When I was eight, a friend a year older than I, disclosed to me her knowledge about the conception of human life. No one had ever talked to me about it before and, naturally, it made me curious. It seemed too personal of a topic to speak of out loud, so, I took my questions to the Internet. I wasn’t looking up anything bad; I just wondered what babies did before they were born. The danger was that I didn’t realize the Internet could be used as a playhouse for obscenity. I had no idea how to tell what was indecent and what wasn’t; and with no previous understanding on the subject, I was susceptible to any opinions and untruths that the Internet introduced to my mind. I learned things that at the age of eight, I should not have.
Still today I struggle with this incident. It remains as a reminder to me that young minds are vulnerable and have little skill in discernment. It takes only once to learn something wrong and what has been learned wrong is difficult to unlearn. Misinformed children turn into misinformed adults and unless they have recognized the truth, they will continue to believe the lie. Parents need to step in before their children are misinformed. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
Do you want your child to turn the internet for answers just because you find it too uncomfortable to explain intimacy or sexuality? Intimacy and sexuality are delicate topics, both positive, essential fundamentals of life, but too often are presented in the wrong light. Since these things are so important, parents should take extra care to ensure that the first impression of them is in the correct perspective. The best way to teach a child to have the right perspective is to express by example. Be the kind of person you want your child to be; children quickly imitate. Uncertainties that deal with sexuality and intimacy are questions, which tend to be embarrassing for children to ask about, and if they have difficulty fully grasping a topic, children may struggle to put their questions into words. Don’t excuse yourself from teaching them because, “they will eventually find out themselves.” If they don’t learn from you, they will most assuredly learn from someone else, and that someone else might not be as well-intentioned as you are. It is the parents’ responsibility to step up first. The next generation deserves to know the truth.
I thank God I remember very little of all those things I saw and read. If ever I have children I will make sure they understand they can come to me with their questions and not the Internet!