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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Talking To Your Children About Sex, Part 1 - Fear

Have you talked to your child/children about sex? If you have toddlers, have you thought about how and when you are going to talk about it?

Does the mere mention of talking about it scare the heck out of you? Make you feel embarrassed, unqualified, weird...etc.?

I think one word sums up why so many parents fail to talk to their kids about sex: fear.

Fear that you are a hypocrite if you try to teach your kids something about sex that perhaps you didn't do yourself.

Fear that you don't know what to say or how to say it.

Fear that you are unqualified to teach about sex.

Fear that it will be weird or awkward.

Fear that if you talk about it your kids will ask you questions you don't want to answer.

Fear that you may have to face your own "issues" with sex (possibly some core lies).

There are many reasons we don't talk with our children about sex, but it's time to put away our fears and do our job as parents. Our fears must be dealt with so that we can get on with the business of sharing with our children one of the most beautiful gifts that God gave us.

You, the parent, are the best person to talk with your kids about sex. You guide them, instill in them a moral code, and have the ability to give accurate information with integrity. You have the opportunity to turn the world's idea of misplaced sex into the joyful, positive, beautiful thing that it is. You are the one who will link sex to marriage, family, love and commitment. You are the one who can potentially protect your child from sexual abuse by giving them the tools and guidance they need regarding sex. You.

Over the next few days we are going to dig in on when and how to talk to your children about sex. Tomorrow we talk freely about the details...and the freedom in the details.

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How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, Part 2 (Why and When)
How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, Part 2 Continued (How)
How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, Part 3 - Firm Foundation (Plus Questions & Comments)

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, Part 4 - Stepping Out In Faith

What are you most afraid of when it comes to talking about sex with your kids?


MoziEsmé said...

Oh yes - please do give some advice! I've got a 2 year old and don't even want to think about this yet, but I guess I should come up with a game plan... :)

Beth in NC said...

I have an almost 4 year old and we are just starting to talk about strangers. I can't imagine the SEX talk. Though I do know that I am going to incorporate the spiritual side of it with my daughter. I had NO IDEA the demonic doors I would open as a teenager. It took years to close them!

I look forward to reading what you have to share.

Heather said...

As someone who found out about sex by having it (not recommended), I plan on talking about it early. I don't know what exactly to say, so I'm interested in what this series will say. I do know that I will be "hypocritical" when I talk - do as I say, and not as I did!

Kristy K said...

The sex talk from my parents consisted of them telling me not to do it until I was married. That was it. So when I started dating in high school (thankfully, I eventually married my sweetheart), I easily fell into the "it's okay because we're serious" trap. You'd think that since we ended up getting married, all would be well, but having sex before marriage left us both with a lot of baggage.

Right now, we're trying to teach our daughter about modesty, and I'm realizing how little I really know about the topic. We found a great book about it by Dannah Gresh, and that's opened a lot of doors for conversation.

I think my main goal right now is to let them know how special they are to God. Then, when it's time to get into the nitty gritty (which is probably sooner than I think), they'll have that as a starting point.

But really, I don't know what I'm doing.

MamaHen Em said...

One question I know we will get to answer honestly is whether or not we waited. We'll both say no. Which could be hypocrital then to tell our chickies to wait, but we'll tell them and then we'll share some of the awfulness that came with not waiting. We'll share our regrets and how hard it made it for our marriage early on. We have a world perspective because we lived it for awhile, and we have a Godly perspective because we live that NOW. Our hope is to combine them. We pray about it and I really think that is why we aren't afraid to talk about it. I look forward to seeing all that is to come on this topic!

katy said...

I am looking forward to your perspectives on this. I wrote several posts about this topic on my site.
My view is that talking about sex is not a one time shot.


Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

This is great Sarah Mae! It's so important for US to be the ones to tell our children what they need to know, but that doesn't make it any easier.

My son is 9 and we haven't talked a lot to him, but I feel like the time is now for more info. He's getting to an age where bodies are starting to change and he's going to hear other kids talking even though we are mostly around other Christians.

My concern is how much do you tell a 9 year old? How do you give all necessary details, but keep it age-appropriate?

Looking forward to this!!

Mom to Five said...

I do want to encourage Moms to take the plunge and have this most important talk!! My oldest is 9 and I waited too long-she heard a GRAPHIC description (not Godly in any way) from a classmate. Thankfully I invested in an awesome set of books through Generation Virtue that simply explains what sex is-it is a read along story book so it is super easy to use. I would highly recommend it!! We've also had to address homosexuality (in generalities) as well-oh my gosh it is all so hard!!!!!

Smelling Coffee said...

I was always afraid of talking to our children about sex - wondering what we would say, and how much we would tell them.

Our children are 10 and 12 - and we felt like we couldn't put it off any longer. We did Passport to Purity (from Family Life Today) with them - and it was wonderful! We actually did it as a family (but broke into mom/daughter, dad/son for the actual "sex" talk). It had activities that made it fun and helped solidify each lesson.

I'm so glad that we openly shared God's plan for sex with our children when we did. It began a conversations with them that will last until adulthood. Even tonight, we were able to discuss something we saw on tv factually and without embarrasement.

I would highly advise Passport to Purity - it not only covers sex, but living in every area of life to honor the Lord.

Looking forward to your other posts. ;-)

Mike said...

The reason this subject is such a source of anxiety for parents is because many moms and dads simply haven't laid the groundwork ahead of time. The thing is, why wait until they're at the age where it's a real possibility? Why not drill it in their heads before peer pressure beats you to it?

My daughter is 7. I've been educating her the dangers of drugs and alcohol for two years now. She doesn't know exactly what D&A are yet, but SHE KNOWS THAT THEY'RE BAD NEWS!! We sit and watch "COPS" every Saturday night as reinforcement :)

The point is, I am establishing myself every day as the authority on what's right and wrong. When I start the sex talks in a couple years, (yes I said talks - you think this is a one and done deal?) she'll know that I am arming her with the correct information to make good choices. Just like with drugs.

Anonymous said...

Very timely. Not that I'm completely ready to talk about sex to my 6 year old, but the years are flying. I wan to be prepared to talk about it when it's time, not be shuffling around trying to find the best approach the day she asks or the moment the need arises.

What am I most afraid of? The information being used against me! Meaning, I fear that if I give too much insight, curiosity will take over.

The only thing we've touched on is physical contact. My daughter has been taught (and is still be taught/reminded) that she is not allowed to hug or kiss boys other than family - close family. Nor is she permitted (or allowed) to "allow" others to give her such physical contact.

I don't feel unqualified but I don't feel equipped at the moment either. I really don't know how to approach it or how to say it!