In yesterday’s comments, Chip put it out there, and I agree this is a great question: “To all commenters with kids….. how do you prepare or plan to prepare your daughters (and sons) for the world of sex and relationships?”
I think this is such an enormous topic/problem/pursuit that I’ll attempt to answer it simply, with bullet points.
• There is no strategy or golden bullet. Any success you have will come from an entire lifetime of reinforcement.
• We want Lucy to see what everyday love looks like, so we try to show each other respect in front of her, as well as a non-gross bit of PDA.
• I sing Tessa’s praises to her when Tessa isn’t around. Perhaps that will imbue in Lucy the importance of finding somebody who truly thinks she’s amazing.
• You can’t shelter your brood from disappointment or heartache; you can only give them tools to deal with it when it happens (that’s a whole other blog).
• I think both of us have subtly reinforced the notion that finding her passion – or ONE OF her passions – is of tremendous importance. Maybe, much later, she’ll take away the idea that her romantic life can blossom once she has found a greater purpose, as opposed to basing her self-worth on the vicissitudes of dudes.
• The Lulubeans is only 7, and she is decidedly in no hurry to grow up. She is an ethereal cloud of random boisterousness, prone to nostalgia, and as Tessa says, she’s “a bit Edwardian”. Her favorite TV shows are Man vs. Wild with Bear Grylls and Downton Abbey. She talks about her friends in 1st grade having crushes on boys (and can diagram them for you), but she’s much more interested in learning about surgeries and musicals. All this to say, we delight in her age of innocence and have no plans to scoot her into experience.
Lucy wonders if Uncle Seth is gonna eat that
I’m fascinated, however, to ask the same question of all of you. Even if you don’t have kids, how would you go about it? Those of you with older children, how the hell did you do it?
[WED. UPDATE… excellent comments so far, but this stuff is important, and more input has been requested! C’mon, people, I know it’s the middle of summer, but be more communal, community! – ed.]