I truly believe that one of the MOST important gifts I can give my children is to help them to be comfortable with their own sexuality and self-image. I believe that part of this is to NEVER make a child feel SHAME about their curiosity and self-exploration.
This really is a "touchy" subject but it is a subject that I feel strongly enough about to be willing to bring it out of the "social closet" and share my feelings on. Of course these are only my opinions and we are all entitled to have an opinion but here are some of the things I believe about the topic:
- Part of being human is to be curious about our bodies. This is okay. Not shameful.
- From my experience with child development, it is perfectly normal for a child to want to explore their own body.
- I want my children to feel confident and comfortable about their own body and body image.
- I want my children to feel safe sharing things with me.
- When it comes to "privates" I am very open about using the correct terms for the parts: penis and vagina. No reason for me to be embarrassed about this or have them treat these words as "unspoken" words.
- If my children choose to touch themselves or explore, I simply tell them that this is private and should be done by themselves. I certainly DO NOT want to make them feel as if this is shameful, sinful, or Wrong. I know I might get some hate mail from this one but like I said, I feel strongly enough about it to put it out there.
- I want my kids to grow up with feeling open and safe with their sexuality and their sexual identity. In an appropriate and respectful way. To themselves and others.
- I also want my children to understand boundaries. Their own and others. I want them to grow up to be respectful and sensitive to those around them...on many levels.
- I want to see my children grow up to have faith in what they believe in, faith in themselves and confidence in who they are. I want them to love themselves fully and feel confident safe expressing their feelings, opinions, and questions of all kinds. I want them to be aware of their own feelings and to be open with who they are and who others are. A big part of this is helping them to be confident in loving their own bodies and not feeling shame or embarrassment about things that some have labeled "sinful" or "shameful" because of the uncomfortable feelings that they associate with it.
I by not means claim to be a child development expert and I understand that my views on this subject are not held by everyone else. In fact, there are probably many that will disagree with me. This is okay. We all have to raise our children the way we best see fit. We have a big responsibility as parents to help our children grow into the people they will become.
p.s. I'm likely to lose votes on this one but if you like my blog, please keep voting for me! There are lots of other blogs worth voting for on the list too and you can vote for as many as you want.