Listening to parents over the years I have formed an impression that nobody ever wants their child to be interested in the opposite sex. Until they do.
It seems to me that children are urged to steer clear of romantic attachments until the moment when the parent thinks it appropriate and once appropriate it seems to suddenly become desirable and even desperate in quick succession.
I'm wondering where the turning point is?
Why does it seem to be a case of no, no, no, no, no, no.... YES. NOW!!!!
All of that brings me to a little soapbox:
Like all mothers I think my kids are gorgeous and they apparently are because people sometimes look at the girls and inform me that "you'll need a shotgun for them"
It always sends me into a brief and well managed but intense rage. I honestly don't know why it annoys me so much because it is well meant and largely unthinking, maybe it is the very lack of thought I object to?
We are born with a sexuality, largely unconcious until we reach adolescence,
but nevertheless it is there and as adults it is an essential part of our lives. If we are not sexually active we are thinking of how to find a partner, how to look better, how to be more generally attractive. We evaluate the attractiveness of others, we joke about sex, we flirt, we might enjoy a saucy film or an erotic book.
If we hope for our children to lead rich adult lives why are we so keen to ignore or repress their sexuality? I'm not suggesting anything extreme. I want my kids to respect and be respected. I want them to be reasonably modest. I want them to have positive views and positive experiences of life and that will include sex.
The whole shotgun idea just makes so many assumptions.
Why shouldn't I protect my boys from voracious girls?
Why would my girls be involved with the sort of boy who might "corrupt" them?
Who says the girls wouldn't be willing participants in being corrupted?
And who says they need my intervention? If I have properly prepared them they will (hopefully) be capable of making their own decisions.
I know that inappropriate sex can lead to all kinds of pain and heartbreak and I don't want to see that. Nobody wants to see their child with a broken heart but we can't stop it happening, we can only help pick up the pieces and in the meantime I find the whole idea of "protecting " my girls by isolating them is repulsive to me.