February 2023 Editor’s Fix
Recently I was listening to a podcast featuring Esther Perel, a Psychotherapist known for her work on human relationships. During the podcast, the discussion shifted to sex education and how we are failing our youth, and it really made me think. I have a seven and nine-year old, and the curiosity specifically when it comes to body parts and sex is ramping up. But also, the challenges they are facing with relationships is, too.
Esther shares in the podcast that in many European countries, comprehensive sex education begins at age 4, ‘the age when children become natural theologians,” she says. It’s an opportunity to provide context and information, to help children understand what good relationships look and feel like. What is healthy and not. She adds that avoiding these discussions or getting upset at a child for being curious could lead to fear and shame and this could lead to, “a lifetime of misunderstanding about sexuality and relationships.”
It is so hard to have these discussions, especially having grown up when it was never discussed. But it is natural, and while it likely pushes us out of our comfort zones (for me at least!), I think it is important
to arm our youth with the knowledge, emotional intelligence and confidence to make the right choices for them.
So, I am getting uncomfortable and vulnerable with my kids. Having the chats, asking the questions, answering the questions, learning together, laughing together, and above all else, feeling loved together.