The Birds and the Bees

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This article is about the importance of talking to your kids about sex and what is likely to happen if you don't.

Submitted: April 19, 2008

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Submitted: April 19, 2008

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The Birds and the Bees

By Barb Allen

I have been volunteering at my local crisis pregnancy center for a couple months now. In that time I've become very passionate about the work that they are doing to inform and challenge young people to make good decisions about this very important part of their lives. Maybe I've come to feel this way because of seeing firsthand the outcomes for these young girls and guys who come to the center dealing with the consequences of not making good decisions.

Most of these kids didn't have discussions with their parents about sex. And if they did, they still had no idea about the gravity of the STD epidemic out there, or they naively believed it wouldn't happen to them. They had no idea that 1 of every 4 people has some kind of STD, 85% of whom have no symptoms, don't know they have it, and are giving it to everyone they have sex with. They were ignorant of the relative ease of conception. They didn't know that 1 out of every 5 teen girls ends up pregnant – an unbelievable 46% of whom will have an abortion and live with the regret and physical damage from it her whole life. Even I didn't know until recently that Planned Parenthood is scaring girls into having abortions, some of whom aren't even pregnant! It's crazy, but it's happening. We see the girls who come to us from there, scared to death about what they are going to do with this pregnancy, not ready to have an abortion, only to find out that they are not even pregnant. Sadly, no one ever told these kids that getting sexually involved with someone outside of marriage would bring them nothing but heartache in the end. In fact, way too many of us parents are telling our kids that basically we don't believe they can abstain. Like they're animals or something. Do we really think they are incapable of making good decisions when they're armed with the right information and given the parental support they need to resist temptation? Imagine where we would be if we took that same stance on every important issue: like drugs, alcohol, their grades in school. What if we just said to them "you can't do the right thing so why even try?" Seriously? We can do better for our kids.

Maybe you didn't know these things either. These teens coming through the doors at the center have believed the lie that the government has been telling all of us about condoms being "safe sex." Nevermind that the CDC and NIH agree that condoms do almost nothing to reduce the chance of getting most of the nearly 50 STD's that are being passed around right now, many through skin to skin contact, and bodily fluid exchange even in absence of actual intercourse. And they also neglect to mention that in order for a condom to offer any protection at all against AIDS and pregnancy, it would have to be used correctly, in every single sexual encounter, and never break – and that just doesn't happen. Let's be honest with our kids sooner rather than later. There is no such thing as safe sex, except marital sex between two people who've never had sex with anyone else. Most importantly, these young people need to know that God created them, He loves them and He has a great plan for their lives and that plan includes saving themselves for the one person God has picked out for them. What a gift and treasure it is for the few who choose to wait for that! You know, while we're being honest… all this stuff might have helped us make better choices as teens had we known. Right? Don't we love our kids enough to give them what we didn't have.

I enjoy the opportunity to share this information with as many young people as possible, and though it's a blessing to minister to those already living with the emotional, physical and spiritual regrets and consequences of not making good decisions about their sexuality, it's so much better to share it with teens who maybe haven't made that mistake yet and who might make better choices if only they knew. We parents need to find out what is being taught to our kids in our schools, and we need to get active in promoting abstinence-only education in our schools – and more importantly in our homes -- if we want to save our kids from this turmoil. We are their only hope.

Parents need to know that although their kids will grimace, squirm and look bored or embarrassed (right along with us!), they do honestly look to their parents for guidance and direction in this area. Even young kids needs to hear from their parents about it. Don't be fooled into thinking that you have years before you need to think about having "the talk". You might be surprised and appalled at how young your little ones will come home from school having heard such-and-such from so-and-so. For my daughter, it was second grade. Another friend of mine had to tell her kindergartner what a condom was because of a classmate. Research shows that 88% of kids say that they would have a lot easier time postponing sexual activity until marriage if they could have open, honest communication with their parents about it. And the younger we open up this dialogue with our kids, the less embarrassing it is for them, and us!

There is an awesome Christian book series called "God's Design for Sex" by Stan and Brenna Jones. It has four age-graded books for parents to read with their kids to open up the dialogue about this not-so-comfortable topic. Just remember it's only as embarrassing as you let it be. Don't forget that our generation didn't have the benefit of hearing from our parents on this subject (because they didn't hear it from their parents either) and we have the opportunity and the responsibility, in light of what we know, to do better for our kids.

My kids have had the usual embarrassment as we have read these books together. They both snickered and covered their mouths when I said the p-word to describe the male sex organ in book #1. My 8-year-old son put his hand over the picture and said "yuck!" about a baby being born in book #2. The funniest thing was in book #3 when my 10-year-old daughter agreed that she would take turns with me reading the book but that we could not say the word "sex." We had to say "it" instead. J We got through it though and they both had a lot of interest and asked a lot of questions. I know they really benefited from our discussions, and I was blessed to be able to share with them openly and honestly about how God created people the way that He did and what His design is for the family and for our sexaulity. It gave me such peace to know that they heard the truth from me first before their peers distorted their image of God's design.

You can order this book series at www.christianbook.com, buy it at your local Christian retailer, or check it out for free at your local library. I hope you find it not only helpful, but maybe life-changing. Please pass on to your friends and relatives with children! They will thank you!!!


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