Okay, this is not an easy thing for me to write. I am a firm believer in teaching children about their bodies and teaching consent. What that means is teaching a child that their bodies belong only to them. No forcing the child to give unwanted hugs, no ignoring discomfort with affection. Teach girls about what is natural for their bodies. Oh I realize that eventually most have to explain the whole puberty thing. But if you make no topic taboo, then if there is something wrong, your child is not afraid to speak up.
There are several reasons why this is a tough topic , and why it is such an important one. I was molested. He convinced me that no one would believe me. My mom was so uncomfortable with some topics that she couldn’t discuss them… Puberty was not a easy time (I was given a pamphlet and told to go to my room to read it.) So when I finally worked up the courage to speak, well he was right. I was not believed. So when I had my own daughter, I swore I would do things differently. I don’t allow anyone to force affection. We don’t have secrets. If she has a question about anything, I try to answer it. So at twelve years old, I had tried to run away from home three times. She feels safe. I was sexually active at twelve and pregnant at thirteen. She has said that she is not ready for a boyfriend and really is not wanting to have sex anytime soon. She is a smart and sensitive girl who is learning how to be sarcastic and funny, not as a defense mechanism like I did….but because she enjoys laughing. I have been told that I should be less open with her because people were uncomfortable with how honest I am with my twelve year old. I let her ask questions and I refuse to lie. I will not apologize for my doing what I felt was right for any of my children. Even if I fail at all else I do in life, I have a smart funny happy girl.