Little Birds & Bees
Kristen Gregory on Talking to Young Children About Sex
When we first cradle our newborn babies in our arms, we desperately want to shelter and protect them from everything. From sin, from death, from the power of the devil. And, maybe more urgently, from s-e-x. After all, modern American culture treats it so lightly and frivolously that they will be exposed to it soon enough. Just go through the grocery line with your kids. The images on the magazines are shocking enough, but if your kids can read, they will learn a lot more than you want them to. Walking past Victoria's Secret isn't even possible once they can see past the end of their noses: girls and boys alike are forced to confront a hypersexualized standard of "beauty" with larger-than-life images that will arouse and never completely leave their minds.
As parents, my husband and I initially set out to protect our kids from all thoughts and knowledge of sex until as late as possible. Age 20 sounded good. But as we have been raising them, we've come to realize that we don't want to shelter them from it completely, but instead to give them something better: a beautiful, true, and good view of sex, presented as is appropriate for each child's age and level of curiosity.
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