It was homecoming night, my senior year in high school, and I had just snapped on my bow tie when my dad approached me and said, “Have fun son, and remember girls can be trouble.”
I remember leaving and thinking, “Did we just have ‘The Talk’?”
Yes, The Talk. Where the father is supposed to sit down with the son and teach him about how if you put the penis into the vagina, baby or STDs could be born.
No, that last sentence wasn’t easy for me to write. Neither will the rest of this.
And yes, you’re likely thinking, “Wait…you’re a senior in high school?! Shouldn’t you already know this?!”
The answer is, “Of course!”
The real answer is, “No.”
I was a slow starter when it came to girls. First, I was deathly afraid of them. Second, I had no idea how to act around them (I grew up with two younger brothers). Third, the thought of having a girlfriend worried me. I liked my Saturday nights hanging out with my fellas, playing NBA Jam, MarioKart, playing basketball and talking sports.
So even though my senior year was probably a little late, to my dad’s defense it wasn’t that late.
Times have changed. Thanks to the Internet (read last year’s post “Boobs! Dad vs. The Internet vs. The Innocence of Our Kids“), horrible parenting and nonstop advertisements promoting sex (really, do we have to show a Viagra commercial every NFL timeout, does every coach potato on a Sunday afternoon have ‘get-it-up’ issues? Let’s blame RedZone. Oh and I’m honestly getting tired of having to explain that little blue pill!), I get to sit down with my almost-12 year old / almost-6th grade son and talk to him about sex, drugs and rock-and-roll.
Okay, so I may skip the latter.
I have no idea where to start, other than by asking a couple of friends that I know recently sat down and had The Talk with their sons.
I’ve also hit up the Focus on the Family website in hopes of finding advice from a trusted source in our family.
Yes, we’re Christian and though Lis and I didn’t practice what we will preach, we hope to keep our kids abstained from sex for as long as possible (marriage anyone?).
What a prude! I know, I know, but how many of your spouses are excited about the notches on your bed post you created before leveling out with them? How many of you sit around and talk freely about prior sexual experiences with your spouse? I’m guessing not many.
And why? Just the thought of knowing that our spouse may have been with someone else gets me angry and bothered. I might be in the minority, but my mind wanders to places I don’t want it to wander to.
Do you really want your son and daughter out there doing things you may have done at 16-years of age? (Well, 18-1/2 for this late bloomer but whatever!)
Oh, and before you tell me about how much better being-single sex is better than married sex, let me stop you. It’s not. And if it was for you, you’re not doing it right (or just not doing it).
Sexual purity is nearly extinct these days. We’re told that we’re not normal if we’re not active. Pornography is everywhere! EVERYWHERE! And it can ruin you. Trust me I know a guy that knows a guy and he’s battled this thing for years.
SIDEBAR: Am I the only one that thinks we celebrate those that are able to fight off the alcohol or drug demons, but if someone were to tell you that they were six years clean of pornography? What a sicko right?!
This battle with keeping our son pure, is one we’ll likely lose. But it’s been done before, and if we can defeat it how awesome would that be?
But first the strategy.
How will I sit down and have The Talk with my son?
I know he won’t want to. Heck, I don’t want to.
I think I’ll have to bribe him with a Blizzard, and then find a table away from everyone else to hide out in.
Knowing me I’ll need a list. I may even have a spreadsheet.
There will be uncomfortable jokes. That’s me. I’m Kevin, I make jokes when I’m uncomfortable.
I’ll ask him to be open, and I’ll need to be open. We’re lucky to have a close relationship already, I hope he realizes that and feels open enough to talk to me about things before researching it online.
A friend of mine recommended a book, Every Man’s Battle. Just ordered it online so we’ll likely work through that together.
He’s still very innocent (doesn’t every parent say that about their child?). No, really he is. Girls in bikinis are still gross. Kissing … yuck. The other day a gal thanked him for being so sweet she said, “You deserve a hug.” He backed away and said, “I don’t do hugs.”
Like I was at his age, he’s more interested in sports and playing toys. Yes, toys. He’ll still spend hours in his room (door open!) building Lego sets, or playing out battles with his Lego figures.
He doesn’t own a tablet, or a phone, nor does he have social media. Heck, he’s never even chased a Pokemon. Yes, we deprive our kids from these luxurious … stuff.
The only reason he has an Xbox One is because he out-managed (and got a little lucky) 35,000 other kids in fantasy football. And yes, that was another excuse to brag out the Padawan’s fantasy football skills.
I’m not sure how the last two paragraphs pertain to abstinence other than we do our best to not give in, or let him give in, to what the rest of our culture and society deem necessary, and he hasn’t complained about it too much.
But the end is near. Middle school is on the horizon. Eventually those Legos will be passed down to his younger brother. Eventually he’ll beg us to allow him to save his money for a smartphone.
His friends will talk about girls, or the girls will start coming. Unlike me at that age he is a handsome kid, with a calm and easy-going demeanor. Why wouldn’t the chicks dig him? (And doesn’t every parent think that about their kid as well?)
The (older) neighbor girl has already asked him for a kiss, and when she found out he was able to move something in the garage she wooed and said, “He’s so strong.” Leave my boy alone!
The end is near. Middle school is arriving. The battle for purity is about to get tough. I’m weak; I lost it early. I don’t want my son to do the same thing.
It’s time to go to battle!
Have you gone to battle? Have you had the talk? Please share with me in the comments or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.