Friday, January 31, 2014

Line Upon Line

Isaiah 28: 9-10 states, "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?......For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and  there a little."

Now, if we look in old Mr. Webster,  precept is defined as, "a rule of moral conduct." We are teaching our children a rule of moral conduct upon a rule of moral conduct. A line is defined as, "a boundary, "limit," or "course of conduct, action, explanation." We are teaching our children a course of conduct upon a course of conduct..

So, we begin with a very simple step, showing our children appropriate love. Every relationship has love at its core. Every other part of morality is showing our love for ourselves as children of God, and showing love for others as children of God.

We then teach our children a "chunk" of information, as I like to call it. Once they understand one chunk of information, we can present them with another chunk that builds on what they've already been taught. The "big talk" is really a series of small discussions as we build our children's knowledge of relationships. Make sure you review previous information and correct misinformation before presenting your child with new knowledge.

Before we approach our child with the definition of sex, they should understand love and respect, body parts and functions, pregnancy, birth, and how a baby gets started.

My Body is a Temple

Why did I go with the blog name Timeless Temples?

Well, first, "My Body is a Temple" was taken.

Second, I refered to old Mr. Webster to double check the definition of timeless. According to Webster, timeless means, "eternal." It's as simple as that. Our bodies, which are temples, are eternal. Therefore, when we are discussing sex, we are talking about our eternal bodies, or timeless temples. The tone and attitude you bring to a discussion about sex should carry reverence, respect, and sacredness. You are standing on holy ground.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Where do babies come from?

This question may strike fear in the heart of a parent. But, if you break it down into manageable bite-size pieces, you have a rewarding experience on your hands. Whether your child is asking this question or not, children ages 3-5 should know how a baby grows in the uterus and the birth process. Usually, young children are not necessarily looking for how the baby got started. They will generally be satisfied to learn about how babies grow.

Let's think about the uterus in a way a child can understand. Begin with explaining how a baby grows in the uterus. It starts out very tiny, smaller than a sunflower seed (or pea; something your child has experience with). It keeps growing and getting bigger, just like your child grows and gets bigger. What does it do in the uterus? Well, it eats and wiggles, just like your child. It also hiccups and sleeps. It can hear, but not see. I love the book, "What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby" by Heidi Murkoff. I finally bought a copy because they are really cheap on and I was constantly checking it out from the library. I skip the pages on how the baby gets started and the birth process during the first few reads. Our daughter was 3 years old when I was in the last trimester of pregnancy with our son. We began reading this book with her and skipped those two sections. When she was about 4 1/2 years old, we finally read through and discussed the birth process. She was fascinated and enjoyed the book. She loved learning about the birth process. There was nothing scary or gross or intimidating about our discussion. It was actually a wonderful, rewarding experience. We've read the book many times. She is 5 now. I don't actually skip the page on how the baby got started, but make up my own text about how families look forward to growing and having new siblings come into it. I may add text on moms and dads loving each other and wanting to add to their love by bringing a baby into the family. There are lots of good children's books you can find that can help you begin a discussion.

I use a simple analogy when talking about the uterus. It's like a balloon. Children will understand a balloon. The uterus is very small and as the baby grows, it grows with the baby (like blowing into a balloon will make it get bigger. Then, when the baby is born, the uterus will get smaller again (like letting the air out of a balloon). When you get to the part about how babies get started and are born, the balloon analogy helps them understand that more clearly as well. There is an opening where air enters the balloon (an opening for receiving necessary pieces of cells for starting a baby) and an opening for the air (baby) to come out. This will also help them have a better visual understanding of what happens without actually having to show them an anatomy book. Anatomy book pictures can sometimes be a bit abstract for children, although children can gain an understanding from them.

For mothers that are pregnant, now is a great time to talk with your children about pregnancy, even if they are older and understand this information, you can still use this time to review how babies grow and are born. For mothers that aren't pregnant, you can point out pregnant women and begin a discussion about how babies grow. I used a friend that was pregnant that my daughter knew to stimulate discussions to review what she already knew (since her baby brother was already born).

FYI- Ages 6-8 are generally the appropriate ages for talking about how a baby got started. We'll address that topic later ;)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Answering Questions

When your child comes to you with a question, here is a guide for how to begin your answer, just remember the "Three A's."
1. First, Acknowledge that your child is asking a good question. This gives you a minute to breathe when they ask something like, "Where do babies come from?" Use a phrase like, "Interesting question," "Wow, that's a thoughtful question," or "Great question," to let your child know that they are, indeed, asking something important.
2. Second, Ask a question to clarify what your child is really asking, or to figure out the context of where they heard something that prompted the question. "What do you know about that?" Where did you hear this?" (be careful this is said in an inquisitive way, not accusative). "What was happening when you heard this?" Tell me what you know about ......" "What do you mean by that?"
3. Last, Answer their question. If you can't answer it directly, or don't know how to answer it well, ask them if you can get a book about it at the library, or look it up together. If you can answer it directly, make sure you keep your explanation simple and direct. Young kids can only handle about one or two pieces of a process at a time.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

A lesson

Our oldest son just turned 8. The other day he was watching a youtube video with his father. There was an advertisement on one side of the screen. The advertisment showed the back of a man with the top of his backside showing (plumber's crack). Our son's eyes kept being drawn to the advertisement. Here is our conversation:

Me: Is that interesting to look at?
Son: Yes.
He averted his gaze at this point.
Me: I can see how it's interesting to look at other people's bodies. Is this picture appropriate?
Son: No.
Me: Why?
Son: Because it's not modest.
Me: Right. What should we do when we see a picture that's not modest?
Son: Look away.
Me: Yes, and we listen to how we feel. Pictures like that can make us feel uncomfortable. We can pray to help us feel better. What do you do if a picture of someone that's not modest comes up on the computer and mom and dad are not right there?
Son: Close the computer right away (we have a laptop) and find mom or dad and tell them.

What a perfect little lesson in pornography!