I must say I debated on writing this blog for fear of what others would think. I debated on writing this blog because I know I’m far from an expert on this topic…and I debated on writing it because my kid is only four years old and let’s face it, we haven’t yet had to have “the talk”. All of that said, I do feel like this is a topic that NEEDS to be talked about. As a matter of a fact, I think not talking about it is exactly the problem and because of that, I’m going to venture into some uncomfortable areas.
*This blog contains some things that weren’t easy to type, and they won’t be easy to read. However, unfortunately they are the reality that our kids are facing and as parents we need to be made aware of what those realities are. While this subject may be uncomfortable, I am tackling this knowing it is a public platform. I feel like that calls me to be as cautious as I can while also being as honest as I can. Because let’s face it, if we don’t know what our kids are facing, we can’t journey through it with them and we can’t teach them when the world has got it wrong. So, please read with caution knowing I did my best to respect the tension of truth vs. boundaries.
Teen Vogue is a magazine created for teenage girls. It was started in 2004 and has over 6 million followers on Facebook alone and 10 million unique hits (monthly) on the website. This doesn’t include the subscribers, blog followers, and avid readers. While Teen Vogue was originally created to discuss fashion and celebrities, it has in the past few years transitioned into what it considers a perfect fit for young people who are “craving something real, craving authenticity”. You can read the full quote by clicking HERE.
So, why am I talking about Teen Vogue? Parents, did you know that the magazine released an article a week ago titled “Anal Sex: What you need to know”? Did you know that in the last 6 months they have released articles named “How to masturbate if you have a vagina/penis” and “What to get a friend post-abortion?” A magazine, directed at CHILDREN ages 13-18 released articles telling YOUR kids not only how to, but why it’s a good idea to participate in these things. I won’t link to the articles because frankly I don’t want to lead any children or teens to them. I will however say, I did read them in full because I felt it was important to know exactly what the world is teaching our kids. Disclaimer to that statement, I was literally sick to my stomach as I read through the articles. Without getting too graphic (because trust me there were much more blunt quotes from each article) I did take note of a few quotes that I that I thought were important to share with you.
“You should do what you feel comfortable with and what feels pleasurable for you. There is no wrong way to experience sexuality, and no way is better than any other.”
“…but if you can get a small finger vibrator, you should. There are plenty of discreet, adorable, not-at-all-scary options to choose from.” (The author then goes on to explain that she got her first vibrator at the age of 14.)
“When in doubt, stay consistent…”
“Be sure to relax as much as possible. If you tense up, it will make things much more difficult and therefore less fun.”
Parents, I know it’s a hard line. I know it’s not easy to decide what age is the “right age” to talk about sex. I know it’s not easy to know how much detail is too much detail. I know that it’s uncomfortable and I know that our parents most likely toed one extreme or the other (just be safe or if you look at a boy/girl you will get pregnant) but these extremes aren’t good enough. Teen Vogue is ONE resource out of thousands at our kids fingertips. Between pornography, media, and online resources the world is grooming our kids to lack boundaries and to explore what makes them “feel good” without helping them understand God’s design for intimacy. The world is telling our kids that even when they are uncomfortable, the right thing to do is to keep going. The world is telling our kids that setting boundaries is “less fun” and that those feelings of “I don’t like this” don’t necessarily matter.
Like I stated earlier, we haven’t yet had “the talk” with our 4 year old. But parents, we do talk to our 4 year old about things like safe touch and the importance of boundaries. We do talk to her about how the world will tell her things are okay that aren’t really okay. And, we sure as heck do everything we can to make her feel safe so that when the time comes to have “the talk”, we can have her full attention and trust so that we can discuss uncomfortable things with as little awkwardness as possible. As much as I hate to admit it, I think that day will come much sooner than either me or my husband would like to think it will.
Parents, if we don’t teach our kids about sex, the world will and that’s a statement that scares me. Our kids are “craving something real”. They are “craving authenticity”. And parents, they aren’t going to find those things if we don’t take the initiative to teach it to them.