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Monday, April 18, 2005

Giving Reasons

This Cider Press Hill post about a discussion between a woman and her son on sex and some of the activities at his school. Fascinating. This bit of advice strikes me as especially sound:

And, I’ve pointed out that when one has sex, one is leaving a part of himself behind with that person. Promiscuous sex ends up being a soul draining enterprise.
I think it is important when dealing with this subject to explain why something should be avoided and not just give the blanket reason that it is wrong or it isn't okay until a certain age has been reached. Even if your only reason for giving the advice is religious faith, I certainly don't think it hurts to try and figure out why God would have prohibited such a thing, and if a good answer can be reasoned out, it should be explained. Sometimes it is appropriate to operate solely on faith, but understanding reasons either children of their parents reasons or believers of God's reason is always a good exercise. I think the most foolish thing one can do is tell a kid that an activity isn't appropriate until you are an adult. That automatically transforms the activity into a rite of passage and participation in the activity to proof of adulthood. Since it is natural that kids want to be considered adults, this reason will make the activity itself desirable. I can't think of any activity that is appropriate for adults and not appropriate for children simply because of age. There are of course things that more dangerous for children than adults because of biological development, drinking alcohol, cigarette use, caffiene, and of course various drugs all fall into this category. Age is related to development of course, but the reason should be the development, not the age. Other activities may be inappropriate for at least some children. For example, many parents disaprove of children seeing violent movies while they are fine watching those movies themselves because the children have difficulty distinguishing movies from reality. I don't deny that this is a valid concern, but age alone shouldn't be the reason. Adults who cannot distinguish movies from reality shouldn't watch such things either. Obviously, once legal adulthood has been reached there is no one who can tell them no, but I think parents are better served by explaining the level of maturity required and establishing a means of the child demonstrating the needed maturity than simply linking this to a specific age. (via The Anchoress)


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