I spent the afternoon discussing sex trafficking, pornography, and the grocery store’s placement of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (at the eye-level of third grade boys).
Sometimes, all the sunshine in the world–all the love, all the joy, and all the hope–seems utterly tucked into shadows.
I’m raising sons in this place, on this planet. I’m raising daughters.
We speak very frankly with our children, my husband and I, and sometimes I wonder if we speak too much. If I hadn’t discussed that glimpse of the Super Bowl half-time show with my son, would he have gaped at the bikini clad models on Target’s wall? Would he have said to me, “Mama, why do they do that? Why do they take pictures of women dressed in clothes that look like underwear and put them where everyone can see?” If I hadn’t brought the subject up, would it even have been on his radar?
“He’s almost nine,” my husband says. “At some point it’s going to be on his radar. Best to start speaking now.”
It’s a tricky thing, this raising children. We want them to be innocent, but we can’t keep them tucked away. We want them to be pure, but we must help muddy their feet. We wish they didn’t have to know half the things we know ourselves, but we’re their introduction to the world, and so we have to speak.
How do you (or did you) speak of these things to your children? How do you (or did you) do sex-ed in your home? In what ways do you (or did you) educate your kids on sexual and cultural issues? Life-long conversations? One Big Conversation? Books? Videos? Please let me know in the comments!