Saturday, 2 April 2011

From generation to generation .............

The Bible is a historical account of the people of God. Stories of generations of people, all learning from previous generation’s successes and failures, striving to improve life for the future generations.

That is still a truth for the people of today as we strive to bring better lives to our children. Steve and I made a conscious decision when we had our girls to improve on the parenting we ourselves received, not to just replicate our parents parenting; we felt it was important to try to understand the world our girls were going to be living in and parent accordingly.

Not to say that our parents were bad, but a symptom of their generation seemed to be secrecy and inhibition. Both of our parents didn’t talk openly to us about sex or relationships. I can understand their shyness at approaching these topics, but I in particular made some choices I wished I hadn’t made in my teens and twenties due to being under informed and having to find out about life for myself.

Conversations about sexual and emotional integrity are not easy, you have to step well and truly out of your comfort zone to broach them, yet they are so important. Especially in a world that seems to be sexualising children as young as six or seven years old with inappropriate underwear and clothing, TV programmes and movies.

Our children need to know that:

  • they have the right to own their own bodies – no one as the right to touch their bodies without their permission, that there are good ways to touch a person and bad ways.

  • that they have the right to say no to anything – regardless of what others try to get them to do if it doesn’t feel right they have the they have the right to say no.

  • they have the right to drive rather than be driven – if they are in a situation that they don’t feel is right, they can drive that situation in a better direction. It is ok to swim against the tide and be their own person.

  • they have the right to be choosy – especially in the arena of dating, that dating is about choosing and not being chosen.

  • they have the right to defend themselves and others – they should never ever have to tolerate someone mistreating them or anyone else. If they tolerate mistreatment they are enabling that person to think it’s ok to talk disrespectfully to them or take advantage of them.

  • they have the right to privacy – that their friends do not have the right to be completely in their business; personal lives are personal lives. They have the right to privacy whenever they feel they need it whether it is changing clothes in private or keeping a diary.

The children of today are going to live in a far different future to the present that we live in now; and their children, our grandchildren will experience the same fast moving, fast changing world. Frequent chats with your children about sex and relationships, a willingness and openness to talk about any subject with them at anytime can greatly strengthen family bonds and build them up in their life’s journey.

Wouldn’t it be great if our kids always called on us, their parents, for answers to their questions about sexuality, relationships and life because they knew we were not only willing but eager to answer? And because they felt that no one else knew as much about the topic as Mum and Dad because we are able to be open and honest with them?

When your children need to talk about these topics, who will they go to? Will they be free to come to you?

Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, starstrewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path will glow like stars forever. (Daniel 12:3 The Message)

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