Thursday, April 9, 2015
More than Just the Talk by Jonathan McKee
And the fine print says: "Becoming your Kids' Go-To Person About Sex,"
Now, I like to keep my blog a little on the light side. Yes, I share about grief and things I'm thinking about, but I stay away from issues like sex. I am a Mennonite after all and we don't talk about such things, right. But this is also a subject that D and I have discussed quite a bit-- this thing of teaching your kids about "the birds and the bees" and how to do it and when is it the right time, etc. etc.
Now granted, our daughter is only 7 weeks old tomorrow, we aren't planning to start now except now would be the easiest time. I mean really, she's not going to get embarrassed and we don't need to hem and haw because we're embarrassed. Anyway, enough on that.
How do you talk about these things with your kids? No disrespect to our parents, but this wasn't something discussed in our families growing up and I would imagine we weren't alone in this. Or maybe your parents sat you down for "the talk" and then you were supposed to know everything and move on.
Jonathan presents a new concept: talk to your kids about sex ALL THE TIME!! Why? They are being inundated with sexual images ALL THE TIME!! Lies, mostly, explicit lies. So what is our responsibility as parents? Tell them the explicit truth. Yes, it can be embarrassing; yes it can be difficult, but it is so important. Where will they turn to otherwise with their questions? Google. Google knows everything, so why won't it answer my questions about these embarrassing issues that mom and dad will just flip out about anyone.
That was another thing he stressed, when your kids come to you with questions or confessions--DON'T FLIP OUT! Maybe you need time to think about it--stall them off with a return question or you need to decide what to do about your son that has just confessed a porn problem. Don't be reactive; be proactive in the first place.
He addresses many issues that young people are faced with today and how to help them. He explains the purpose of sex: one man with one woman in a marriage relationship. He does it from a Biblical view but he also does it with statistics.
I just thought the book very helpful and very insightful and very frightening. My daughter is going to be faced with the sexualization that is becoming the norm in our culture and how am I going to instill in her her worth as a person, as a daughter of God? How am I going to tell her she is beautiful just like she is without needing to become a model or dress in a provocative way, but that her beauty is from the inside? Am I going to tell her that or just criticize her when her choices don't align with mine.
The other thing that he stressed that hits home to me: how are you going to get your kids to open up to you? You have to talk to them about other things; you have to listen to their stories from little up; you have to interact with them about what is important to them from the time they can talk. This will require patience on my part and also will require me to be aware of my child and what is important to her. Dialogue with her, not just monologue.
I do recommend this book to parents looking for meaningful ways of interacting with their teenagers. It was insightful to me and I hope I can remember it a few years from now when I need to start having these conversations.
This book was given me by Bethany House Publishers for the purpose of reading and writing a review about it.
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