Your life. Your values. Your call. This is your life to live, so you get to decide what
your values are and how you express them.
Your values are your deeply-held beliefs about what is right for you. They guide your views and behavior, especially around central life issues such as sex.
We are not born with values. We develop them over time, particularly during adolescence. Influences, such as our parents, teachers, friends, media, and so on, affect our values. Our values reflect these influences, but the most significant and firmly-held values come from knowing ourselves.
"Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them."
- James Baldwin
I imagine there are times you wish you could imprint your values onto your kids. Alas, your kiddos will develop their own values in life that may not reflect yours precisely. That includes values around sex.
You can, of course, significantly influence the development of their values. Research suggests that the best way to impact your kids’ sexual values is to communicate your values honestly and consistently.
Please do your best not to judge your kids for asking shocking questions or punish them for being curious. Through questioning, kids develop their own sexual values that are right for them.
To have a significant influence on your kids, prove yourself to be a reliable source of accurate information and show that you care about them and their experience. When kids are supported by compassionate adults and are equipped with fact-based knowledge, they have the confidence to make good decisions for themselves. And, honestly, isn’t that what you hope for your kids?
"You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts." - Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Here are some basic guidelines to help you communicate your values effectively:
• Be clear about your sexual values before you share them with your kids.
• If your values shift over time, be honest about your personal evolution.
• Model wise behavior – walk the talk.
• Respond to their questions with patience and kindness.
• Be responsible with your authority.
• Remember: values are not facts.
To get clear about your sexual values, reflect on these questions.
1. What topics do you have strong sexual values around?
2. Where do those values come from?
3. Have your sexual values changed over time?
As a caring adult who is doing your best to overcome any embarrassment or discomfort you may feel around having “the sex talks” with your kids so that they feel empowered to make informed and responsible decisions, you are remarkable. I celebrate you.
Is there anything you want to chat about to feel more confident and competent in talking to your kids about sex? Reach out to me to schedule a meeting.