Many of us, like myself, were raised by parents that grew up in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Parenting from individuals from that generation was vastly different from parenting now. The information that we have now was not as abundant and therapy visits were not as widely accepted as it is today. There was no access to Google or Psychology online to help parents solve problems and moms’ groups did not exist.
If you were raised by parents from that generation, you were taught that children were to be “seen and not heard”. Children were not asked for their opinions and were simply told what should be done. This type of environment meant that lots of questions went unanswered and many necessary conversations were not had. This can cause a child to grow up with feelings of inferiority and to, overall, feel unseen. And those feelings can last into adulthood. I grew up in this type of environment. As an adult, I spent many years second-guessing my opinions and being rather indecisive. I can recall my husband being quite annoyed at me for mulling over paint swatches and baby names because of my lack of decisiveness. Thank goodness for therapy!
Parents from that generation limited conversations about our bodies and sex too, “don’t have sex until marriage”, “don’t get pregnant”, “don’t be fast” without explaining any of the benefits to abstinence or waiting. We all grew up fully understanding that getting pregnant too soon would bring embarrassment to the family. This type of parenting attaches shame to sex. Many of us grew up with shame attached to our bodies, femininity, and any form of sexual expression. And as parents today, we pass those feelings down to our children. I often find myself telling my young daughter that her shorts are too short and her leggings are too tight.
Parents from that generation were tough and the rules were strict and rigid. But I have begun to open the dialogue with her about sex. I left her to know that sex is beautiful and created by our Creator. And with the right person at the right time in her life, she will enjoy it.