I recently spoke with a group of parents of second graders. They asked me to come and talk about how/when to talk with their children about sex and the myriad issues associated with it. They also wanted some assistance to help them come together into a cohesive group for the many years of parenting children in the same class (the school is a small private one, and many of these parents expect their children to be together through high school).
Many of the parents have contacted me since the meeting, saying how much they feel they gained from the discussion. Points I have heard from these parents include:
- feeling more connected to the other parents
- feeling more confident in raising the subject of sex with their children
- having a better understanding of an appropriate trajectory of learning about sexuality
- having increased understanding of how current teenagers are tending to engage sexually
However, the most interesting point came from one mother who has talked with me about adolescent sexuality before. She reiterated, in one way or another, all of the comments above, that other parents have said as well. But then she went on to say that through our conversations she has come to understand her own path of learning about sexuality and her own sexual history in more clarity, and she thanked me specifically for helping her along that path.
As parents raise their children, they often come face-to-face with their own paths. This is particularly true of issues of sex and sexuality, because these topics are so personal and often not discussed openly. What this means is that when sexuality does start to become openly discussed – perhaps for the first time when a parent is explaining and teaching their child – strong memories and emotions can surface.
Traversing these pathways can be difficult. If you feel you or your group of parent friends would benefit from me coming and talking you through some of these steps, please do not hesitate to contact me. I talk with parents of children of all ages, and I would love to support your process of increasing sexuality education in the home. I can meet with you in person or by phone.