Once he was feeling better, we started over. He loves wearing his cute little boy underwear (he makes it clear that he doesn't wear panties like his sister). To keep him from poop accidents, I told him if he pooped on Spiderman, he will turn into The Incredible Hulk and that would be too scary. (I'm not sure this has really been effective.) I also have been taking this time to talk about body parts and why we need to keep them covered. It makes for the start of good conversations about who can touch down there and why they would need to, like for cleaning up after an accident or the Doctor when we are having a checkup as long as mom or dad are in the room.
It has been interesting to talk to this kid about who has boy parts and who doesn't. I want my children to be comfortable talking about this kind of stuff so that they will feel comfortable and confident asking questions in the future. Who knew I was going to have to make it clear that bad guys are boys and bad girls are still girls and they have different body parts (I don't know why he asked me that, ha ha.)
Anyway, that leads up to what Ben and I did this weekend. We attended a wonderful class put on by our stake called Especially For Parents day in preparation for our youth's upcoming Youth Conference weekend. There were some awesome classes put on by some exceptional people. I learned a lot of information and enjoyed all the classes. One of them was taught by Dan Oakes MEd, LPC, who is an awesome member of our stake, our Young Men's stake president and former Bishop of mine. His class was on helping our children live the Law of Chastity.
One of his suggestions was Teach early and Consistently and he gave some guidelines for when and what to teach our children:
Age 8ish - Just tell them the facts (menstruation, how babies are created)
Age 11ish - Puberty prep - they want to know "what is happening to my body?"
Age 13ish - Teach boundaries
Age 16ish - Dating prep and rules
**He also noted that when we talk to our kids we need to focus on development as well as morality.
**Don't mistake normal development for addictive behaviors
**Talk regularly and positively about these topics, even monthly.
My favorite quote on this topic comes from Elder Boyd K. Packer in the July 1972 New Era magazine "This power [the sacred power of procreation] must be strong...Except for the compelling persuasion of these feelings, men would be reluctant to accept the responsibility of sustaining a home and a family. This power must be constant, too, for it becomes a binding tie in family life." You can read the whole amazing article here.
Our responsibility as parents is to teach our children about being chaste. It cannot begin when they are teenagers, it cannot begin when by chance they come to us and ask us to clarify something they heard at school, it must begin young and it must be shown with love and compassion, ensuring that they will come back to us time and time again. Our energies devoted to teaching our children about staying pure before marriage and having complete fidelity during marriage begins very early or if you have delayed, it begins today. Brother Oakes reminded us that while the powers of procreation are strong and consistent, so should we be in teaching our children.
Let's go and have some awesome conversations with our kids!
"That's so gross Dad!" said one child after one such awesome talk with her dad about how babies are made. We live to make our children suffer all the good stuff and so far, we have grossed out 6/8ths of them:)
Ha!! Good times.