Friday, September 12, 2014

What about a Spaghetti Strap Shirt?

I recently had the beginning of the school year sex reminder/pornography talk with our 8-year-old son (soon to be 9-year-old). Besides going over the basics of pregnancy, how a baby is born, and how it gets in the uterus, we added a mini-discussion where we mentioned the term "pornography" for the first time. I'll share our discussion here in hopes that it will prompt you to pray about what your child needs to know right now.

Note: I've had some friends express their disappointment that I have abridged my discussions with my children to omit a lot of the content that expressly deals with how the act of sex occurs. I've left it out because I figure you know the process. But, I realize now that many of you want to know how someone else is saying the words to their child. That said, this is the UNABRIDGED version of our discussion with our son. You can tell he's familiar with talking with us by the questions we asked. This was the first time he seemed a tad bit embarrassed to be having this discussion, but about 45 seconds into our discussion he was totally at ease. 

MD (for mom and dad; it doesn't matter who was saying it): Here's that book we've discussed before. Can you tell me what you remember about how a baby is created?

K: Well, I already know all about the baby growing. You just want to know what I remember about the other part, right? 

MD: Yes, what do you remember about how a baby got started? 

K: I remember what happens, but I can't remember the names. 

MD: Dads have what?

K: Speck or something. 

MD: Sperm. 

K: Moms have an egg.

MD: Yes, called an ovum. 

K: Dads put their penis in the vulva.

MD: A part of the vulva called the vagina. Remember, it's the birth canal where the baby is born. What is this called?

K: I can't remember.

MD: Sex. 

K: Oh yeah. 

MD: Remember, the uterus is like a balloon. There's only one opening. Dads use their penis to get sperm in the uterus through that opening. Then, the egg and sperm can meet and a baby can start. The uterus gets bigger, like a balloon, as the baby grows. Then, when it's time for the baby to be born, it comes out that opening. 

K: I remember that. Can my body do that right now?

MD: Excellent question (and what a surprise too)! Your body has all the pieces it needs to be able to make a baby, but it can't quite make a baby yet. There are some things that will happen with your body as you mature that will make it more like daddy's body. When this happens your body will be able to create a baby. 

K: Oh. 

NOTE: This was a very brief introduction to puberty. He is almost 9 years old, so this is a very appropriate time frame for him to be curious about his body. This will also be my lead in when I start having discussions with him about puberty. I'll probably say, "Do you remember when you asked if your body was able to make a baby right now......." It's a great set up for future pubertal conversations that we'll have next year at the beginning of the school year. 

MD: Sex is a very good thing for moms and dads. It's a special way for them to show they love each other. It's only for married men and women. It's a wonderful thing, but many people talk about it like it's bad. We want you to know it's a very good thing, but it's something that happens at a special time in your life after you're married. What do you do if a child comes up to you and says, "She wants to have sex with you?" (I was pointing to a pretend person.)

K: Say, I don't like that. 

MD: Yes, you could tell them you know that's not appropriate and tell an adult. What should you do if someone wants to show you pictures of naked or inappropriately dressed people, men or women? 

K: I would not look.

MD: And.....

K: Tell mom or dad.

MD: Yes. We definitely want to know if this happens. They might even try to make you look or make fun of you. But, they are not good friends if they make fun of you for a making a wise choice. Even if you are interested and take a look before you walk away, we want to know. We won't be mad at you. We just want to be able to help you make wise choices. 

K: What about Spaghetti Straps? My friends wear spaghetti straps and that's not modest. 

MD: Great question. Do you find yourself always looking at your friend's straps, or paying to what she's saying and doing? 

K: What we're doing. 

MD: Then you don't need to worry about it right now if you're paying attention to your friend and not her clothes. If you find yourself paying attention to her clothes more than her, you should probably find something else to do. You nicely tell her you need to go home now to play. Or, you can invite another friend to play and see if that takes your mind off her clothes. 

K: Okay. 

NOTE: We want our children to not judge other children for the clothes they wear or things they do. That, of course, doesn't mean they should do and wear the things their friends are wearing and doing. We want them to learn to look to themselves for how they can change their environment to be comfortable and invite the spirit. We live in the south, which is HOT. This means that we are surrounded by inappropriate clothing. It's impossible for our young children to not have friends that wear immodest clothing. It's a good opportunity to teach them about how they are reacting to their surroundings. If it doesn't bother them yet, they can just continue playing. They are not sexually stimulated by it, so it hasn't become possible pornography. 

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