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Teaching Your Children Sexual Respect

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Learn how to calmly, lovingly teach your children about treating others with sexual respect. 


00:00 Father observes 14-year-old son looking at women in a sexual way and talks to him.

01:29 What to do next when these thoughts occur.

02:58 Remember what is true.


Notice When Your Child Lacks Sexual Respect

A father wrote and said that he had taken his 14-year-old son, Marcus, to shop in a hardware store. He said,

“On several occasions I saw him look at one woman after another in what can only be called a sexual way. It was summer, and several women did appear to be dressed for the beach, certainly inadequately clothed for standing around in a store. After we got back home, I talked to him when we were alone.

I asked him if he remembered looking at women in the store. Casually, he said, “Sure, I looked at lots of people.”

“You know what I mean,” Dad said.

Marcus looked down at the floor. He did know what his father had meant, but he didn’t want to talk about it.

“I’m not criticizing you,” Dad said, “just talking about it. You were looking at their bodies in a sexual way. It’s quite understandable, since many women dress in a way designed to bring attention to them in a sexual way. And your body is naturally becoming more sexual every day, so you would naturally be attracted to their appearance.”

Dad waited a moment and said, “You probably wonder what to do next. You don’t MEAN to look at women and make them sexual objects, but the thoughts just happen. Yes?”

Marcus looked surprised. “Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.”

What to Teach Your Child About Sexual Respect 

“If you continue to objectify women, the results will not be good for you or your relationships. I’m going to teach you how you can deal with those thoughts.

First, we can keep talking about it. When you have these thoughts, talk to me about them. I understand them. I’ve had them.”

“You?” Marcus was surprised.

“I’m old, not dead,” Dad said. “And I’ve learned that when you have unwanted thoughts, you don’t have to be trapped by them. Instead you can simply remember what is true. The truth is powerful. One things you know to be true is that I love you, and that feels pretty great. On those occasions, you feel stronger and happier. When you focus on sex, it’s harder to feel that kind of love you enjoy. Thinking sexual thoughts can be exciting, but it’s not fulfilling in the long term. Not ever. And you know that every person is lovable and worthwhile. When you look at women sexually, you turn them into objects. They stop being people. They stop being lovable and worthwhile to you.”

Marcus said, “And someday I’ll get married, and my wife probably won’t like me looking at other women.”

Dad smiled and said, “That’s a fact. Good insight, kid.”

On subsequent occasions, Dad talked about all this again with Marcus, who understood it a little better each time. There was no guilt or shame, just loving and teaching. Dad pointed out that when we objectify any woman, we become less able to love everybody. We become more selfish. We walk off the path toward becoming loved, loving, and responsible. We’re less happy.

Marcus listened and learned. OF COURSE his thoughts and eyes still sometimes wandered, but he had his loving father as a mentor, and he was able to avoid the objectification that nearly all men do with women. He also avoided the dangers of pornography. His father gave him a very valuable tool for life.

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