Friday, July 20, 2007

Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!

Yay to Rev. Haffner for going on O'Reilly to talk about sex education.

The whole subject makes me chuckle, because it seems so simple to me, a mom of a 2-5-8-and-11. When Mom keeps getting pregnant every three years, there are questions!

I guess that's why it all seems so simple. With Little Warrior, we're teaching her all the names of her body parts. Elbow. Cheek. Chin. Belly. When she jabs her little finger below the waist, what do you say? Well, we say "vulva." Are there actually parents who get a horrified look on their faces? No, no, that is THE AREA WHICH MUST NOT BE NAMED. The Voldemort of the human body.

Mom gets pregnant. Kids are going to ask questions. So you answer them, truthfully. As they get older, the questions will get more on sex, less on reproduction. "Why do we have to be gentle around Daddy this weekend?" Daddy is getting something called a 'vasectomy.' "What's that?" Well, we feel our family is complete now, so daddy is getting a medical procedure done so that mama won't get pregnant anymore. (pause pause pause) "Well, Mom, why is that necessary? Why don't you just not have sexual intercourse anymore?"

Hey, I didn't say that blushing wasn't involved.

Bo Peep is starting kindergarten this year. Along with learning new things, she'll surely learn things we've already taught her. How to write her name. That one and one is two. The names of her shoulders, knees and toes. I certainly would have no problem with the school reinforcing the names of all body parts.

There are many bits of wisdom that you repeat over and over to your children. Look both ways before you cross the street. If you want a friend, be a friend. Don't speak with your mouth full.

For us, whenever we're helping a kid with their bath, it's "these are your private parts" and we go through the list of who can see them and in what context. Short list ... mom and dad when they're helping you with a bath, the doctor when she's examining you. And they all take great glee in saying, "And me!" when we ask who else can see/touch them. And crack up laughing. Monkeys.

And this is why sex ed needs to be in the schools. Because there are some parents who don't teach this. Maybe they don't teach it just by accident, or maybe they don't teach it out of design. Some children are touched, they don't know that it's their private parts and they have the right to control who touches them.

It's their bodies. They have the right to know what those parts are called, how they work, and that it is exclusively their domain.

And The Husband and I ... well, we believe all our bodies are a gift from God. A precious, beautiful gift. And we teach them that, too. And that is what should be taught in the home, not at school.


Alex said...

What a thoughtful and beautiful example of why sex education is necessary.

Thank you for your words.

Kaleigh said...

As an OWL teacher, I nodded and nodded and Amen'ed the whole time I read your post. So very well-said.

Earthbound Spirit said...

Yes - my dh & I did a lot of explaining & blushing, too. But the kids still went through AYS/OWL, and they are so well prepared! Thanks for a great post.

(I also tagged you for that "8 random things" meme on my blog. Check it out if you're so inclined.)

Comrade Kevin said...

Your post brought back some memories.

Shortly after my baby sister was born, my father had a vasectomy but my sister and I were told that he had hurt his back and needed to rest. Being that my father had spells of chronic back pain, we believed him. I didn't learn the truth until much later. I was a few months from being 7 at the time and my sister had just turned 4.

My father was good to tell me about sex at a young age. I was a precocious kid and so Dad went by the tried-and-true method: long car trips. He answered truthfully all the questions I had.

I have to take my hat off to him. He could have been too embarrassed to do it himself and instead shoved a book in my hands, which is what happened with several of my friends.

Though I no longer identify as UU, I have always thought that OWL (or AYS as it was known in my day) was one of the things that the church did exceptionally well.