embarrassing and I know my kid is NOT having sex, you say. Uhm...maybe. Maybe not. But you better bring the subject up and be matter of fact about it. Talk to your child like they are an adult on this subject. Be honest. Say "I don't want you to have sex until you're married", "I do not approve of pre-marital sex", "I hope you graduate from high school a virgin". Whatever it is you feel/believe. Then say, "However, statistics say that it is unlikely you will graduate from high school a virgin or will wait until you're married. I do not condone your becoming sexually active but, should you make the choice to do this, I want you to know how to protect yourself." Talk to them about condoms, STDs, be non-threatening. You want your kid to feel comfortable being honest with you about this, so be honest with them.

Again, I stress that I do not approve of kids having sex, I pray my kids never have sex...well, at least not until they are old enough to really understand what they're doing, the risks they're taking, and the responsibilities that can come from having sex--you know, like when they're thirty or so, they can 'think' about it. But knowledge is power and we need to educate our kids. If we don't, they will learn about sex elsewhere. Either through trial and error experience or from friends, etc. If they learn it else where, there may be consequences. Just something to think about & as it's on my mind tonight, thought I'd share.

On the rest of my NJ trip, I can't get my pictures to download, but as soon as I figure it out, I'll share.

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