On the tough topic of preteens, body image, and sexuality…
I almost punched a little boy in the throat. Completely NOT OKAY—I totally understand that. But in that moment, hearing those words, listening to him snort-laugh, and staring into his Coke-bottle glasses–the only thing I understood was the feeling I had. In that moment, Radical Self-Expression showed up as mixed martial arts moves, and not rational options like dialogue or deep, cleansing breaths.
I’m sure that I wouldn’t have actually done it, but I damn sure can’t say for certain that the feeling won’t come up again. See, it had to do with my 10-year old…actually, it had to do with the conversations that are (and are not) being had in households where children are CLEARLY ready to be informed about body image, appropriate behavior, and sexuality.
…And if you wait until the “right age,” or whatever you consider to be the “appropriate” time, you might be too late.
By avoiding the topics of body awareness and sexuality, we set our girls up to be ill-equipped to manage their emotions and to confidently express whatever they need to feel both comfortable around and respected by their peers.
That’s a snippet from my latest piece over at EverydayFeminism.com.
I’d love to know your thoughts on discussing body image and sexuality with elementary school-aged children. And not to worry, if you get a little flip with your response, I promise I won’t throat punch you. #pinkieswear