Recently I had a conversation with a thirty-eight year old mom with two small daughters about how she lost her virginity. She explained to me that like so many others, she didn't get any guidance from her parents. She was only warned not to have sex. Her sex education came from her two older brothers when she was six years old. They told her sex was when a penis went into a vagina and she was horrified. At age thirteen, her girlfriend told her how great sex is and that losing your virginity was a wonderful experience, that everyone was doing it. This woman felt peer pressure and decided to lose her virginity at thirteen with a seventeen year old boy with whom she barely knew, though to this day she can still remember his name. They were outside, it hurt and afterward she felt bad about her experience.
She expressed to me that she wants to be a better parent to her girls than her parents were to her where sex education is concerned. She also talked about how awkward it is to even think about but she would rather deal with awkwardness then to have her daughters experience a situation like hers.
In the book HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, author Greg Behrendt points out time and again that women should NOT see themselves as the exception but rather they should always see themselves as the rule. Behrendt advises us to MOVE ON. Stop waiting for the guy who never calls to ride up on his white horse.
I am offering the same advice to parents. Do not consider your kids to be the exception. Just because they may tell you they are not interested in sex or they aren't sexually active doesn't mean they are being totally honest with you. It is just as awkward for them. Think back to when you were thirteen, fourteen, fifteen and up. I'll bet you were interested in one of your peers and wondered what all the fuss was about sexually. Did you admit this to your parents? Did you admit that you were curious about kissing, getting to first base or farther? Did you even feel comfortable at all asking your parents about sex? Especially the feelings associated with it?
Your children are no different. They are curious and have questions and even though it feels strange to discuss sex with you, they do want and need guidance. As parents, you prepare your kids for college, driving, SATs and so much more. It is extremely important to prepare them for sex as well. Yet so many parents leave it to the media, school and other children to educate their own children about sex. In this day and age with technology, children have access to explicit pornography via the Internet. Kids really think they know all there is to know about sex. Perhaps they understand the mechanics but how much do they know about the feelings associated with sex, especially at a young age?
First time sex can be very intimidating and scary, especially for females. Whether or not it makes parents feel uncomfortable, it is something that too often is left to the child to figure out on their own.
Let your children know it's OK to ask questions abour sex and try not to judge or lay down harsh, unrealistic rules about it. They are just young humans who need to be guided. Don't let your child make a foolish choice and end up pregnant, with an STD or a humiliating first time because you felt too weird to talk about it.