Thursday, April 30, 2015

Beltane and the Sex Talk

There is much to be said about Beltane, and I could have gone with this subject in many ways. There was the obvious child inspired article, with crafts and recipes. Or I could have gone the adult way, going into the passion of which is Beltane. However, many of us over step this time of year, an opportunity of educating our children about sex.

Just as in Autumn we focus on concepts like death and change, the wheel of the year spins around to to Spring, that draws out passion and life. Sex for us mammals is the the root of life. It is how life is created and it's a constant thrive for most of our adult life. Past generations, due to monotheist influence, have been very oppressive on this issue. It is something we as modern adults, regardless of believes, should overcome. If not for our own sake, than for our children's.

When it comes to sex, keep it age appropriate of course. It's best to start as early as they are born. Referring to the genitals in correct medical terminology, i.e. penis or vagina. Talk to your baby when you change him or her. Tell them what you are doing as you clean them. This teaches the child to identify their own anatomy and it encourages a healthy outlook on their body.

When they become older, don't shy them away from seeing a baby being changed, bathed or dressed, even the opposite gender. In fact use the opportunity to tell them the name of the genital and how people are usually identified as male and female. This shouldn't be shameful or a secret. It's simply identifying reproductive anatomy.

You may want to bring up good and bad touching. A frightening subject, one that must be battled with knowledge. Children who are comfortable about their bodies will be more likely to identify if someone is doing something wrong and are less likely to be intimidated from fighting or telling. If you yourself have are a survivor of such an ordeal, you may want to wait until your child is mature enough to handle such information, if you wish to share it.
 I of course encourage people to seek help if needed, whether because of abuse or simply trying to find a healthy way to explain this difficult subject to your child. This may be the right time to sign your child up for self defense lessons. Predators rely on children's trust, fears and ignorance, the first line of defense is knowledge.

Now as parents, it is completely up to you to decide when your child should be to have the full reproductive talking and the physical changes of puberty. I suggest, before the onset of puberty. Little girls don't need to fear death because they found blood in their undies. No boy should feel ashamed about his wet dreams. Don't let your children's bodies developed before you explain to them what is naturally happening to them.

If you find you are having trouble with this subject, look to nature. Nature is unapologetic about sex. Pointing out to your younger child baby animals or your child might point out one dog trying to jump over another, that might make the subject easier to begin with. Depending on your own personal issues on the subject, you may want to even take this time to help break away some of your own inhibitions. See article here.

When it comes to teenagers or preteens, summer is coming and they will have much more free time. To avoid trouble, you may want to talk about protection, birth control or just a reminder they aren't ready to be parents. If you need help in convincing a young person they aren't ready to become a parent, have a friend or family member bring their toddler over to reek havoc.
Supervise the teen, but make them care for the toddler. Younger siblings work the best btw, because they don't leave. If you child surprises you and thrives caring for children,  work out a deal where they can be parent helpers or baby sitters. Even if they don't get paid, it's experience, a future reference, educational, time consuming and will likely give your teen their baby fix, without the grandchildren. 

Remember, as pagans we should not hold any ill regards toward a healthy sex lives for ourselves and we shouldn't guide our children down a negative direction on the subject. Beltane is a time to embrace your wild side, responsibly. Make sure your children grow up with the knowledge, the inner strength and the ability to be responsible as well. 

May your Beltane fires burn bright!

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