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Friday, April 5, 2013

The birds and the bees... and gum.

Every parent knows this discussion is necessary. Every child wishes it wasn't.
Here is the thing, when it's time and you know it I have learned that it's best to just get it out and then have the CONVERSATION, not just the discussion. Give them a chance to talk back.
So one mom I know was having this discussion and the kids went on and on about how this conversation was getting way to awkward. Well, it wasn't as if it was a discussion on the mechanics of sex, but more about how it should be viewed as THE MOST precious gift you give your spouse. Hence the reason we (that mom and dad) think it's so important to wait until AFTER you are married.
Two things came out of this conversation that I loved.

1. This mom told her kids that they had three choices. They could discuss this subject with:
     A. Mom
     B. Dad
     C. The parish priest.

After mom had their attention and they knew the conversation would be happening and they  might as well do it now. Mom said to them. If your friend across the street wanted to give you a piece of gum. Would you rather have the piece that they had passed around to all of their other friends to chew on first, or would you rather have the piece that was new and in the wrapper that had been saved just for you?

While the kids thought this was pretty disgusting - they understood.        Just had to share...

A good friend read this and suggested a source for talking to kids about this. What better place to put them then at the bottom of this blog?

True Love Waits - has something for everyone.

Pam Stenzel does some fantastic talks on the subject of abstinence. And there are a lot of resources on her WebPage.
Here is a video that shows part 1 of her 'Sex Still Has a Price Tag'. She does a very good job of being straight forward, and at a level that does not make kids feel like she is talking over their heads OR down to them.

One of the things I have a hard time with is finding clothing appropriate for pre-teen or teenage girls.
A Christian Home has a whole page full of modest clothing site links.
Young Wife's Guide has a lot of tips on dressing modestly without breaking the bank.

I hope these links help you get started.



    1. I find your response very interesting since I know first hand about the effects of rape. My own daughter was the victim of date rape. She had been taught the importance of abstinence and how precious her body is; it is a temple only to be shared with her husband after they are married. We were devastated when this horrific event happened in her life. It messed her up for some time. She got into drugs and drinking for a few years. But we spent many, many hours talking on our bed about her life and what she really wanted in her life. Because of the years of open talk about sex, abstinence, knowing that she would have to give a baby up for adoption if she ever made a mistake instead of an abortion (very near to heart since I am adopted), and having our church their to help, she eventually turned her tragedy into her a strength. She uses her tragedy to help other young women who have been raped. Open communication and having God in our lives is what helped my daughter. She is now a beautiful woman with a wonderful husband and beautiful little boy.

  2. None of this stops your kids from having sex, it just makes them feel bad about themselves and become the same kind of sad and repressed reactionaries as their parents.

  3. Way to turn young girls into objects to be chewed on.
    Your children must have really low self esteem.
    BTW, do you have a counter for the 350 000 women who will die in childbirth this year, or do they not matter?

    1. My first troll, I'm so excited. :)

      First, I do never said I discuss abstinence only - however we do focus on that for many reasons. If you look to the side bar You will see a link to Pam Stensel which explains why we do such a thing. Birth control, does not prevent the spread of disease, not even condoms do that 100%

      I do not turn my young girls into objects to be chewed on. You are a sick individual. I was merely using an example. I was trying to illustrate to my children (operative word being children there) that when you have sex once, you are no longer able to claim virginity, which is a more pure state then non-virgin. You can't become a virgin again any more than you can un-chew gum... however, I'm sure you will stand by your remarks as ignorant as they are because YOU have probably NEVER used any kind of metaphor before.

      Third - It is beyond humorous to me that you throw out numbers that are not accurate, then proceed to tell me I am sad, repressed, and a reactionary. You know nothing about me therefore your opinion is based on an overstimulated imagination as to what a person who believes in sex in the marriage bed only, and no abortion, would be like.

      Women dieing in childbirth has nothing to do with abortion... I don't even know where that leap came from. My stance on abortion is clear, if you believe a child must die due to the inconvenience of the mother, so be it. Furthermore there are more issues with the abortion industry that are now coming into the spotlight, abortion is not safe for women. It is a fact, so yes I do take into the account women's health care when putting up such counters.

      And finally, at least when I put this up here I did not do it under anonymous, I am very up front with my views and opinions and I do understand that while I have deep seated beliefs and not everyone will agree with me. To each his own. I do however believe it cowardly for someone to hide behind anonymous so that they do not have to take responsibility for what they say.

      For any study you throw up on my page I can quote another that will refute it... I am raising my children as I see fit, I guess in the end I will have made some mistakes and I am sure there will be childhood scars (show me a kid who had a perfect childhood and I'll show you a liar), all in all my children are thoughtful, kind, ornery, delightful, each one a blessing, and yes they can be mouthy too... BUT in general they have a better head on their shoulders than a lot of kids in their respective age group so I guess I will take my chances.

      God bless you in your own life as a parent as much as he has blessed me and I wish you nothing but happiness and health.

    2. (This is from a different Anonymous poster. I completely disagree with what the above person wrote.)

      1. You cite Pam Stenzel as an expert. Here is what Pam Stenzel has been known to say: - are you still going to be quoting her? "If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you" is quite a ridiculous thing for any adult to say, nevermind believe. So is “No one has ever had more than one partner and not paid”. (Both quotes attributed to Stenzel.)

      2. You wrote: "when you have sex once, you are no longer able to claim virginity, which is a more pure state then non-virgin"

      Purity and virginity are virtues for children. Once you reach a certain age, they are no longer virtues, secularly-speaking. You may hold religious beliefs that value such things as virtues, but in secular terms there is nothing admirable about being "pure" or being a virgin. Please note, I'm not saying that being the opposite of pure/a virgin is admirable, this isn't an argument in favor of promiscuity or hedonism).

      As such, if you were to get married at 16, 17, 18, I suppose it would be OK to still be a virgin. But if you are getting married at a more common age (for 2013), it becomes ridiculous and awkward to be a virgin.

      You liken non-virgin sex to a piece of gum that has already been chewed. Here is a much better simile:

      Sex is like playing tennis. It's not that difficult to figure out, but it can be awkward for two people who have never played a minute of tennis to show up at a court and start trying to play, without any experience. They will likely miss shots, they won't be able to serve properly, things will be quite clumsy, and the session might not last very long. Disputes over rules...

      This simile doesn't argue in favor of having as much sexual experience as possible. Because it's also not fun to play tennis against someone who has much, much more experience than you do. You worry that your experienced partner would rather being playing with someone 'better' than you, you worry that your performances are making that person bored...

      So, just as there is no "right" amount of tennis experience to have before starting to play with a new partner, there is no "right" amount of sexual experience to have before starting to sleep with a new significant other.

      In case you don't take my word for it, here is an article written by a woman who DID save it until marriage, and sincerely regretted her decision, and is much happier now that she is divorced from her 1st husband due to lack of sexual chemistry:

      3. You wrote "Furthermore there are more issues with the abortion industry that are now coming into the spotlight, abortion is not safe for women."

      Please elaborate? And please tell me you're not referring to that Kermit Gosnell case, as though it is representative of most womens' abortion experience. Either way, malpractice by health care providers does not make the procedure (abortion) unsafe for women. The problem is the bad behavior of the doctor, not the procedure itself.

      Anyway, that's my two cents. I'm not "trolling", I am completely sincere.

      (And for the record, I was brought up in a Christian household, and served the Church in my teens for 8-10 years. I went to a Catholic university. I may come across as secular, but I have an extensively-religious background.)

    3. So, ad hominem arguments, unsubtle passive-aggressive "I'll pray for you! God bless!" sorts of self-righteousness, and arguing that you never said you exclusively advocated, you just made premarital sex out to be gross and nasty. Some people don't find that perfect stick of gum right away, others wait for their pristinely-wrapped piece for years only to find out it's not the flavor they wanted. Responsibility for one's sexual rights and health and that of others should not be motivated by shame and a feeling that premarital sex is some sort of ruination of some holy bond, and that losing one's virginity on one's own terms, when properly informed, of the age of consent, etc., is some terrible thing one should wish in vain to be undone. People aren't gum, we don't get "used up" - I suppose you might be thinking of someone with STDs or an unwanted pregnancy (still, how offensive to compare people who've undergone these experiences with used gum!) - if you are, say it in those terms. Your kids might be young, but in this case I think trying to put everything in terms of a more accessible metaphor is doing more harm than good, implying that even informed and prepared sexual decisions are less "pure" or more dangerous than abstaining until marriage. Not all metaphors are good ones!

    4. We obviously disagree about a lot of things. When I say God bless I mean it. I am sorry if that offended you, maybe a less offensive and more mundane comment like have a good day would offend you less? Even IF a person were not to believe in God at all does not make the comment "God bless" any less heartfelt for the person saying it. If you are having an otherwise crappy day do you bite the head off of anyone wishing you a good day?

      Funny thing is, I have more conversations with my children than this, THIS happened to be on the forefront of my brain when I sat down to blog. Of course I should not expect any rational person to realize that as they read this. My apologies for not having put down every word ever uttered by me about the subject.

      You have put words in my mouth here... you are intelligent enough to know that so I'll leave it at that.

      I do strongly push abstinence I never said otherwise, but I have discussed the grand scope of sex with the kidlets. Funny thing I've learned though, kids will form their own opinions, act in their own ways, listen or not listen as suits them. Regardless of which stance I take my children WILL find their own way. And regardless of that path I will love them unconditionally, and they know this. I do not profess to say that any one person is a better parent - including me. This blog, is a form of stress relief for me, and I have been told for others as well.

      If it irritates you, many apologies, however realize that it is not ME irritating you as I am not forcing you to read it. In any case nothing I wrote on the blog said that should some choose something else, they are scum. I merely put out a story that happened within a short span of time with my children. If you took offense, maybe you ought to ask yourself why it offended you so much. Could be you are just as opinionated as me and want everyone to think like you (I had to get over that last bit, life is too short to think everyone will agree with you), or maybe you made some mistakes you regret, or maybe you didn't... still you've been pretty harsh towards me and taken things I said out of context, and put words in my blog that I did not write.

      With that, I wish you a good day. Truly. Here the sun is shining and the birds sang so loudly they woke me this morning, it really is going to be a good day.

    5. Sorry anonymous #2 it won't let me reply directly under your statement... Did I say Pam was an expert? Well, here nor there, I do believe that she has a lot of good things to say. I expect there is a lot of imperfection in her talks etc. I did put a link to the one I particularly like. I would venture to guess there are people in your "library of experts" that would have some things to say you might not agree with. People are not perfect. I do not agree with the two quotes you sited - to be clear for the record.

      I disagree with your assessment of purity and virginity and I further disagree with what seems to be your belief that people can not wait until a later age then 18 or 19 without sex. It's a choice, it takes some self control. It can be done. Yes, I'm sure there are stories of people who say they wish they had not waited, but there are many of people who wish they would have. So? Does it somehow prove that what I am trying to teach my children is wrong. (see my reply to Kat for what I think about how children grow) Nothing you have put up here is any more appealing to teach my children. I certainly do not want to teach them that they need to have multiple partners so they can find the right "fit". Sex is about more than the physical act, it is emotional, it is spiritual, people can make all kinds of situations work. Like everything else, patience, communication and the desire to work through it will take one a long way. However if you are brought up with the belief that sex is only there for the "feel good" aspect of it there isn't the foundation needed to do work anything out. I would rather my children find someone who fits the rest of their personality and have to work on the sex then the other way around. Which is what I have witnessed is the case very often in people who do not think of sex in the same way as me. Yes, there could be many other factors, but it is my belief that premarital sex is a big part of that.

      I did not elaborate on the abortion comment because it is extensive. More and more research is coming out that abortion does increase risks to women much more than they are being told at present. Cancers, miscarriage, infertility later in life. Yes the Goznel case is exaggerated, however since you brought him up, there have been at least three more abortion clinics close because of foul conditions due to states seeing this story and thinking they better step up inspections. Just as his clinic does not mirror all clinics, his behavior is not limited to one. It is a bigger issue.

      more to follow...

    6. ...continued:
      I also believe that his actions are a logical step in the process of our "culture of death" thinking. Follow me here, without just blowing me off. Leaving abortion out fo it for just a second. If you were to ask most pro choice people if they think it would be proper to kill a child that has been born alive they would say no. If you ask most pro choice people if you should just let a baby die that has been born alive they would say no.

      Now, bring it back to abortion. Because the sole purpose of abortion is to make sure a child who is alive in the womb does not make it alive out of the womb and these doctors are immersed in this act constantly, then it makes sense that they no longer think of those children as "alive". They now see that they have not met their goal, and it is a mistake that must be remedied. This is not an uncommon incident, this did not just happen to Goznell. I do not believe it is the "norm" either, but lets be real about the scope of this issue. More and more stories are being brought to light because of the faded spotlight that has been put on the Goznel trial. So no I was not talking about just his case, but YES his case shows us a lot about the abortion industry. BTW, many abortion doctors have been quoted as saying that they would not resuscitate. Then we have the places in which the abortion clinics are operating. MOST of them are in poor neighborhoods and MOST of them are in minority neighborhoods. More African American babies are aborted then are allowed to live. That is a problem. But it is the exact outcome that would make Margaret Sanger proud. She started planned parenthood to rid the country of blacks and all those she thought were imperfect. I gotta say, it is very sad indeed that in today's world her goal is being carried out in the name of women's healthcare.

      Many women find themselves in a desperate situation, they are told that this is a solution and MANY women (studies again are proving) find themselves in a state of depression because it is not the solution they were led to think it would be. Yes, they are no longer pregnant, but as some point in their lives, either immediate or later they realize that they have killed their child. Some, of course, wont. But the studies coming out now are showing that more women are affected in this way than are not. I believe the statistic is 79% of women later regret their decision to abort. That is a pretty big number, and I would think should lead us to look at this as a problem rather than a solution.

      One last comment. You brought up your upbringing in a Christian home as if it would give you more validity. It doesn't, and not because I am just trying to be "mean" but because a lot of people who profess to be practicing Christians still believe that abortion is right. Religion past present or future, does not make the arguments more or less valid. My faith does form somewhat of a foundation for my beliefs, but my life experience has far more to do with what I believe. Thankfully for me (or I would really be messed up) my faith and my beliefs match for the most part.

      I do say I struggle sometimes with the Churches teaching on the death penalty. BUT, given the opportunity to vote or judge, I would follow the Churches teaching. The rest pretty much has given me so much strength. Life is not perfect if I have to use a "crutch" (not my term but others have said so) to get through sometimes I am glad I have my faith.

      Have a very good day.


  5. I strongly disagree with this "gum" analogy. A used-up piece of gum is garbage. Human beings are not garbage, and having premarital sex doesn't turn them into garbage.

    You should really read what Elizabeth Smart says about this "chewed-up gum" analogy, who it made her feel that she was worthless after she was raped and that there was no point trying to escape her captor because society wouldn't want her back now.

    1. I strongly disagree with your disagreement of my "gum" analogy. I am sure glad that my children are smart enough to realize that I am not calling them a piece of gum to be spit out and thrown in the garbage no matter what action they take in life...

      AND to be perfectly clear that remark was in no way shape or form geared towards Miss. Smart. He went through an extremely traumatic and horrid experience and I have no doubt in the world that her time away from her family enduring all she did colored her thoughts on this, at least to some degree.

      You are so "stuck" in your own little experience of a world that you fail to realize that while I am sure that analogy might be taken that way by some others may take it the way it was intended. I certainly don't recall asking for your agreement or disagreement in how I choose to do things with my children.

  6. Interesting analogy, and gives me some insight into where people are coming from when they believe in abstaining before marriage. However, it didn't sit quite right with me, and, after thinking it over for a while, I worked out why. It's because it conflates two completely separate issues.

    There's the issue that your friend and you are trying to discuss with this sort of analogy: Do you care about having something special saved just for you, not shared with anyone else previously? More specifically, is that the way you feel about sex? And, also, is your prospective partner necessarily going to feel the same way? (answer to that one: no, there isn't any knowing either way before you meet him/her and discuss it - you may save your virginity as a gift to your future partner only to discover they feel quite differently about the matter). And, whether they do or not, how much of an obligation do you owe to a future hypothetical partner that you haven't even met? All great questions; I think it's wonderful that you and your friend want to discuss these issues with your children and stimulate some thought on the matter.

    However, I don't think any of that is what made your friend's children agree with your friend that the idea was disgusting. I suspect that that reaction came mainly or entirely from the other issue here, the one on which the analogy breaks down: Gum gets a lot less nice with chewing. If a piece of gum has been chewed a lot, it's lost its flavour and it really isn't that nice to chew any more. Eventually, after enough chewing, it ends up being pretty disgusting.

    That's the aspect of the analogy that bothers me and many others; the way that this particular choice of analogy means that a message about saving something special is inextricably linked with an image of something fairly disgusting as the analogy for those who *have* had sex. After all, that's a key point where the analogy breaks down: even if you believe that having had sex makes you less special, you surely don't believe that it makes you repellent in the way a chewed-up piece of gum is. (And just as well. After all, follow that analogy a bit further - chewing by *anybody*, including yourself, is going to reduce the gum to that state, and, if you do get that fresh stick of gum, once you've chewed it for long enough you're going to be ready to throw it out and get a fresh piece. I think I'm right in guessing that neither you nor your friend want *that* to be the message you pass on about sex. ;-) )

    And, yes, I know analogies are never perfect. But, in this case, I think the revulsion factor in the analogy is actually intentional, at least on some level; I think people who use it are trying to put their children off premarital sex. It's possible to think of analogies that get the 'saving something for someone special' aspect across, if that's what you want, without tying it in with the irrelevant 'Yuck!' aspect the way the gum-chewing analogy does.

    1. If this were the only conversation I or my friend were to have with out children, I might be persuaded to agree with you. It isn't so I don't. Thanks for the feed back. :)