Teaching Kids Healthy Intimacy in a ’50 Shades’ World

Image via WiseGeek.

This article was originally published in Mercy River by Whitney Permann. Below is an excerpt.

There’s no easy way to say it– our culture is sexually sick. When did we start celebrating sexual/domestic violence and paying $15 to go watch it with a bucket of popcorn? The infatuation with “50 Shades of Grey” is startling proof of where we are at as a society (100 MILLION copies sold??!).

As a parent, this makes me mad. It’s bad enough that I have to talk to my kids about pornography at such an early age. Add violence and abuse on top of that, and our kids are in danger of forming very twisted views of intimate relationships. Thankfully, there are many things we can do to help protect our kids from these harmful messages.

1) Teach Kids About Sex. Early.
Children must have a healthy understanding about what sex is and what it isn’t. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND watching every second of these outstanding videos. They teach:

WHY having frequent, open discussions about sexuality helps safeguard kids from immorality and pornography. Not teaching IS teaching. Not communicating IS communicating. Just in the wrong way. Our kids are being taught from many, many sources. Instead of cocooning them we need to ARM them with truth and doctrine so they can navigate through the mess.

HOW we should teach them– and help them to CLEARLY see the difference between a world-view of sexuality and a gospel-view of sexuality (this is really interesting!)

WHEN we should start teaching our kids. For example, the sanctity of the body, the importance of gender, modesty, etc.–all of which are connected to healthy sexuality– can all be taught to toddlers. And have you ever thought of this: LDS children are asked in their temple recommend interview AT AGE 12 if they are keeping the Law of Chastity. This speaks volumes about the Lord’s expectations that we teach our kids young.

HOW OFTEN we should talk. From toddler age on up, we layer the teaching on thick. Layer upon layer. And it’s not all always about sex, but it IS all connected! Modesty, dating, pornography, relationships, gender, pregnancy, babies, marriage, covenants, puberty, respect, self-mastery, love–it’s all connected!! And I want my kids to understand it as a whole–how it fits into the entire plan— and not as something naughty and mysterious that you can’t do until you are married.

To continue reading this article visit Mercy River.

Bridget is a newsroom writer at LDS.net. She graduated in April 2015 from Brigham Young University in communications with an emphasis of public relations. She served a Spanish speaking LDS mission in McAllen, Texas. She is a skilled pianist and an expert baker of chocolate chip cookies.