By Kendra Holliday | March 19, 2013
My daughter is 12. I’ve raised her in a sex-positive, body-positive environment all her life. I haven’t had “the sex talk” with her – I’ve had many matter-of-fact conversations with her along the way, from anatomy lessons when she was three to discussing the fact that grownups have toys when she was seven.
I am educating her about sexuality in a shame-free manner. I had to learn about the harsh truths of life as I went, and sometimes I had to learn the hard way. I don’t want that for her.
If your child asks you a question, it means he or she is ready for the age-appropriate answer. Think ahead and be prepared!
The lessons I teach my daughter combat all the twisted views our society spreads like cooties. As a parent, it is my prerogative to teach her things that will help her instead of hurt her, and offer an antidote to those toxic messages.
Since she was about 7, I’ve taught her repeatedly:
Get to know your body and love it for being so awesome.
Do things on your own terms.
Be open and honest.
Respect people for who they are – including yourself.
Take ownership of your sexuality.
Figure out your preferences and turn ons.
Actively choose who you want to be with – don’t let them choose you.
These important lessons will equip her with the tools she needs to make good choices for herself.
Another good lesson to teach children is about consent. There are some things they may not yet understand, but they are naturally tuned in to social justice and protecting loved ones. That ingrained inclination they have for others to be happy can easily be transmitted from their core family group to the general population
We often underestimate children – just as we teach them about eating well and being kind to others, those teachings should extend to the core fundamentals of self-care. Kids came about because of sex – shouldn’t we honor this gift of life in a respectful, open, honest and positive fashion?
I offer sex-positive parenting consultations. In addition, here are some great sex educators who specialize in kids and parenting:
What resources should I add to this list?