“They say that kids who play with their food will have a really great sex life. My daughter is going to be a slut.”
(I wish I remembered who made that up). So, this article is about how to raise sexually retarded kids. Sexually retarded? Why would you do that? Allow me to explain a few things.
I want my kids to have a great sex life, an amazing sex life full of joy and fun and loving intimacy. Our kids have seen too much (including watching us- oh the images!), discussed with us everything including missionaries and sex, and joked with a sexual openness quite advanced for their years. Sex, sexual attraction and jokes, and body changes are all really healthy, natural topics around here. I like it that way. The ‘blow job’ shock, I admit, I was totally unprepared for that one!
But, at the same time, our kids are sexually retarded in this very consciously manipulated way. We believe that modern kids today grow up too fast. Kids are treated and exposed to media and online influences that teaches them that sexuality is cool and desirable as young as possible. When house-sitting in Boquete, Panama, I read Ester’s How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex book by Linda and Richard Eyre. It was amazing and left me with four major insights:
The Parenting Sex Insights
1- that the parents, not the media, nor friends, nor the internet will educate my kids about sex. I will do it, thank you very much.
2-the younger I start using TV shows and movies, real- life scenerious, and fashion as springboards for discussing sexuality, the more natural it will be for our kids to continue to turn to us as a sexual resource.
3- that ‘sex is evil’ ( which we don’t believe anyhow) messages won’t give our children the proper tools to make wise sexual choices when their hormones are raging but calm, loving, light- hearted open talks will fill their cells with maybe better decision- making tools when they’ll need it most
4- that they will have the rest of their lives to be sexual adults and explore their sexuality and that childhood is proportionally such a short time that we want to elongate the innocence and joy of a non- sexual childhood for as long as possible. Therefore, we don’t buy for them sexually- in clothing, don’t promote make-up or too much jewelry for the girls, and we do actively discuss how they don’t need boyfriends or girlfriends until much later in life.
What These Unmodern Kids do Instead
They create, not consume. Produce, not use. And I think they are the better for it. Yes, they do use their readers, watch TV, and love playing online games. We allow them to do this on a very limited basis. But what they do do alllllll the time is use their creativity, fill the void, invite boredom as an opportunity for artistic reflectiveness.
We’re at home and not interested in exploring and traveling around India like we thought we would on school vacations. These sexually retarded kids are doing what I love most:
1- Entrepreneurship and Ingenuity
They opened an indoor market in which each of them had a booth ( including tip box) to sell things they’ve painted, sewn, taped, and constructed. I purchased two acrylic paintings from my son ( one of which was a self portrait), a finger-snitched yarn-made and randomly-acquired-knick-knacks mobile from one daughter, and a painted glass-Stained recycled pickles jar from the other. And yes, I tipped all three.
They are using their math, practicing negotiation and even did a few auctions on hot items. They are sharing profits and learning to mak choices based on compassion.
2- Fortresses of Dirt and Smoke
They’ve built a fortress in the side of the house, complete with campfire, and two neighborhood dogs. For days, they’ve constructed, furnished, decorated, and copy, paste their constantly crumbling empire. They smell like dog, forgot to eat lunch, have a few bloody wounds, and are covered in soot, dirt, and sweat, exactly the way kids should be.
Our son used two weeks of allowance to purchase duct tape in 6 varieties and widths, tennis balls, tacks, and a notebook titled ‘Deadly Traps’ to plan out his evil ploys. He’s spending hours sketching and constructing cardboard tiles with nails sticking out of it and crisscrossing his bedroom with strings tied up to weights on strategic spots meant to fool the innocent house-guest.
Ruining their Ability to Relate to Others
I’ve heard it said that I’m running their social life (also by traveling the world) , that I’m taking away from them the ability interact with children their own age. That other kids whose interests are on more” age- appropriate” past times will find my kids awkward, childish, and uncool. And so it may be.
We’ve never bought them all in-fashion toys and games, but have allowed them to ge from friends masses of them when they’ve moved onto the next coolest thing. We talk about fads and fashions and consumerism and are proud that our kids will recycle and reuse everything before begging us to go a quick solution to something we can “McGyver” ourselves. We are proud that they know that commercials are all lies and take joy in the fact that we don’t support ‘spontaneous purchases’ but encourage our kids to think, research, and decide how to spend their money wisely- all unpopular choices in today’s give-it-to-me-now society. But I digress…
Yes, our kids do seem to gravitate towards kids older and younger than them and are not the coolest in the class. I know we are raising un-conventional kids,but for better or for worst, it is who we are collectively proud of.
Is it Working for Us?
My eldest meant two girls a few minutes older than her on the southern Cambodian island of Koh Rong. They were into makeup, boyfriends, and their cell phones and asked with great Valley-girl flair how our daughter lived without these things. She told them that, My mom and dad says those things will wait for me when I’m older ” and while I was feeling sheepish, as if we had done her wrong, she told us when she recounted the story, “I know you guys are raising me differently, but don’ t worry, I think you’re doing a good job.”
Last feel-good moment in the ocean of not-sure-we’re- doing-this-right parenting thing. Our youngest went to spend the night with two friends from school. They got into a heated argument and our daughter helped facilitate a discussion that lead to mutual understanding and comprise. When sharing me the event she said,” Mom, we’re not like most families. They don’t do family meetings and talk about how they feel and how to make things better, so I had to help them a bit to learn how to take about their feelings.”
Yes! We’re doing something right. Something right.
Speak. Right, wrong, different? Inspiring, disturbing, confusing? Lost hope, lost cause, lost your good intentions somewhere along the way? I’m listening. Tell me how sexuality displays itself in your living room. Tell me.
One Cool Movie About Gabi’s Parenting Work
Gabi is a certified trauma therapist, family communications expert, energy healer, and life coach with a Masters in Psychology. She shares her personal life stories and insights to inspire others to share their honest, neurotic selves and do all that is necessary to Clean Your Soul. She believes that all of us are on our journey from pain to the light, and by staying inspired and aware, we can all reach our fullest, cleanest, most beautiful free selves. Gabi takes a very limited number of one-on-one clients for transformational parenting, family, life, and trauma therapy. You may reach Gabi directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject line: coaching inquiry.
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