Dutch parents, by contrast, downplay the dangerous and difficult sides of teenage sexuality, tending to normalize it. They speak of readiness (er aan toe zijn), a process of becoming physically and emotionally ready for sex that they believe young people can self-regulate, provided they’ve been encouraged to pace themselves and prepare adequately. Rather than emphasizing gender battles, Dutch parents talk about sexuality as emerging from relationships and are strikingly silent about gender conflicts. And unlike Americans who are often skeptical about teenagers’ capacities to fall in love, they assume that even those in their early teens fall in love. They permit sleepovers, even if that requires an “adjustment” period to overcome their feelings of discomfort, because they feel obliged to stay connected and accepting as sex becomes part of their children’s lives.
I would like to be this kind of parent.
dude let’s all be dutch
Seriously The Netherlands is fucking amazing okay.
Proud to have a smidgen of Dutch in my blood. IRONICALLY, THIS IS THE MINDSET I’VE HAD FOR A WHILE WHEN THINKING ABOUT HOW I WILL RAISE MY KIDS LOL.
my co-worker, who is also a teen mother and pro-choice and SO INSPIRING AND AMAZING, wants me (along with a few other people) to teach her daughter about sex when she gets a bit older.
Dutch parents, GIVE ME YOUR WISDOM
Pretty sure the fundamentalists’ heads would explode if someone attempted to explain this to them.
Oh my goodness, I was just talking about this in my Love Sex and Gender class. Everyone was looking at me like I was from another planet, including some of the older folks who had kids, and were like “Well, they’re too young to understand x, y and z…”
And I’m sitting here like “Well, okay, but I’d like you to think about how you were when you were 14, 15 and 16. You’re looking back and thinking ‘yeah it was kinda fucked up cz mom and dad didn’t even acknowledge that part of me…’ Our statistics on sex and sexuality are HORRIBLE. To act like the future generation is going to get better about it without some massive changes in our mindset NOW is a lesson in futility.”
So quite frankly, I’m going to be that person who is adamant about my kids learning about sex, from consent to sex toys to porn to sexual orientations. I would rather go into TMI territory than let it drop and then they find out in a way that is harmful…
We keep talking about sex with kid #1 & I’m noticing a distinct lack of stress over what he might be doing because he feels comfortable enough to tell his Dad what he is doing. I don’t know the details (his decision & I respect it), but I know he is being responsible &respectful. To be honest that’s all I need to know.