In class, Brother Williams asked us to quickly outline what we would want our children to know about their bodies, sexual intimacy, urges etc. at specific times in their lives. Initially, I thought, "oh, this is easy!" However, once I started really thinking about it, I realized how tricky this whole topic really is! The jist of what I wrote down is that I want my children to know scientific terms for their body parts and to have appropriate (based on age) understanding of the reproductive and sexual intercourse process. When we shared what we wanted to teach our kids with the people sitting next to us, Ashley brought up that the church has put out a handbook to address this very issue. The handbook breaks things up by age and is really a very valuable resource. I urge anyone who is struggling with teaching their children about physical intimacy to check this out - whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or not. A Parent's Guide - lds.org
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Teaching Children About Physical Intimacy
Teaching children about physical intimacy can not only be a touchy subject, but also a controversial one - what with debate over sex education in schools and the things they are exposed to in the media. The one thing about this topic that I know for a certainty however, is that children notice physical differences between boys and girls and they become curious about how babies are born and where they come from. First off, however, it is important to note that all children are at different intellectual, emotional and maturity stages in their lives and so "the talk" needs to be tailored to each individual child. It is also essential that open and honest communication is formed between parents and children at a very early age. Growing up, my parents (especially my mom) were very open about sex and intimacy and I always knew that if I had a question about anything, I could ask and she would tell me the truth. While we did have a fairly open channel, I often felt slightly uncomfortable asking, but I think that the fact I asked at all showed both my trust in her and her openness in helping me. When children and parents talk openly and honestly not only about the biological side of things, but also personal beliefs about when physical intimacy is appropriate, children are more likely to have accurate understandings of things and less likely to experiment.