“Katrina wasn’t looking forward to the parent puberty information night hosted by the school. She had been fondled by a stranger when she was twelve and somehow that made everything to do with sex feel dirty.” “Matt was only seven when the neighour’s boys showed him some centrefolds. Fortunately, his dad was able to talk to him about the meaning of sex within marriage. Matt was determined to give his kids the right introduction to sex.” When it comes to talking to our children about sexuality and their developing bodies, our own experiences will deeply influence our reactions. Before you tackle the ‘birds and the bees’, do this reflection on your own experiences. 1. When I first learnt about sex … a. I was too young b. I already had an idea about it c. I was confused d. The messages were negative e. My parents were really understanding f. I felt grown up g. I couldn’t stop thinking about it h. I felt guilty or ashamed 2. When the Church teaches that sexual love is something beautiful between husband and wife… a. I love it! It’s a very affirming message b. I don’t really believe it c. I like it but I don’t understand it d. I want to convey that to my children e. I think it’s idealistic nonsense f. I wish I could explain it better 3. Regarding my own children and talking to them about sex … a. I am looking forward to sharing this milestone b. I feel anxious because I don’t know enough c. I feel embarrassed – it’s too private d. I hope it will bring us closer e. I wish the school or my spouse would just handle it f. I worry that they won’t listen to me Share your thoughts with your spouse or a friend. How can you support each other in this important task? Authors: Francine & Byron Pirola For more on marriage, sexuality and the catholic view, check out www.smartloving.org This article featured in the August 2012 edition of the CathFamily e-Magazine. For more from this issue, check out: Changes A MacKillop Feast!