General Question

susanc's avatar

How have you helped a young kid you love to deal with the challenges of emerging sexuality?

Asked by susanc (16134points) September 2nd, 2008

I’m not fishing for pedophile stories. I’m asking about how parents or other grown people help their kids know how to handle the intensity of it all.

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11 Answers

augustlan's avatar

Talk early and often about sexuality, and it’s attendant benefits and consequenses.

susanc's avatar

More details, please. What did someone say to you that helped? What have you told kids that helped? How do you know?

gailcalled's avatar

I was a coward when my kids were adolescent; but luckily the Quaker school they addended had sex-ed and did a terrific job. My best (and craven) efforts were to leave books with all the explicit materials on our kitchen table.

I discovered by trial and error with my fiancé. STDs were really not an issue. (The female orgasm was a well-kept secret back in the 50s. But we figured that out too.)

augustlan's avatar

No one said much of anything to me…I learned the hard way(s). My children are still young, the oldest being 14, so I can’t really say if our many conversations on the subject will help them, yet. I’ve tried to be very honest about the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some of the many topics we’ve covered are: Sexuality is a normal part of life; it has many good aspects – loving, the greatest gift you can give of yourself, feels wonderful, intimacy; and some not so good – pressure, unwanted pregnancy, STDs, hurts the first time; how to prepare – birth control, STD prevention; how to know when you need to prepare – you are in a stable, loving, monogamous relationship with a trustworthy person, the person is worthy of the greatest gift, you are old enough to make a responsible choice; suitableness of a partner – any race, religion, gender is ok as long as you treat each other well. I hope it is all enough to save them some of the heartache I’ve experienced.

Judi's avatar

I had someone help me when my daughter was a teenager. She was a hand full! She was Jr high age and in juvenile hall actually, and our pastor was there counseling her and comforting me. As we sat in the waiting area I asked him “why in the heck is she wearing these baggy men’s clothes from goodwill? (can you guess about how old she is now by that?) “She is such a beautiful girl and she looks so awful!”
This wise old pastor said to me, “Do you think that maybe her body is changing and she is s uncomfortable with it she is trying to hide it?”
Years later after my daughter was a mother herself and had been a youth director in a church I talked to her about that. She told me he had the nail on the head. Sometimes in our frustration and embarrassment to deal with behavior that stigmatizes a family, we forget to look into the heart of the person and understand where the behavior is really coming from.
On another note, I bought my other daughter a book called “What’s happening to My Body.” Lots of family discussions about that one!

gailcalled's avatar

I would do it much differently if I could do it again. I can say all the words aloud now and so can my daughter.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

I talked to my kids early on…I used correct words for body parts. I talked about how strangers wouldn’t LOOK like strangers. How they were to go with no one unless they gave the family ‘password.’ I told them I might send neighbors to test them for me [I did, they passed]

We talked about good touch and bad touch and how if someone did that they’d really really threaten you by saying they’d kill your or your parents but that’s because they don’t WANT you to tell you folks, cause then they’ll be arrested.

I told my son that if he didn’t keep his penis in his pocket and he got some girl pregnant—his days of childhood would be over. He’d be a father. He’d get a part time job and support that child. He’d go to school, work, come home and help take care of his baby.

I told my daughter the same only with different words.

I told them that their gonads did not run ahead of them, with them holding on saying, “NO,
I don’t want this to happen.” [in answer to ‘it just happened.” We talked about the steps that lead to sex and how it could have been avoided. We talked about choices, and that sex IS a choice.

We read books and had open discussions. So open that sometimes my teens would bring other teens to me with their questions.

We discussed all the myth and rumors going about, like you can’t get pregnant the 1st time, etc…

I told them I don’t really want you to have sex before your brain has quit growing, but if you do—you definitely need birth control. I can’t be with you 24–7—so if you need birth control. Tell me and I’ll get it for you—no lectures.

Mostly I tried to encourage open talk and instill personal responsibility.

gailcalled's avatar

@Seeker; I wish that I had had you as a parent.

SeekerSeekiing's avatar

Thanks Gailcalled, I think it was because I was so unprotected…

Hawaiiguy's avatar

If you are the adult, do not be niave about what you think they should know. Tell them everything and try to be as cool about it as possible. If you appear squirmish or shy about it it will make the kid feel the same way. Act like the conversation is no big deal, but also act like the subject matter is a big deal. It worked great for me

PeterM's avatar

My son is only six, so this topic hasn’t come up a lot…but when he has questions, I try to answer them honestly, within reasonable limitations. My father told me the basic facts when I was pretty young, and I think that worked out well enough.

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