SIR I am interested in the correspondence about sex instruction of children by parents and would like to give some account of my own experience which has been both d elightful and rewarding.
I have taught my children the simple truth, step by step. since they could understand. Sometimes by prompting. but mostly in answer to their own questions I have told them everything they have wanted to know.
It has been as natural as any other part of family life and has. I think. given a fulness to their love of God and built up a love and trust within the family which beyond average.
Sex matters are. after all, only part of the facts of life which children are in process of learning all the time and they can be woven narmoniously into the whole pattern.
My first child started to learn at the age of four. At that age a child's world is small and self is very important. So when I said to him one day : a Do you know Who made you ? N. his interest was immediately aroused. 1 taught him to say : a God made me. * A few days later I made my second point ; a Do you know why God made you 7 s, and taught him the answer carefully, because the truth In it is so far-reaching ; a God made me because lie wan. :ed me. He wants me to know :Jim love Him. and serve Him in his world and to be happy with Him for ever in Heaven. a With these two points well unierstood. the foundation was laid Or everything that was to follow. My third point was to be ; * How eid. God make you ? but I waited feeling sure that he would ask on his own,
At five his question came, quite suddenly. a How are little boys born. Mumm; ? How did God make me 7 •
a Oh, s I said, a you grew from a tiny seed inside Mummy, in a OPerial little room called the womb. And when you were big nen• and strong enough you 3ushed your way out into the world_ That was when you were iorn and people saw you and ;aye you your name. Remember, esus was born on Christmas Day, ut of the womb of Our Lady. Absolutely thrilled, he said : Did 1 come out of YOU, Mumly I * and he beamed with
love. A second later he turned back to his playthings, completely satisfied.
Later I told him that, while growing In the womb, he had grown into the likeness of his father and mothes and also the likeness of God, which part of him is called the soul and is the most important part of him. He also learne I about death and the promise of Heaven.
Birth life, death: he absorbed this knowledge wonderfully well while very young. He saw nature unfolding all around him and knew it was the work of God, He saw a calf born in a distant field: he watched the mothering of lambs and -r licated himself to the care of a litter of puppies.
He asked all kinds of questions and I always gave him a true answer, often making references to the Gospels or Our Lord's own words, It is surprising how easy this is, how relevant the Gospels are to our daily life.
Now, at the age of 11. he is thinking things out and I fully expect him soon to ask direct questions about fatherhood and marriage. As time goes on we shall discuss purity, God's laws In marriage, right and wrong etc. Passages from St. Paul spring to mind.
Both my children ask their questions in private and I encourage this. There may be a little shyness but never embarrassment because. as I explain, this or that is God's plan for us that is he way He made it.
They are puzzled and rather scornful of any furtiveness or dirty talk among their schoolfellows and they come to me for the truth of anything that troubles them.
IR Fr. McGoldrick writes : 16/ I Original sin is not a positive thing inherited like a physical defect D
But is there not a very good reason for believing that It is both Inherited and a physical defect ? We know that genes are the means by which mental and physical characteristics are transmitted from parent to child, so that we undoubtedly owe our inborn propensity to disobedience to this gene. passed from one generation to another right back to our first parents, Adam and Eve.