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Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Sexuality issue.....

Giavanna turned eight last month so I scheduled her for her annual check up and we went yesterday. She had a great exam however I was a bit perplexed when the nurse looked into her eyes and said "it won't be long before all the girls are getting their periods"- Wait did she just say that to Giavanna. Thankfully it meant nothing to Giavanna as I have not had that conversation yet. She just turned eight- did I miss the mark on this one. I thought having a girl and the "conversation" would be simple, but when was it suppposed to happen. Im confused.

I just had the "talk" with Christopher early this year. We handled it very nicely and in a mature and scientific manner. It was actually rather simple and we have a wonderfully candid relationship which contributed to the ease of the topic. Giavanna- I was going to wait a year or so- what was this nurse thinking... Eight is too young in my mind to truly be emotionally mature enough to listen without fear. Im not ready for this- no preparation or heads up I thought loudlyl Please, wait don't start with that topic as it will take three minutes into our drive home before I get one thousand and nine questions. Giavanna does not miss a beat, she hears everything and truly absorbs all around here so I didn't think that I stood a chance.
She must not have heard the nurse as she did not say a word and continued to request that I "turn the station" which meant that all was well in our world.

Our society bombards us with all things sexual. Our children are exposed at every possible level and frequency. Im not a prude but I find it bothersome and extremely inappropriate and unhelpful to our society.
They can not listen to music, shop or simply walk down a city street without hearing or seeing sexual content . The other day we were in Manhattan and the kids were entranced by a store that simply appeared to sell t-shirts and other tourist trappings.... they were laughing at the baubleheads and as my eye shifted to the shelf above- there they were... fifty or so figurines of Buddha looking figures demonstrating every possible sexual position that one could imagine.

Christopher gazed at them and quickly said... OH gosh- how inappropriate as he kept the girls moving... very cute and humorous in fact but the combination of baubleheads and amazing sexual acts, not good.

As parents we have a very large challenge in regard to our children. We want to protect them as well as inform them. I think the best approach to be is extremely open with discussion at an early age. You have to talk about body parts and sexuality so that it is not so uncomfortable that you have to depend on educators to teach your children. While I believe sexual education in the school systems is great- I think it is of great importance to start the conversation at home.

The more open your discussion can be about sexuality, the more comfortable they will be in discussing issues that they may struggle with going forward. it is come from their parents. Sexuality in our Society used to be a bit milder and the ease of never discussing sex with your parents was a non-issue. The Times dictate a new method and you have to get out of your comfort zone. I would never ever ever discuss sex with my mother.

She attempted to have the birth control discussion with me when I was 23. "Im all set Mom, don't worry about it but thank you" was the end of the conversation. Very amusing nonetheless....
I held in my thoughts about the fact that this conversation perhaps should have happened earlier but was also happy that it never happened. Too awkward- she was raised in strict formality so I suspect it would have been a very rigid conversation. No thank you !

I respect the fact that my mother is of a different generation. She did not have the experiences that I have had. She moved from her parents home to college and then married my father. Big difference-I moved to Boston to go to college- came home for one summer freshman year and then that was it. I never moved home again. I lived with friends and then alone in a city for 12 years prior to getting married. How can our situations and experiences be even remotely similar.

The intimate conversations that can occur between Mother and Daughter did not happen with us. We had and continue to have a wonderful relationship but the discussion of sexuality is not where we bond.

In fact, my father was much more at ease giving me advice and words of wisdom in this area. It was slightly uncomfortable but not terribly as the manner in which he did it was creative. He always presented advice as if he were sharing a secret that was of the brotherhood, like he was giving me a little glimpse into the mind of the male species.

Well done Dad- I was never embarrassed and his advice was accurate. I just wish that I could remember the little parable that he told me before I went off to college. It had to do with a family of wolves and the jist of it was to not trust the upperclassmen boys- their intentions may not be sincere. Really- they seemed sincere to me as I say with a smile on my face.

My dad was grinning as he pulled up to my dorm in Boston and out stormed a herd of male upperclassman. They were all ready to help us with the move in. My father was cool like that, he just had a big grin on his face and laughed. He knew that I had good judgement so I think his protective nature subsided. In fact, I always found it interesting how much freedom my parents gave us in our youth. They truly did not hover and while we had to be educated, cultured and well-traveled- they really were very laid back about curfews and dating. I guess they did not want to be as strict as their parents had been with them so we benefitted from that. We were also good kids so they trusted our decisions.

This morning I watched Glee, my kids want to watch this show and in fact- one of the fifth grade classes voted it their favorite show. I was thinking that perhaps I was being too strict so I took a look at an episode this morning. I still wouldn't let my kids watch it yet. Too much - too soon- they have the rest of their lives to be exposed, indulge and make their own decisions. However right now- Im running the show and Im more strict than my parents ever were... I already told them that Im on to everything they do. They don't stand a chance with me.xo

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