Nov 01, 2021
3 mins read
In raising my children, it was my decision that I would not raise them to be naïve or for there to be anything mysterious about sex or sexuality that would cause them to allow someone else to teach them about it before they were ready. I taught them that love, and sex are not the same thing, although the hope is that they will be experienced together. I told them about how I was raised as a Catholic boy, ashamed of my body before I ever had the chance to think about it. I wanted them to know and understand their own bodies and told them that I would find some way to answer any questions that arose, even if the answer was, “I am sorry, but I do not think that you are ready for this answer, but if this question comes up again when you are 16 and you still want me to answer it, I will.” The whole point was to be open and honest about wanting them to know and understand themselves, physically and otherwise, on their own terms and to never let anyone tell them that they should judge themselves against any model but themselves (Kindrick). They were to grow up to be their own people. I also always made it abundantly clear to them that beauty could be found in all places and all people, and what they found beautiful was up to them and nobody else. When my oldest turned 4, she started whistling at girls and telling me how pretty they were, so all I did was ask her what she found beautiful about them. I simply did not want them to be inhibited by shame, fear, ignorance, or any of the things that we take out into our adult lives that hurt so many people every day.
In looking at the proposed theories of development, I realized that all were equally correct and incorrect. Until we further understand the mind, they all seem to offer the same answer to the question of development. I believe that development is continuous, in that the learning and growth processes should always be occurring. However, some things for some people are learned in more discontinuous stages (OpenStax College, 2020). I believe that each theory of development has merit and while they all deserve further examination, I honestly feel like we are at a point where we cannot progress much further in that. Since we cannot talk to infants directly, until we can monitor the brain to determine what is going on at any given time, we are at a place where all these guesses are equally possible.
Instead, I will talk about the responsibility that one accepts when one chooses to bring a life into the world. Both of my children were born by conscious choice and decision. As such, I came into the prospect knowing my responsibility not only to them but to society, to help create introspective, thoughtful, considerate functional explorers to be a part of and help progress society by being a boon instead of a burden. I wanted them to enter the world with the greatest advantage possible, so I raised them with questions and asked them about things. I showed them the stars, explained how cars worked and talked to them about their bodies. I encouraged, and even pushed them a little along the way. I am sure that everyone believes that their style of parenting is the best and most functional for their child. All that I know is that I went into it knowing that knowledge, honesty, and self-respect were the most powerful things that they could hold within themselves as they entered the world as they would eventually.
Kindrick, A. (n.d.). Sexual Intelligence. Retrieved October 28, 2021, from https://spscc.instructure.com/courses/2111551/pages/sexual-intelligence?moduleitemid=59097679.
OpenStax College. (2020). Psychology (2nd edition). OpenStax: https://openstax.org/books/psychology-2e/pages/1-introduction