Parents generally do a good job of instructing children to learn discipline when it comes to studying for examinations. They also enrol them in football, cricket, karate, music etc. All these activities require discipline, self-control and sacrifice to become an expert in the activity at the highest level.
So why is it that parents are so resistant to instruction of children when it comes to the area of sexuality? Sexuality is a subject that also needs to be taught to children.
“Unfortunately, for many parents, ‘the talk’ often turns into an awkward one-sided conversation OR never happens because you don’t know where to start” (Cox, 2021 How to teach your daughter about periods, Natural Womanhood).
Alive To The World, among other programmes, offers an “ongoing conversation” and not a one-time, one-talk approach.
Teenage-parenting may be avoided by placing children in an all-boys or all-girls school, or keeping them locked up at home currently works some may think.
In today’s world, these and other similar methods of ‘protecting’ your child do not work, because of the availability of the Internet, television, and social media.
Parents need to stop seeing this area of life as taboo, especially since children do not see it as such and erroneously discuss it amongst themselves.
Through our ‘Love or Lust?’ Creative Competition and Seminar, BOMA-TT, as a ministry of the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission, would like to partner with parents in teaching their children about their bodies.
Parents are tasked with the duty of educating their children, however, parents are not experts in all subject areas of life, and thus institutions are set-up to help instruct children on various forms of academia.
More importantly, the Church offers instructions on living as children of God. Moral teachings make us more, and not less human. Each child has a vocation in life, and the Church and schools offer the tools for them to find and live out that vocation.
Living a chaste life
Our sexuality is a part of being human. Children need to be instructed about this, not just by learning anatomy in Biology class, but also learning what God’s plan in the beginning was and is for our sexuality.
Through Baptism we have been gifted with many virtues by God to live out this plan. Children need to be taught these virtues and shown how to allow them to grow and mature in their life to achieve discipline and self-control.
We are what we practise. One of these virtues that is important in our sexuality, is that of chastity.
In the department of Philosophy, German Catholic philosopher and writer Dietrich von Hildebrand “regarded the cultivation of value-responses such as love, faithfulness, admiration, veneration, and reverence as central for sex education” (Puolimatka, 2019, ‘Comprehensive sex education’ undermines students’ moral development, MercatorNet.com).
Practicing and feeding these virtues as a teenager help to prepare the person for chastity in marriage, single life, or religious life. Living a chaste life as a teenager is training for fidelity in marriage.
A magical switch is not turned on, on our wedding day that makes a person able to resist sexual temptation during marriage. Maybe this is one of the reasons why so many marriages fail in today’s world?
What is the alternative to teaching about Chastity? According to Puolimatka’s article, “The authorities in Rotherham (UK) were complacent toward underage sexual activity because they assumed that young people were making a lifestyle choice. The Rotherham Inquiry pointed out that ‘children as young as 11 were deemed to be having consensual sexual intercourse when in fact they were being raped and abused by adults.’”
“‘Comprehensive sex and relationship education’ has created in young people the expectation that they will have a series of casual sexual relationships. Within this culture, sexual exploitation has been allowed to go undetected and vulnerable young people have been deprived of protection.”
We need to teach our children that “sexuality receives its genuine significance in the unique life-long love relationship between married spouses based on total and irrevocable self-donation.”
If you want a good parent-child relationship, do not allow your children to be sexualised.
To register for the Love or Lust? Seminar, please visit www.isloveforever.com.
Contact BOMA-TT: 384-1659, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.billingstt.com