The Blackness of Grey

womancryingYou’ve probably already started seeing them . . . the ads and movie trailers hyping the upcoming film based on the best-selling pornographic novel 50 Shades of Grey.  Yep, it’s scheduled for release next month, February 13 . . . just in time for Valentine’s Day, because nothing says tender love and romance like bondage, domination and sadomasochistic sex (BDSM).

Couples can watch the movie on opening day and buy whatever torture devices they need to recreate their favorite scenes on February 14th and beyond . . . mutual consent makes it all okay, of course.  No “War on Women” here, right?  No emotional or sexual abuse; no rape or degradation . . . just adult “fun.”

When the book first came out in 2012 I blogged about it (in less sardonic prose) in a post entitled: 50 Shades of Dorian Gray  http://www.hearttohearttalks.com/Blog/?p=449  Now that it’s a motion picture though, the ubiquitous slick ads/trailers are more likely to capture the attention and curiosity of teenagers than the book’s release did.  What will you tell your teen son or daughter about the activities portrayed in the film’s promotional media?  How will your children respond if their non-Christian friends (and yes, even some Christian friends) brag about seeing the flick or exploring BDSM online?  Now is the time to be talking with your kids about eschewing the twisted ideas peddled by the 50 Shades craze, and reinforcing the true love of 1 Corinthians 13 that enriches marital sex as God intended.

Not sure where to start the conversation?  Check out the “Parent Survival Guide to Fifty Shades of Grey,” a multi-part series of excellent blog posts by Dr. Miriam Grossman: http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/blog/
She combines clinical expertise and unvarnished truth-telling about the harm BDSM inflicts on both women and men.  Parents will gain clear cut talking points to share with their teens . . . and possibly with other Christian adults . . . sadly, many believers—especially women—contributed to the erotic novel’s best-seller status.  According to the Barna Research Group, 19%[1] of American adults who read the book are practicing Christians.

wedding_handsOur young people need to hear early and often that wedding bands, not handcuffs, are the key to true love and beautiful, fulfilling intimacy.

[1]  http://www.christianpost.com/news/percentage-of-christians-americans-who-have-read-fifty-shades-of-grey-the-same-97353/

 

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #10

2014 is nearly over, and so is this series:  “The Top 10 Reasons to Do Sex-ed at Home.”   Let’s finish strong with reason #10:

Because you’ll be preparing them for a fulfilling Christ-centered marriage & family life, and fostering a legacy of virtue.                         

Throughout this series–and always on this blog–I’ve emphasized that biblical sex-education isn’t about “thou shalt not” . . . it is about teaching our children how to honor God with our bodies both before and after marriage.  This means eschewing all sexual behaviors while single . . . and enjoying His gift of sex to the fullest within marriage.

We parents need to be clear about the end game here . . . we must communicate & role-model to our children a marital relationship worth waiting for . . . one of mutual          “1 Corinthians 13 love” for each another.  They need to know that when this kind of love is operating within marriage, sexual union is holy, holistic and fulfilling as God intended.

The Wedding Corner

The Wedding Corner

The living room of our home has a unique feature called “The Wedding Corner.”  It displays three generations of family wedding photos, collectively representing 103 years of strong, God-honoring marriages.  Bob and I established the corner for four purposes:

1) To pay tribute to our parents.  They role-modeled what it means to make and keep a commitment, and be faithful through good & bad times, in sickness & in health . . . until “death did them part. ”  My parents, Wilbur & Lorraine Campbell, were married for 44 years prior to my father’s death in 1996.  My husband’s parents, Thomas & Louise Libert, were married for 16 years and likely would have been together for several more decades had Louise not suffered an untimely death when my husband was in his mid-teens.

Wilbur & Lorraine Campbell, circa 1952

Wilbur & Lorraine Campbell, circa 1952

 

Thomas & Louise Libert, circa 1945

Thomas & Louise Libert, circa 1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) To remind ourselves that marriage is God’s design for a lifelong love relationship between two sinners redeemed by Christ’s sacrifice.  He keeps blessing, sustaining and enriching our life together even though we long ago outgrew the bridal gown and tux.  Bob & I have been married for 34 years and counting.  We strive to continue the solid marital legacy of our parents and pass it along to our children.

3) To be the “visual aid” during our children’s formative years to help them understand that a Christian lifelong marriage is not only possible, but desirable and rewarding despite society’s naysayers.

4) To create a space for photos of our adult daughters’ weddings if/when they occur . . . one so far.  Our oldest daughter & her husband have logged 9 years of wedded bliss to date, continuing our family’s marriage legacy into their generation.  To God be the glory 🙂

 

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #9

Isaiah 5:20 states: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.”

It’s one thing to teach our children to stand against popular culture’s libertine views of sex.  But what if government legislation or court decisions have legalized or facilitated numerous babyforms of behavior contrary to God’s laws?  Recently we’ve read about Christian business owners being mandated to provide employee “health insurance” that covers abortion/abortifacients.  And a growing number of legislators and judges characterize God’s definition of marriage as “discrimination” or “bigotry” . . . and are reshaping public policy accordingly.

This brings up #9 of the top ten reasons to do sex ed at home:
Because you can help your children develop a clear Biblical understanding of & response to hot-button sexual issues in a coarsening culture.                            

In my lifetime many federal & state laws supporting Judeo-Christian cultural norms have been reversed.  For example:

  • In 1962, the Supreme Court ruled in Engel v. Vitale that it was unconstitutional for public schools to require students to recite a prayer.
  • In 1972, the Supreme Court ruled in Baird v. Eisenstadt that all women in the U.S., even unmarried women, had the right to buy and use birth control.
  •  In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade & Doe v. Bolton that women in the U.S. had the right to an abortion up through all 9 months of pregnancy.
  • In Lawrence v. Texas (2003) the Supreme Court struck down the anti-sodomy laws still on the books in 4 remaining states.
  • In 2003, via its Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex “marriage.”
  • In 2012 the Obama administration announced it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court (DOMA was approved in 1996 by veto-proof majorities in both houses & signed by President Clinton).  Now, two years later, this decision has been leveraged to increase the number of states performing same-sex “marriages” from just 6 to more than 30.
  • In 2013 the FDA approved over-the-counter sales of “Plan B” (a.k.a. the “morning after” birth control pill) to minors as young as 15.

CapitolHDR03Many pastors feel ill-equipped to preach about these issues in the light of God’s Word . . . and even those who do, may do so only occasionally.  Parents however are the daily guide in their children’s lives.  They are uniquely able to read about, analyze & discuss current events/issues thoughtfully and consistently with their children.  They can also learn together how to present the biblical perspective to others “…with gentleness & respect.” (1 Peter 3:15).

And what if people who try to uphold God’s laws find themselves penalized by authority figures?  Again, parents are best able to exhort their children by word & by example to have courage to do what’s right when U.S. laws conflict with God’s laws . . . no matter what the cost.  Scripture is filled with stories of role models such as the apostles when the high priest prohibited them from preaching about Christ:
We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching . . . Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:28-29)

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #8

Jack o lanternIt’s Halloween 2014 and I’m thinking about some things that to me are much scarier than goblins, witches and monsters . . . I’m referring to some frightening consequences of sexual sin: the bodily harm from sexually transmitted infections, the hurt & betrayal when a sexual relationship ends, the physical & psychological damage from an abortion, to name a few.

As Christians, we are mandated by God to love & serve others & to speak the truth in love. This brings up reason #8 of the Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-ed at Home:

Because you can role-model & teach your children how to help others avoid or turn away from risky sinful behavior . . . and even save lives!

During home-based sex-ed it’s not enough to instill biblical virtue in our own sons & daughters . . . it’s not even enough that they learn how to share the gospel.  As they move through the teen years and then head off to college & career, they should be willing and prepared to reach out truthfully & compassionately toward people who engage in or are reaping the consequences of risky behavior.  This doesn’t mean that our children have to be walking repositories of the latest medical facts, statistics and sophisticated persuasive rhetoric.  They can offer a listening ear, muster courage to speak the truth with gentleness & respect,  pray for discernment about how best to help and know where to find practical resources such as Pregnancy Care Centers, drug/alcohol intervention programs, domestic violence protection & other practical assistance if needed.  The internet and area churches make it easier than ever to access resources like these.

AngryCoupleMy husband & I have been involved with the Pregnancy Care Center of Haverhill since 1987 in various capacities. [ http://www.pccnortheast.org/PCC/ ] Our children served in this ministry as teens . . . one daughter assisted my husband in organizing fundraising events.  Another daughter voiced public service announcements for the PCC that aired on a Boston radio station and accompanied me on several speaking engagements for teens where we made the case about saving sex for marriage.  (She was surely more persuasive among her peers than I could be).  During their college years, all 3 daughters referred sexually active friends or dorm-mates to PCC ministries near their schools.  They sometimes had prevention-oriented private conversations to steer friends away from risky choices.  The friends weren’t always receptive to the message, but they knew my daughters cared . . . and God alone knows how many seeds were planted.

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #7

Scottish drummer, about age 8

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then multiple pictures can speak volumes.  Reason #7 lends itself to such a “pictural post” for why parents should do sex-ed at home:
Because you can teach meaningful 2-pronged risk avoidance to help your children enjoy lives free of sinful sexual behavior & its consequences (STDs, pregnancy, sexual assault etc.)

A visitor from a distant planet who lands in America could easily get the impression that sexual activity is THE most important aspect of life here from cradle to grave.  In past posts I’ve discussed countless examples of immoral ubiquity permeating everything from children’s toys & school curricula to entertainment media & tax-payer-funded “health” insurance.

Things are certainly out-of-balance. Parents must be the voice of reason in this overwhelming sex-saturated culture and uphold a sense of proportion & godly purpose for sex.  Only parents are capable of applying a continuous two-pronged risk-avoidance strategy–rooted in love–throughout their children’s formative years.  They can:

1. Teach kids skills for resisting temptation & discerning/avoiding risky situations.

Young teen majorette at parade rest

Young teen majorette at parade rest

2. Provide wholesome, fulfilling, character-building activities.

The second half of this strategy was dramatically displayed last weekend.  My husband & I were celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary at the Scottish Highland Games & Festival.  I was amazed to see that many of the “pipe & drum bands” were comprised of adults & children—including very young children—marching in perfect formation as drum majors, bagpipers & snare-drummers.  They wore the traditional kilt-based uniforms and maintained musical discipline regardless of the weather.  In between performing for the crowds, they also played in tight circles for adjudicated competitions.

Young lady piper - about age 11.

Young lady piper – about age 11.

SONY DSC

Preteen piper executing a marching turn.

Having attempted to play a bagpipe once, I can tell you it’s not for sissies.  The young band members had spent countless hours outside of school learning their instruments, and practicing their repertoire, their marching formation and even the care of their authentic, expensive uniforms.  And unlike most school bands & drill teams that perform during an afternoon sporting event, the Scottish bands performed all day for 3 consecutive days.  It was time well-spent as they developed valuable skills & disciplines, knowledge of family history & heritage, a healthy self-esteem and the joy of contributing to something greater than themselves.  Their minds were being broadened and their character strengthened alongside adult mentors.

Of course it’s possible to overdo worthwhile activities at the expense of nurturing family relationships, but wise parents will strive for balance.  And they’ll be equipping their sons & daughters to resist the destructive siren song of a sex-saturated culture.

The youngest band member salutes: mini-major Eva, age 4,

The youngest band member salutes: mini-majorette Eva, age 4,

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #6

We’re officially at the midpoint of this series.  For continuity’s sake, before we move onto the second half let’s quickly review the first 5 reasons to do sex-ed at home:

1. Because you CAN . . . successfully. Kids want you to do it/secular studies prove it.

2. Because God said so . . . in familiar Scriptures such as these: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 and Proverbs 22:6

3. Because parents know their own children better than anyone else.

4. Because you’ll help your kids avoid confusing, mixed or immoral messages in school   sex-ed programs.

5. Because you can teach & supervise appropriate use of digital/internet technology and protect children from sexting, predators, porn sites/porn spam, cyberbullying etc.

And now, Reason #6 . . . drum roll please:
Because you can teach your kids to discern the wheat from the chaff in popular culture. . . and counter misinformation, false & immoral messages, poor role models and shallow priorities in ads, movies, music and online media.

sean-connery-sean-connery-viagra posterIt’s an understatement to say our kids are surrounded by a culture far more sex-saturated than that of my childhood.  Most American families find it virtually impossible to avoid prematurely exposing young children to provocative messages . . . even within our homes.  But this is nothing new . . . 21st century culture is just a digitally-enhanced version of ancient Babylon, Sodom & Gomorrah or Rome. . . our “sensuality delivery systems” are simply more varied & efficient.

 

As Christian parents we can wring our hands in frustration & despair or we can fight the KimKardashianspiritual battle with the strategies of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 coupled with an axiom often attributed to heavyweight prizefighter  Jack Dempsey: “The best defense is a good offense.”  This two-pronged approach involves building a fortification of layered, age-appropriate, accurate  biological facts intertwined with biblical virtue “early & often” at home. . . and then going on offense to point out, discuss, and counter false & immoral cultural messages with biblical truth. . . especially during the preteen years and up. . . and we should elicit our children’s observations about modern culture to make it a dialogue not a lecture.

When the Superbowl treats our families to half-time shows featuring gyrating, scantily clad singers & “wardrobe malfunctions” do we hurriedly shut the TV and sit in embarrassed silence?  What about the proliferation of Superbowl commercials and background billboards for Viagra, Victoria’s Secret and GoDaddy . . . some of these were also broadcast during the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Have you ridden a municipal bus or subway with kids lately and seen offensive ads/posters plastered above the seats?  Have you noticed sexy animated sidebar ads bracketing your email messages and overwhelming every mainstream news website?  Remember, a parent’s “no comment” equals approval in a kid’s mind.  Pray for courage and clarity of thought, and say something . . .

Olympic beach volleyball womenTo give you a little practice, I’ve embedded in this post a few images of cultural icons associated with questionable or mixed messages.   What would you say to your children about 007’s promiscuity in every James Bond movie plot?  What can we conclude about a culture that nominates Keeping up with the Kardashians for a TEEN Choice reality show award?  Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh won Olympic gold for the USA in beach volleyball . . . but did they have to play nearly naked to be successful?  How important is it to have “Big Sexy Hair”, and can a shampoo really guarantee these results?”

Get ready to gather your thoughts in 3…2…1

bigsexyhair-logo & products

 

 

 

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #5

Girl textingRecently I was surprised to see an online news headline proclaiming: “1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD!http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-1-10-americans-html-std-study-finds-20140304,0,1188415.story?track=rss#axzz2v3zQeAtN

HTML stands for “HyperText Markup Language (yes, I had to look up those initials), a computer language for the creation of websites.  STD stands for sexually-transmitted disease.  (No, I didn’t need to look up those letters, and you readers likely didn’t either.)  While the erroneous association is amusing, it illustrates the confusion that can arise when digital technology gets ahead of the average adult’s knowledge base.  Another form of digital ignorance is far less benign and brings up Reason # 5 to conduct sex education at home:
Because you can teach & supervise appropriate use of digital/internet technology and protect children from sexting, predators, porn sites/porn spam, cyberbullying etc.

Many parents—including Christian parents—feel alarmed, overwhelmed and under-informed about modern technology,  especially about ubiquitous wireless devices that deliver continuous internet access and defy adult monitoring.  These moms and dads aren’t sure how to protect their children from digital dangers while instilling responsible use of smart phones, tablets etc. . . . especially if the kids are more tech savvy than the parents are.  But Deuteronomy 6:6-9 still applies here, and uncertainty & ignorance can be overcome in the fulfillment of God-given parental duty.  One need not be versed in HTML to establish some common-sense family policies regarding digital devices:

• Parents must role-model disciplined, balanced “screen time” . . . for example, no phones allowed while driving or at family meals, and no posting of personal information on social media.
• Parents shouldn’t give very young children internet-connected devices as “babysitters.” I’ve seen toddlers sitting in grocery carts manhandling, chewing & slobbering all over mom’s smart phone or tablet while she shops.  She may have cued up a cute game or cartoon for the child, but little fingers on a touch screen can inadvertently bring up something unsavory while she selects fresh produce.  Youngsters can’t yet respect/appreciate/carefully handle these delicate, expensive items.  A child’s physical & cognitive development is better served by observing or exploring the surrounding environment with an attentive parent, rather than myopically staring at a handheld electronic screen.  toddler using laptop
• Long before kids start using digital devices parents can teach “best practices” in the context of honoring God with all His gifts to us.  They can also layer warnings about internet dangers in age-appropriate doses and equip their kids to resist peer pressure.
• Parents control the purse-strings.  They can exercise wisdom about when a child actually “needs” his own computer or cell phone . . . maybe in the middle school years.  A trac- phone with limited minutes and no texting or internet capability is a good first choice . . . just to call home for after-school pickup or emergencies.
• Again, parents control the purse-strings.  They can cancel a cell phone plan and confiscate a device that is being misused.  Conversely a young teen who demonstrates digital responsibility & compliance with household rules can eventually earn the privilege of an upgraded device.

There are monitoring and safety measures beyond the scope of this post that parents can employ to guide their children’s use of digital technology. An entire chapter in my book will be devoted to this issue. For now though, I hope reason #5 has contributed to your motivation for home-based sex-ed . . . even if you think a gigabyte is a giant South American insect and Blu-ray is a sea creature.  🙂

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Let the Writing Begin . . . Again

Hello everyone.  I’m interrupting the “Top Ten Reasons . . .” series for an announcement & a request.

Hands writing with quill penIt’s been 4 years since I received my master’s degree, initiated this blog and began the writing of Sex-ed Homestyle, my resource book for parents.  While I’d hoped to have the book completed and published 2 years ago, “life” got in the way, necessitating my having to work two jobs with wildly irregular hours.  It has become clear that I cannot write a credible text in random moments spaced months apart.  Additionally, the publishing industry has undergone sweeping changes, and much has happened in society over the past few years that has rendered some of my research out-of-date.

Therefore my husband & I have concluded that authorship of the book must become my “primary job” for a while.  After much thought, prayer and “number-crunching” we decided to have me take a yearlong modified sabbatical from the more time-consuming of my two jobs.  I will be substantially cutting back my teaching obligations, which will enable me to devote consistent time to research & writing.

This is a big leap of faith for us as it involves a significant reduction of household income and raises several personal insecurities for me.  Thus I am asking the following of you, my faithful readers:
Please PRAY . . .
–that I will maintain the discipline of writing 4+ hours a day, 4+ days a week until the project is finished.
–that I will stay organized and focused rather than scattered, distracted, sloppy or overwhelmed
–that I won’t be discouraged by writer’s block, self-doubt or hostile external criticism
–that I will graciously accept critique & suggestions from my proofreaders and “accountability partners”
–that I will express God’s truth, biblical principles and practical steps with winsome clarity to serve as many families as possible
–that I’ll keep trusting God for the path to publication no matter what the cost

Along the way I’ve been blessed with inspiring thoughts about writing from well-known authors such as Winston Churchill, featured in a 2012 post here:
http://www.hearttohearttalks.com/Blog/?p=369

And economist Dr. Thomas Sowell helped me see that good writing takes time:
Having written two textbooks on introductory economics — one full of graphs and equations, and the other with neither — I know from experience that the second way is a lot harder to write, and is more time-consuming.  The first book was written in a year; the second took a decade.  The first book quickly went out of print.  The second book (“Basic Economics”) has gone through 4 editions and has been translated into 6 foreign languages.
Both books taught the same principles, but obviously one approach did so more successfully than the other. (Sowell 2012, underlining mine)

I have 6 more years to go before I’ve invested a decade in my first book. . . hopefully it won’t take that long.  The Lord has called me to this opus, and He will surely provide what I need.  My sabbatical officially starts today, July 1st . . . and the writing begins in earnest, at last.

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-ed at Home . . . #4

Happy Summer!  Here’s reason #4 for conducting sex-education at home:

Because you’ll help your kids avoid confusing, mixed or immoral messages in school sex ed programs.

Today’s student sex-ed programs bear no resemblance to the type I endured in junior high SexEd(a.k.a. “middle school”) in 1966-67 or to the type the Peanuts gang had in 1986.  As a 13-year-old Catholic school student I went to a single-session, secular sex-education seminar held at the town hall for all the local 7th & 8th graders regardless of what schools they attended.  I believe it was arranged by the public school superintendent.  Students had to be accompanied by a parent, so Mom & I carpooled with a friend & her mom.  At the town hall we were directed to the “girls only” presentation in the first floor main room which had a stage . . . the “boys only” presentation was down in the stuffy windowless basement where, at the time, I thought all boys belonged. . .

The main room was already packed with nervous, tittering girls; the moms were relegated to the back of the cavernous hall.  The only seats my friend & I found were way back near the parent section, too far from the stage to see or hear well.  There were two speakers: one was a very young, dreamy-looking male doctor, the other a middle-aged, bespectacled Roman Catholic priest(!)  Dr. Dreamy spoke to us girls first.  With only a rickety, freestanding blackboard and his soft, barely-amplified voice, he overviewed male & female reproductive anatomy, the menstrual cycle, conception and birth . . . the lecture took about an hour.  I tried to be attentive, and I didn’t take notes; there may have been a single sheet handout, but I can’t recall.  Meanwhile in the basement, the priest was explaining to the boys why sex was sacred and reserved only for marriage.

In the second hour the speakers switched places . . . that’s when I discovered that Reverend White was a heavy chain smoker . . . at least when extremely uncomfortable talking to 200 early adolescent girls about saving sex for marriage.  (Smoking inside public buildings wasn’t prohibited back then).  During the ride home, my friend & I sat silently in the back seat while our moms raved about the program— how thorough it was, how well-attended, and how wonderful that it included the spiritual context.
But how successful was the profailgram at instilling accurate information?

The next day at school during recess, my friends & I were discussing the sex info—and Dr. Dreamy—when someone mentioned an older, unmarried girl in town who was pregnant. Stunned, I blurted out “But that can’t be. God wouldn’t grant a baby to someone who’s not married!”  While I got the “marriage is God’s plan for sex” message, apparently I misunderstood or couldn’t hear key points about the presentation’s reproductive biology.   Despite my ignorance & confusion, most of my friends agreed w/me.  We all got straightened out two years later in biology class.

I’m not advocating that we go back to this woefully inadequate style of sex-education, but too many of our school systems have swung to the opposite extreme of information overload without moral context and without regard to what’s appropriate at what ages.  A recent example involves a poster displayed on a classroom wall in a Kansas middle-school:  http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/01/15/Kansas-Middle-School-Says-Poster-Listing-Sex-Acts-Part-of-Health-and-Science-Curriculum
The article linked above states, “The poster, entitled, How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings? lists sex acts such as: Oral Sex, Sexual Fantasy, Caressing, Anal Sex, Dancing, Hugging, Touching Each Other’s Genitals, Kissing, Grinding, and Masturbation.”  Constantly in view and touted by authorities as sex-ed curriculum material, the poster conveys to impressionable middle-schoolers that all the activities are acceptable and morally equivalent.  No reference is made to age or marital status.

More subtle is the redefinition of terms such as marriage, family and gender in many school curricula that shifts attention away from God’s intended meanings.  Only home-based sex-education can provide clarity, consistency and a context of biblical virtue.

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The Top Ten Reasons to Do Sex-Ed at Home . . . #3

Wading father carrying daughter - silhouetteAre you ready for reason #3?  Brace yourself . . . it’s profound:

Because parents know their own children better than anyone else!

Did I just hear someone say “Amen!” . . . or maybe “Doh?”

Years of continuous unconditional love, attention, interaction, unselfish motives–and plenty of sleepless nights–make parents the only sex ed instructors who can provide the right information at the right time in the right way for each of their children . . . a truly personalized approach to a very personal subject.

In this information age even the most nervous, uninformed moms and dads can self-educate quickly with a variety of resources.  Please don’t let the self-styled “sexperts” at government agencies, at Planned Parenthood or in the public school system intimidate you into believing you can’t do the job.  Lofty academic degrees, well-funded agenda-driven research and one-size-fits-all “health curricula” can’t hold a candle to the effectiveness of communication within family bonds.  Only you know your children’s maturity levels and readiness to understand various facts/concepts.  Therefore you are ideally suited to:

  • Layer accurate info at appropriate ages in a comfortable, private setting
  • “Get first dibs on the spin” (instill the moral context early)
  •  Limit or address inadvertent exposures to inappropriate info (trashy TV ads, Superbowl wardrobe malfunctions, petting teens at the mall etc.)
  • Observe your children’s progress & correct their misunderstandings right away
  • Minimize embarrassment & foster meaningful follow-up discussions

May I say it one more time, a bit more colloquially?  No one knows your kids like you do.  So utilize your home court advantage . . . early and often.

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