If you’ve taken the time to introduce the connection between the body and the soul inside on the last 2 pages, then these pages can continue that line of discussion. These pages address healthy sexuality at some of the deepest levels: our thoughts and words. It is important for us to convey to our children that healthy sexuality does not mean that we simply don’t look at pornography. It is not simply on the outside. Healthy sexuality is also found inside—what we dwell on, how we interact with others. Additionally, many of these questions are meant to be asked repeatedly. Weekly discussions of what children have heard is very important in keeping updated on their experiences away from you.
Have a discussion about modest thoughts: What are modest thoughts (adjust to the age of the child)? What are thoughts that are not modest?
When have you heard people use language that is not modest? (For a 2 year old you may be discussing potty-talk, for a teen you may be discussing what comes up in the locker room).
Everybody sometimes makes mistakes as they learn how to be better. When have you said things that weren’t modest? (Perhaps include an age-appropriate example of a time when you said something that wasn’t modest).
With an older child you could discuss how to recognize nuances about what would be healthy and not healthy when it comes to sexuality in what people say, or in their conversations.
With older children you can also have discussions about why thoughts are important. dwelling on (fantasizing about) things that are not modest.
- What is the big deal with choosing healthy or modest thoughts?
- Why can’t we just think whatever we want? What if we just don’t tell anyone? Does that make it okay? But it isn’t hurting anyone, and no one will know, right? (Perhaps add what your experience has been with thoughts leading to actions and character. There are many well-used quotes on thoughts that may add to the discussion. James Allen wrote a famous book in 1903 entitled “As a Man Thinketh” that contains several such quotes, two of which are below).—“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
— “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
- What can you do if you find yourself thinking about something that is not modest? (Tell mom or dad: I’m having a hard time not thinking about something [I saw or heard] that wasn’t modest. Telling a parent is one of the best ways to move on and not have shame. We can process it with you, and help you come up with other things to do that can engage your mind and body to change the focus of your mind. *Active things help the body engage brain chemistry that can help move past a stagnant thought. Helping other, especially if they can engage their brains in empathy and think of a need someone else might have, is also a positive substitute).