I have given a presentation to parents for years about dealing with sexuality with their children. We discuss age appropriate ideas for covering the topic of sex and warning signs to be aware of the older our kiddos get. One of the facts we use, is that experts say you should talk to children about sex by age 8 or they have likely heard about it from someone else. Nationally, 93% of kids hear about sex from someone other than their parents. That is staggering. Sex is the most intimate physical expression of love that we have been given and we are trusting others to teach that to our children.
Usually at the point I share those facts, several moms begin to get very uncomfortable. I understand that, I am a mom and I would have rather cleaned out my fridge (and that’s one of my least favorites) than to bring the topic up with my daughter. As a matter of fact, on our second or third discussion about the subject, I brought her to tears…at which point I decided to bring it on home! I couldn’t stop then. We’d come this far, we might as well finish it!
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use teachable moments. Begin to discuss specific aspects of sexuality as the topic presents itself. You will have plenty of opportunity! Commercials, half time shows and standing in line at the grocery checkout stand will give you lots of topics for discussion. If you will use these opportunities, it could alleviate the awkwardness of planning a first time “talk”.
- Use appropriate terminology… I know that can make us uncomfortable but it is important. Believe me, it is us moms who have the problem with the words. It’s no different to them than calling it a “wewe”. But using appropriate terms lets your child know that you do know what you are talking about and you aren’t afraid of the subject.
- You can certainly be age appropriate. Give them as much information as they need. Answer questions honestly and with only enough information to suffice. When you explain the physical mechanics of it, be sure to explain that it is designed by God for a husband and wife. God made our bodies different and they beautifully fit together to create intimacy and life.
- You will probably be more embarrassed then they are! They will say, “That’s gross! You and dad did that 3 times?!” It’s okay, you will survive.
- The main idea with the initial conversation is to create an open environment with your children. This is only the beginning. There will be many more talks ahead. They need to know that you are willing and happy to talk with them about anything. This pays big dividends in years to come.
One of my favorite verses is in 1 John 1… “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.” He is a beautiful creator and His design for intimacy and life is amazing. Each time the subject comes up it gets easier. You can do it!
You can swim confidently into the murky waters of parenting teens! Rescue offers wisdom, encouragement, and practical applications. Working with a group of young “Lifeguards” throughout the book, Candy Gibbs gives struggling parents the life preservers they need to rescue teens from a drowning culture. With Biblical insights and Candy’s own creative techniques, Rescue is the “Noah’s Ark” of parenting books, ensuring that today’s teens will carry on a legacy of godliness to generations to come. Find out more!