Saturday, March 27, 2010

Teaching Children About Sexuality

Gone are the days when parents can talk superficially about "the birds and bees" and expect their children to turn out okay. Our hyper-sexualized culture now reaches into more than 60 percent of American homes via the Internet and two-thirds of homes through cable TV. The Lord has given the responsibility for the teaching of children to parents, and this is one area where children need accurate and morally correct information.

The subject of sexuality is discussed so openly in today’s world that your children cannot avoid hearing about it. But most of what they hear will teach them the world’s abuse of the power of procreation. The home must be the place where they can learn the Lord’s plan for the use of this power and gain the strength to withstand the falsehoods taught by the world.

Only occasionally will a child see on television healthy male-to-male or female-to-female affection. Frequently the language, voice tones, and body mannerisms shown by televised entertainment do not portray the gentle affection for which the Savior’s followers ought to strive!

President David O. McKay said,

“The home is the best place in the world to teach the child self-restraint, to give him happiness in self-control, and respect for the rights of others.

“I feel that the first contribution of the home to the happiness of the child is to impress him with the fact that there are bounds beyond which he cannot go with safety; second, to teach him to be considerate of the rights of others; third, to have him feel that home is a place where confidences and consolations are exchanged; and fourth, to have him cherish the thought that home is a haven of seclusion and rest from the worries and perplexities of life” (“Home … and the Strength of Youth,” Improvement Era, Aug. 1959, p. 583).

We must teach our children respect for themselves and others. To take care of their bodies and to know the importance of intimancy in a marriage, that it is needed and desireable and should be saved for that time. This should be taught their whole lives in little ways that helps to form a respect and opinion on the subject before anything contrary to YOUR beliefs comes up...that way they will have a measuring stick to measure the correct beliefs up against what they hear from the world.

To answer questions accurately, we must know the names of body parts and at least basic facts about body functions. Slang terms are not in keeping with the divine origin of our bodies. We are forbidden to refer to Deity with disrespect. Would it be pleasing to the Lord to refer to our bodies made in his image with disrespect? Neither should we be silly and use ridiculous words or terms. Teach sexuality by using correct, respectful language, information, and example. We must be straightforward and open, clear and consise.

Children must learn the differences between relationship categories and what is proper within each. Interpersonal relationships may be divided into three basic categories: courteous, affectionate, and intimate.

We must be examples of showing proper and natural affection to our children. In the absence of natural affection at home, the child may imitate the false affections he sees displayed by schoolmates or television actors. Often television and movies show people being aggressive, rather than kindly and affectionate, with each other.

These are just some principles and a few points that I have thought of. I know that the church has many more good resources online as well as in books that can further help teach your children about sexuality. We can not afford to leave this teaching to the schools or even the is our responsibility to protect our children and also to give then a correct view of sexuality.

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