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Home > Support > Mothering > I'm not sure how to talk to my girls about sexuality, modesty, etc....
 
 
Question: Do you think this non-Catholic book Beautiful Girlhood, would be OK for my 10 yr old girls? I'm so afraid to buy non-Catholic stuff. I would like my girls to understand self control, modesty, etc. My one daughter likes so much to have attention from boys, or for them to think she is pretty. I haven't had any talks about sexuality yet. I'm not quite sure how to go about that. Do you think its OK to talk to the twins together or should I talk to them seperately? Also what can I say when I hear talk like so and so likes you or thinks you're cute. Am I overreacting to be concerned about that, or is that harmless? Thank you for all your help.
Answer:

Dear Mom,

I do not know that title that you are considering using for modesty talks with your girls. I like yourself would be very critical of any publication that is secular or does not address the issues that you working with from a Catholic viewpoint. I would suggest that the first issue to reflect upon at this point is your feelings of sexuality and your opinions upon modesty, dating, etc. I find that I must be very focused and centered in my opinions so as to convey those properly to my girls. In other words I want them to know first and most importantly how I as a woman in the world have felt about these very important issues. What does modesty mean to me for example and how do I lead a lifestyle that is modest and holy. Remember that modesty begins in the heart.

Pray to receive the guidance of the Blessed Mother when it comes time to speak with your girls. Certainly you know your girls better than anyone else and therefore you alone will know if it is appropriate to speak with them separately or not. I would like to add that the issues you are concerned about are not issues that somehow need to be put on hold until a specific time. For example modesty is an issue that is lived through a holy and modest lifestyle. Have you taught the girls to knock before entering your bedroom? Do they know to knock before entering one another's bedroom? Have you discretely explained to them that when they come down to be with the family in the morning, they should wear a robe to breakfast? I have found that young girls have a heart that longs for purity, modesty and holiness. Sometimes we must cultivate what is in the heart but not spoken. For example, if they do not yet own a robe, then perhaps this would make a wonderful Christmas present along with a tender mom/daughter talk about wearing one's robe around the house. And let's not forget that modesty is not just a woman issue. It is important to speak with our sons and to foster a spirit of modesty and purity in them as well. Our husbands should be sensitive to the way they appear when relaxing at home. Maybe it is my husband's Southern Baptist upbringing, but he always wears a shirt when he is relaxing at home. I have noticed that my grown sons are careful to dress appropriately when they come home for a visit. I would like to think that they are following in my husband's example.

So as you can see talking about issues of sexuality, modesty and purity are first issues that are lived and learned through a holy witness.

I do not like talk about boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. at such an early age. When this topic comes up ask your daughters to clarify the meaning. Do not show undo concern, but do not give the impression that you are interested beyond the point of knowing what they are referring to. Reinforce that you believe your lovely daughters to be beautiful for all the reasons that are unseen and for those that are seen as well. Sometimes our children test the waters of curiosity by watching our reaction to statements that they may find confusing. Make certain that your comments and teaching about these issues are calm and tender, focused more upon what your dear daughters need and not what they should or should not do. Reinforce that they are precious, beautiful and holy because they were created by God to be so.

You are a lovely mom who has a heart for her daughters. What a precious gift to have a woman of faith to witness before these little girls. See your girls as jewels and allow them to find in you a woman who is wise (from the Holy Spirit) and ready to listen to them talk about all the things that are coming to their mind at this time.

Thank you for your letter. Let us pray together a Hail Mary and offer up our prayers on behalf of those children whose purity is compromised due to circumstances. St. Maria Goretti pray for us.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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