Embarrassment is the sign that the Holy has been transgressed by an outsider. It is not something to be grown out of, but rather is a gift to the conscience, worth the whole world.
We must work to guard the child’s instinctual and congenital capacity to be embarrassed. In our television culture the damage starts before school age.
Why do we accept on a screen what we would be morally offended by in person? What if your neighbor came to your door and invited your child over to watch him and his wife have sex? Would you not call the police? Yet you think nothing if the television screen flashes an image of a man and woman in bed, as long their private parts are covered. Small children will naturally express embarrassment at even flirtatious banter between a man and woman, before the child even knows why he is embarrassed.
He does not know why he feels what he feels. How would he?
Let’s be honest: when a child is embarrassed (it’s usually over sex or even sexual tension) it is the manifestation of damage being done. The parent has a responsibility to act; the wise parent will regard that moment as a sign, not just as a moment having no particular meaning other than that the child is, well, easily embarrassed. Something is being touched that ought not be touched.
By the time most children are pubescent they are embarrassed to be embarrassed. This is horrendous. Embarrassment at embarrassment, and the adoption of the goal of overcoming embarrassment, is “cool”. Well, “cool” is synonymous with “dead”.
The more egregious thing is that parents are not bothered by this. They are not bothered because they themselves have lost all sense of what it was like to have this sacred personal realm, the realm of the PRECIOUS. The Precious Place is that place known only to you and to your lover. It is your bower, your holy of holies. Virginity is the traditional term for the physically normal state; “precious” is our term for the inner correlative to virginity.
The far side of the loss of embarrassment is the loss of the ability to experience love. As the promiscuous person moves from lover to lover the ability to feel love callouses over, which makes the person lonely, which leads to more promiscuity, and so on.
It is hard to miss what you’ve never experienced. If you don’t protect your child from sexual embarassment, you will rob him of precious things and he will never know it. Perhaps you are not aware of the precious realm, yourself.