Tag Archives: Parenting

On Public Sharing of Sexuality

I posted a short story today about my 17 year old daughter and her boyfriend getting caught having sex by my 12 year old son Joshua. I shared this with my extended circles on Google Plus, partly because it’s funny and (to me) heartwarming, and partly because I think it’s helpful to post these stories to remind people that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human and not something to be ashamed of.

One of my closer friends on Google Plus commented that she approved of the story. I thanked her for her comment and told her I appreciate it. I rarely post this kind of thing and when I do, I wonder whether I’m oversharing. After thinking it through, I usually end up sharing it to extended circles because part of being fully human is sharing life experiences with others. It helps remind us that we all need to be loved and accepted first, and that fulfilling this need enables us to take on higher goals, like loving others and making life better for all. We all face the same major choices in life and certain aspects of growing up are universal, at least in a free society.

Human sexuality in particular has been oppressed for millennia by being considered shameful or an “animal urge” to keep secret. I find that ridiculous as well as counterproductive, and ultimately the most harmful to the least powerful, who end up having to obey these rules or suffer greatly. These least powerful include most women and anyone whose sexuality doesn’t fit the rules the powerful put in place.
We see this fight playing out very publicly now in the extreme right’s attempts to restore biblical era constraints and consequences on women and homosexuals. The regressives will lose this war and their views will eventually become extinct, and humanity will be much better without them.

It gives my wife and I joy to see our children, and their friends, view our home as a sanctuary where they can let down their guard and be themselves. We hope they go on to create their own sanctuaries where their own children and others can be themselves, confident that they will be accepted.

A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl

I found this letter more than a little soppy, but I mostly agree with its author.

A Daddy’s Letter to His Little Girl

It’s critically important to teach your daughter that she is a full human being and has inherent worth independent of any man, and that it’s her responsibility to complete herself and maintain that completeness with and without a man in her life. If she is able to do that, the right kind of men, and there are plenty, will be interested in her and desire to be with her.

On the original G+ thread for this post, one commenter and father noted that treating your daughter as a princess is setting them up for failure. I agree 100% on treating your daughter as an equal. I can’t stand the “princess” idea. It’s just setting a girl up for disappointment as a woman.

Our goal as parents is to consider our children as less experienced, less developed versions of adults, and to guide them in developing the qualities they will need to live good lives as adults. We do this best by simulating the adult world on a small scale in our home, making the standards for success clear but tempering their inevitable failures (and consequences) as part of the process of growing up. I tell all my kids this and I remind my 16 year old daughter of this frequently. She’s less than two years away from being fully responsible for herself and it’s our job to make sure she can fly on her own once she leaves the nest. For most kids, there will be bumps in the road of early adulthood, but with the right preparation, they can avoid those that are fatal to their lives or careers.