My mother told me repeatedly that she would ‘snap my spine’ if I had sex outside of monogamous marriage.And that sex ‘was not all that it what was cracked up to be.’ (A lot of violent cracking messages…) The only other ‘education’ I received was a confusing book that explained pollination in great detail but explained human reproduction in only the vaguest of terms.He was adamant that I should do it, and used lots of the language we had already developed around gaining consent in play – he kept saying, “But I AGREE, Mom.I agree.” And I told him he couldn’t agree about this because it was just not okay for Moms to play with their boy’s butts this way.This was a One of the toughest jobs as a parent teaching sexual self-determination to our children is to not over-react when they ask questions.Sometimes I want to laugh, other times my own abuse history makes me terrified by certain questions.And this changes over time – my 18-year-old now wants to know Unlike my childhood, there are lots of great resources now for my kids. Terrific illustrated books about the body, puberty, and boundaries.Beyond the stranger-danger books, there are helpful resources on signs of abusiveness in adults close to us (see #4) and how to seek help.
My own childhood was filled with silences and horrible caveats about sex.
My daughter sometimes rolls her eyes at this; sometimes she counters and makes an argument based on a character’s behavior or values. I am doing my job helping her develop critical thinking about her own agency. While my son asks lots of questions about his body and sex, my daughter does not. She likes to gather info, experience her feelings, and then come to me when she is ‘stuck.’ And unlike her brother, she most often doesn’t want a free-range chat.
She wants a direct answer to a simple question and then she wants to go off privately and take it in.
My daughter doesn’t ask a lot of questions, but she has certain passions – like fashion and a lot of the tween you tube videos, that provide an opening for conversation.
I spend a lot of time interrupting gender apartheid in the various ways boys and girls present themselves on the internet and on teen TV shows.