As a dad there are several things that can cause stress.
The mortgage, the job, random bug infestations…all of which have ways of being resolved.
How about child related stress?
There’s the endless messes, the screaming, the crying…and of course, the opposite sex.
As a dad of three girls, the last point gives me pause.
Having once been an adolescent, I know first-hand the perils that lie before me.
That’s not to say that every little boy is a deviant spawn of Satan (that’s the daddy of daughters talking again). But, the issue of sexuality in boys is a very different beast than that found in girls.
As a young man, void of the Christian convictions that I enjoy today, I recall my intentions towards the opposite sex. And unfortunately, many of those intentions were cause to make a father worry.
Even with a mom that taught me to respect women, the lack of a solid fatherly example left a huge chasm in relating to the fairer sex.
Then you add on the highly sexualized nature of our society, the accessibility of things like pornography, and the trivial mindset we have towards relationships, and…enter the nauseous feeling in my gut.
It’s Like Walking a Tightrope
Like the majority of parenting, coaching your kids through appropriate relationships with the opposite sex can be precarious.
Just like a tightrope, leaning too drastically towards one side causes you to lose your perspective and eventually plummet to your death…well not literally, but you get the point.
As parents, you’ve probably witnessed real life examples of this.
On one side you have the parents that adorn their kids with GPS and a shock collar. On the other you have those that slap a condom in their child’s hand and cross their fingers in hopes that they don’t have too use it.
It certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to acknowledge that both of these options lack something to be desired.
The trick is to keep your balance and stay consistent in your messaging. And by the way, you might want to try to conduct yourself in a way that encourages the behavior that you want them to emulate. Just a crazy thought…
So what does it Look Like?
As not to propagate a pipe-dream, there is no magical formula.
However, there are some solid principles that will aid you in your journey.
- Remain active in the lives of your kids. You can’t correct something when you have no clue what’s going on.
- Talk openly about sexuality in your home. Armed with a biblical perspective of sex and relationships, I encourage dialog that allows me to teach my daughters about appropriate interaction and the pitfalls of sexuality being misapplied.
- Train your kids in the nuances of male and female sexuality. Boys and girls are wired very differently and with good reason. But, these differences can have devastating consequences if handled with ignorance.
- Live out the example. This cannot be overstated. If you want to teach your kids how to interact with the opposite sex, in the right way, with the right intentions, then show them. Trust me, your kids are wise to your hypocrisy.
- Educate yourself. If you’re going to teach your kids then you need to know the material. Read books, subscribe to a blog, and spend time with those wiser than yourself.
With the understanding that the opposite sex can both build up and destroy, you can’t afford to be a lukewarm dad. You need to commit…no matter the challenge.
How have you done in this area?
Do you have some insights that might help?
Maybe this has been a strength in your parenting?
Maybe it has been a real burden?
Regardless of your experience, I encourage you to give us our thoughts in the comments section. Some true and honest conversation will benefit us all.