Two of my daughters are 11. They are at an age that we feel some knowledge of sex and choices are healthy. This of course is not permission, it's simply, though sadly, a realization that the time is coming when they aren't going to want to tell us everything' including what they may be doing. We want them to get their information from people who are smarter than their peers.

I have been told, or asked more in a telling way, that since we are Atheist's and we are ok with sin do we teach them it's ok to be promiscuous? Are you serious???? Yes, I want my daughter's to make a career out of having babies with multiple people she doesn't know, forget college, figure out who will raise her remaining children because she will be to incapacitated from a horrid STD to raise them herself........OF COURSE NOT!!!
The mentality of some people astounds the unastoundable! When my husband and I (which usually means me when it's the gritty girly parts he doesn't want to be a part of) talk we always come back to abstinance. We have told them that while they technically can do what they want with their own bodies, it's not always a good decision. We focus more on the emotional repercussions that can come from making such choices. They know, at least at this age, that it's more than just 'sex' and that there can be very serious physical consequences, pregnancy, reputations, and countless other possibilities that young ladies have had from having their ear whispered in. We have talked about some birth control because one of the girl's classmate's 12 yr old sister was pregnant this last yr!!! We talked about condom's and that if they ever choose to and felt that the boy was worth the risk of everything above (we went into a lot more details) that they were the best way to prevent any STD's/pregnancies, etc.

When we discuss abstinance, we make it clear that we don't believe in the silly covenant rings, cards, etc because we feel the only person they owe to stay true is to themselves. It is also made clear that our position on abstinance has nothing to do with religion; it simply that it's the only fool proof way, and that when the time comes and they find that 'right one' it can cause unneccessary friction and troubles (jealousy and so worth). We always close with that ultimately the choice will be theirs, and as their parents we'll always be here whether they fall or soar; I put some extra effort into letting them know if they did make a decision to have sex when the time comes (obviously not now) doesn't make them bad, sinful, or otherwise, just to be smart about it, try to not judge their friends and their choices, and not make their own choices off of what their friends are doing. We tell them they have to come home, go to bed by themselves, and think about their actions, and if it's something that's going to make them cry afterwards...they probably shouldn't do it.

Has anyone here had to have the 'talk' with their kids? What did or would you say? Has anyone had unwelcome, yet still vocalized, assumptions of their parenting due to their lack of belief in the Invisi-Dad-In-The-Sky?

It's a bit irritating of the sterotypes that come along with being Atheist parents.

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I'm still fairly young myself (expecting our first), but I can recall that my parents took pretty much the exact same method you and your partner seem to have chosen. For us it really worked. I really respected my body and what it could potentially do, and didn't ever sleep around. I knew in detail the consequences of being promiscuous, and that it could lead to some very nasty physical problems (mental too for some people). I didn't have sex until I was 20, and that was with my first serious boyfriend. I had been taught that I'd know when it was time and when I'd be comfortable, and that's exactly what I waited for - total comfort with what I was doing.

We were never told that sex was dirty, wrong or immoral. We never thought that, either. We just had enough respect for ourselves to wait until we were ready and to not give in to pressure. I remember the first "talk" we had was when I was around 11 or 12, and that for several years afterwards my mother would add a bit more depending on what was appropriate for my age.
Hello Amber,

I must say that I feel a bit of relief! My daughter's are very smart, and as of now they haven't shown an interest in rebellion. My husband and I feel the same is not dirty, nasty, and is quite enjoyable---when the time is right. It sounds like your mom and dad cared about your health and welfare and not about religous indocdrination; and you sound like you turned out very well! Congrats to you and your partner on the upcoming arrival of your baby!! I hope my daughter's well listen in times we aren't there to help guide.
I wholeheartedly agree with you about making sure that they understand the benefits of abstinence, as well as the right to say "no" if something doesn't feel right to them.
I also stressed with my daughter that it's so easy to forget to take a pill or to think that "this one time" she won't get pregnant, but this summer, she decided to have sex with her boyfriend anyway.
Unfortunately,this went very badly for her, and, at the age of 14 she got her heart broken this summer. So now she's on the pill, (along with all of her little friends, so she says) and I'm just not sure whether she did it just to fit in or what.
Secretly, the idea of this makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry! But I feel pretty strongly that I need to put my own feelings aside and try to arm my girls with the best, and truthful information to send them into the 'free world'. I'm sorry to hear your daughter got her heart broke; I know it's a realistic part of life, but I can't imagine that making it any easier to witness your daughter go through. If you don't mind me asking; do you feel it made you guys closer, the same, or a little more spread out? Maybe I'm just full of worries. I wish you and your daughter the best!
I"m afraid this didn't make us any closer, especially since she's been pulling away from the family so much. Then her father has been openly hostile to all of her guy friends - not helpful at all.
There are a lot of other dynamics in our family since her brother has a psych. prob that has been sucking up too much of my attention and dominating the household. She was spending a lot of time at various friends' homes where it turns out that the supervision was shockingly lax. On top of that, she seemed to just start getting "wild" on me, even back in the 7th grade. Also, she's the youngest in her group because her b-day is (tomorrow!) Aug. 25, so that's pretty late in the year, and I think she feel pressured to "keep up" with them.
Every kid is different and every family has it's problems, but it seems that you are on a much better path than I was, even back then.
I'm very sorry to hear about the separation between you guys, I'm sure it'll change. Yes, every family has their own set of problems for sure. My daughter (we have a min, his, & ours) was abandoned by her 'dad' when she was 7 yrs old. She goes through different emotions from hating him, to wanting to apologize to him for not liking his girlfriend (now wife) more. She is convinced she put him in a position to choose, which is absolutely NOT the case. She sees a counselor, but I worry about the impact potential on her teen years...I feel almost helpless..I can't stop the teens, all I can try to do is give her the best information and hope it's taken in a way that doesn't make her think I'm telling her what she can and can't do.

Happy Birthday to your daughter!!
I haven't yet, as my daughter is 4.5, but when we do I imagine it'll be a lot like yours. I believe that information is power. The more they know 1) the better decisions they'll tend to make and 2) won't believe the crap their friends tell them.

But ja it's frustrating that since we're HONEST with our children and put the choice on THEM and not invisible zombie, we're some sort of immoral douches
Ah, I miss mine being that little! Information is best! I can't help but to remember this girl I went to school with in the 8th grade who got pregnant. She was extrememly adament that she accidently used the boys bathroom and got preganat from sitting on the boys toliet seat!!! To this day I wonder if she used that as a cover up and thought we were all that dumb, or if she truly believed that's how she got pregnant....she said that's what her mom told her how babies are born...

If knowledge is immoral, then I'll gladly be immoral and teach my family immoralities!!!
Wow John D, you hit the nail on the head!!!!! This is pretty much the way we treat it. Our talks aren't neccessarily 'talks' but we do use moments of life to discuss things we feel natural. We also feel that if you wait until your son/daughter is 15, 16,17 to have this discussion it's probably too late which is why we have open discussions now. My husband and I did talk about when they are 16 and have a boyfriend, we agreed completely that if they are having sex we will support them being safe, but absolutely no to the sleep overs! Your right, and our philosophy is that when your old enough to pay your own can play your house.'s hard to show the emotional take on how things are said...(we are jokers here for the most part)

Their education is extremely important to us without a doubt. I agree with you, there are some situations I would absolutely be willing to help out on....but, not for a while!! My husband teases that at 18 they better have a plan (college, military, etc); but we have talked and both know we would do whatever it takes to help them get their education!! lol..I just don't want them thinking we're going to have the but "I really love him, and you don't understand...he's only staying the night/weekend" conversations!!
Jean Marie,
I apologize for taking so long to reply, I don't think your point was lost at all. It sounds like you have done an excellent job. We told our girls that sex is NOT bad at all, but it can have some very bad rammifications if not done with a level of maturity needed to handle the possible outcomes. It is very nice, bonding, and fun when done with the right person and at the right time. You hit something very important and that is that we do have an inner moral compass that tells you when you should or shouldn't be doing something. And best of all, you don't have to pay for it by weekly tithings or for $29.99 at the local Christian Book Store!!
I'm a little late to the discussion. I'm always amazed at how the Xtians think we have no morals because we don't believe in the invisible man in the sky. I tell them them I have personal responsibility, which to me is more important than doing things or not doing things because I might suffer in an afterlife.

As for the sex talk, my son is only 7, so we have just done the very basics. But, I will tell you about my experience growing up. My mother was very open and honest with me from an early age. I knew the mechanics of sex and how babies were born at 5 because some older neighbor boys were telling horror stories to all the little kids. My mother told me the truth so I wouldn't believe their crap, and I had ammo. When they told a lie, I was able to call them on it and make them look stupid.

She was also a big believer in being open and honest with me because she got pregnant with me at 16. I was the result of a broken condom. (so use backup protection). She and my father did get married and stay married for 24 years. But, she and I kind of grew up together. She had to drop out of Catholic school to get married and have me. She never wanted me to go through what she did. She missed out on graduating (got her GED), dating, going to college when she "should" have. She did end up going when I did and got her BS degree at 40.

She always stressed that she wanted me to abstain until I found the right guy. She always told me that I could come to her and no judgments or speeches would be given. She would get me birth control if I requested it. She gave me all the info about sex, emotion, disease, pregnancy, etc. that she could and then trusted me to make the best choice for me and my body.

The result of this was that my mother and I were very close. I always felt I could ask her whatever I needed to and I'd get the truth. I was amazed at the misinformation my friends had about sex because they weren't given the facts. I never felt pressured to have sex, even when all my friends were doing it. There were 8 girls in my school who were pregnant during my senior year (central KY). My best friend got pregnant on prom night - the same night she lost her virginity. When I thought I was ready to lose my virginity, it was on my terms and safe. I never regretted my first time, unlike so many of my friends.

I plan on being just as open and honest with my son. I will explain to him how sex is a huge responsibility and he should wait until he feels ready. And I will try to instill in him a respect for women and how he should never pressure a girl into having sex before she's ready. Never lie to them and tell them you'll love them more, or they must not love you if they won't do it, etc. All the things I heard growing up. My mother made sure that I knew those were ploys to get my pants off. And if a boy truly loved me, he would never pressure me to do something I wasn't ready to do.

I'm always reminded of the Meatloaf song, "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights". He pressures the girl into having sex with him and promises her that they'll be together until the end of time. Then, by the end of the song, he's praying for the end of time so he can end his time with her. I'll explain to my son that if he gets a girl pregnant, he's tied to her forever. Before he takes that risk, he needs to be sure she's someone he wants to be tied to.

As with most of you, we would never tell him that sex is dirty or something to be ashamed of. It's a natural, beautiful, fun part of life. But, it is full of pros and cons and it takes a certain maturity and sense of responsibility to handle both.

Sorry to ramble. It's 4am and I really should be in bed!!




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