Sex & Parenting by Dr. Charley Ferrer
I was getting in trouble because of sex since I was a little girl. Not because I was “doing it” but because I wanted to talk about it and know what the secret was. The birds and the bees didn’t make sense to me and storks…come on, really? My biggest joke when I lecture is that “as I child I got in trouble for talking about sex; now I get paid to.” In all the fear and confusion, the sexual liberation, and the demands for more reforms from religious leaders and political organizations, many have forgotten one essential thing: we’re all sexual human beings!
We need to stop judging and remember the truth about it—sex is not dirty and it’s supposed to be fun! It’s supposed to be shared with someone you respect, trust, and lust for. I won’t say love since that’s really not a requirement when you become an adult and no longer under the dictates of your parents, the government or religious organizations. Well, ok I guess those three will hunt you the rest of your life like an angry ghost; however, it’s up to you to turn on the light, look under the covers and discover your own path for sensual awakening. You’re no longer a child that has to conform or get a spanking. If you’re willing to make a grown up decision then learn about the grown up consequences and take action to protect yourself and those that you interact with. This is something many adults don’t do then angrily yell at their teenagers for following in their footsteps.
Yet, the way I look at it is, if you’re not willing to talk to your children about sex then how can you blame them when they make mistakes? Whether it’s contracting an STD/STI, getting pregnant or gaining a bad reputation, the fault lays partly with the parents. Most parents turn a blind eye to their responsibility in this department or threaten their kids with dire consequences if the young adult behaves in a way that brings “shame” to “them”—the the child but shame to the parent. Before pointing the finger let’s look at a few things first: Have you talked to your child about sex; about the way they dress; about the appropriate ways to behave in a relationship; about sharing a part of their hearts and their bodies?
As parents it’s your responsibility to guide your child through life. Why not educate them fully—including their sexuality. Yes, I know it’s a little embarrassing to speak with your youngsters about sex. Even though I’m a Clinical Sexologist, I found myself nervous to have “the talk” with my son when he was younger. However, I found that as I created an avenue for my son to ask me any questions he might have about sex, he became confident in himself as a person and even discussed with me how peer pressure affected other teens he knew but he didn’t feel the same pressures. And when he felt someone was being inappropriate sexually to a friend of his, he knew he could bring the information to me.
It’s imperative to remember one absolute truth about sex—if you’re not talking to your children and sharing your values and your hopes for their future wellbeing in this arena, they’ll learn it from someone else; most often it’s their friends who are just as clueless. Nowadays when we’re bombarded with sexual images in everything from TV to radio and sex is used as a way to sell us everything from shoes to vitamins, do you really want your child to learn their sexual values from a commercial?