Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Worrying about Boys or Girls

I have come to the conclusion that I really loathe the statement (and it's various incarnations), "With a boy, you only have to worry about one penis but with a girl, you have to worry about all of them."
The sentiment basically boils down to - A girl can get pregnant and a boy can't.

So, why does this bother me?  Simple, it is inherently sexist and makes it sound like every daughter must be protected from villainous penises.

I have two kids, one of each.  I have to worry about both of them equally.  I would be just as concerned about my son impregnating a girl, as my daughter getting pregnant.  Why?  Because my son will be responsible for his actions.  If he gets a girl pregnant, you can bet he will be held responsible for that situation and all the headaches, heartaches, and changes that come with it.
He is being raised to understand his actions have consequences and he has responsibilities.  Right now, those have more to do with punishment for breaking stuff and making sure he dresses himself in the morning. 
If he ever finds himself in a situation with a pregnant girlfriend, he will be expected to step up to the plate in whatever capacity is required.

For my daughter, yeah, I don't want a pregnant teenage girl any more than a teenage expectant-father.  But I will not teach to run the other direction from boys.  I will teach her that she alone is responsible for her actions and her body.  And she can only hold herself accountable for them.

I want my children properly educated, so that whenever they decide sex is okay for them, they will approach it smartly.  Utilizing effective birth control measures if necessary (who knows, one or both may decide "not until marriage" and at the point they are okay with letting life happen). Not hooking up with someone while impaired.

I may have joked about a bullet-proof vest for the boy or picking buying a shotgun.  But truthfully, when the kids are teenagers, I just want them to live that time of their lives without worrying about an STD or baby or who knows what else.
I want them to experience high school as kids and nothing else.

Right now, these thoughts may seem out of place - my oldest is only 7 - but the foundation for the people my kids will become is laid down now.

I need to think about what kind of people I want my children to grow into now because by the time they become teenagers, some of it will be too late and some of it will require hard lessons.  I would rather start now and build a strong foundation.

Most important of all, I want them confident enough to be themselves inside and outside the home - whoever that self is.

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