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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Talking To Your Kids About Sex, Part 2 - Freedom (The Why And The When)

Eight years old. Time for the "big" talk. Maybe even seven.

Wait, before I get ahead of myself, there is so much more to talking about sex than the "big" talk...so much more.

We have to first determine why we want to talk to our kids about sex. Is it just to have them avoid STD's, pregnancy out of marriage, emotional hurts, etc.? Or is it about explaining to them about one of the greatest, most beautiful, joyous, amazing, gifts on this earth that God has bestowed to us?

How Do You View Sex?

This is a very important question because it can greatly affect how you approach the topic of sex. Do you see sex as good and joyous? Do you view it as a gift? Perhaps you think of sex as dirty or useless. If you think you may have some unhealed hurts or sexual sin in this area, please commit to facing them so that you can be released from shame. You don't want to end up putting your hurts or hang-ups on your children (see core lies series).

"Parents must make sure all their issues with God are settled. Many parents are too ashamed to talk about sex and don't. The shame may come from past sexual experiences, pornography, or other sexual sins." Dannah Gresh, Pure Freedom

Why Should I Talk To My Child About Sex?

If you don't, someone will. The information they receive may be completely contrary to your beliefs. The information may be inaccurate or twisted. It may be right on. The point is, you have the awesome task of sharing something beautiful with your children, and then guiding them in the good and right way so that the gift can be protected and cherished. You can add morality and integrity and beauty to sex, the way it was intended. You can walk beside your child on a continual journey of exploration into the curious and wonderful world of sex, lovingly guiding and teaching them toward truth. You can (and should) be their biggest influence.

When Should I Talk To My Child About Sex?

Continually, beginning as young as three.

"At ages 3-5, parents can show their child a flower and point out the different parts of it, explaining that it takes mommy parts and daddy parts to create life." Dannah Gresh

With my three year old little girl, I am always explaining to her that God made our bodies so amazing and special. We talk about the parts of her body (telling her the real names) and what parts are private that no one should touch or make her touch. We talk about how God made marriage for a man and woman and how one day God might bring her a husband. We talk about love - how mommy and daddy love each other so much and are thankful to God for bringing us together as a family. All of these things are introducing her to sex but in innocent and age-appropriate ways.

As far as an actual "sex talk" that describes the mechanics, eight years old is a good age (if you missed that age, remember, better late then never!).

"Age eight is a "window" between the disinterest of very young childhood and the moodiness and unpredictability of prepuberty...they are the most open, natural, curious, positive, impressionable, and appreciative-and the least cynical or embarrassed." Linda and Richard Eyre, How To Talk To Your Child About Sex

However, communicating about sex starts much earlier and lasts longer. How we talk about and act towards our bodies, marriage, love, family and commitment is all communicated through our daily interactions with each other and can all be linked to sex in age appropriate ways through the years. Remember, the goal is not a one-time talk, but rather on-going, honest, open dialogue that is exciting and positive.

Tomorrow I am going to dig into the "how-to's" of talking to your children about sex.

Talking To Children About Sex, Part 1 - Fear

Articles of Interest:

Little Girls by Laura B.

Honoring Marriage - Bible Bites (Love Week 2)

How To Raise Sexually Pure Kids by Dannah Gresh

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, Part 1 - Fear
How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, Part 2 (Why and When)

If you are liking this series and don't want to miss a day, consider subscribing here.


sanmelmom said...

Hi Sarah.

I came here from the SAHM nook of Problogger's 31DBBB Forum.

And how blessed I am for having come here today!

My eldest just turned eight and this particular issue has been on my mind since she accidentally flipped the tv channel and caught Friends airing.

I am foremost grateful that she came to me rather than anyone else to ask what is sex. And now I am thankful to have a little tip on how to navigate this part of my Precious' life.

Thank you. =)


Anonymous said...

Ok I like this. I like that we need to talk about sex in a positive light not negative and that it is such a wonderful, beautiful, sacred thing it is saved for the awesome journey of marriage.

I don't want to start off with - you should not have sex, it is bad now because of x, y, or z. But instead, it is so beautiful, God intended to only share it with one person and in His timing. :)

Thank you for the enlightenment and resources. I also love that we start early and purposefully talk about sex with our children while they are young. You're right, it is not just about the physical aspects. It is so much more than that!

I have a book, The Momentary Marriage, coming in the mail any day now. I bet this will help for future discussions. Thank you for that recommendation in an earlier post, Sarah Mae!

Laura said...

I'm amazed at the timing of your series! My mom JUST gave me the book "Sex Education is For the Family" by Tim LaHaye. I read through most of the book last night, as it is tremendously helpful in instructing, scripting, explaining, and encouraging a godly "sex education" through life!
Thank you for tackling this issue at just the right time. :)

ServinGsus said...

Good Morning Sarah Mae,

You have been given the Sisterhood Award; swing by and pick it up =) Thanks for being a great place to find refreshment and a smile! Have a good day.
Lisa @ Graceful Abandon

Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

Ah - this is why we love you. You tackle these tough topics with thought, purpose and passion. Having had to have the big talk with 3 of our 5 (or I should say....my hubby did with the boys, and I just followed up), it's never too early. My 10 year old found out what a condom was on the golf course during a tournament. He had a glove that wrapped his hurt hand and a kid asked what it was. My innocent son said, " a latex glove."
"Latex..that's what condoms are made of," the punk replied.
"Condo's..we stay in condo's?"

Imagine my mouth dropping wide open when I asked how their tourney went?

Gina said...

Thanks for tackling the tough issues! As youth pastor's we've seen the damage done by inaccurate or incomplete teaching on this subject, and we've also seen the beauty of families who have done this well.

Thanks too for the encouragement and reminder that these discussions start young.

Friend Chick said...

I'm taking notes. My little girl is only 19 months, but before I know it, the time will be here. I definitely want to be the one to tell her about sex. I want her to know the truths instead of the garbage that the world will fill her with. Thank you so much.

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

Great topic to discuss, and as a public school teacher, it's so important for christian parents to be the one to talk to their kids about sex.
Because you are right they will hear it from someone, and it is best when it comes from mom and dad. We waited until our kids were 10 to talk to them, although we talked a lot about the body and love in a marriage, and the way God designed things before that. It is so important to build that communication foundation early on. Trust me, it makes it so much easier later!
My poor daughter was so appalled when she learned from me what sex was. She was 10, and said "I always wanted to get married, but I don't want to do that to have kids!" :) But I am thankful she learned about it from me and can freely discuss those things with me.
Dannah Gresh has been a great resource by the way. Great link to her!

Beth@Not a Bow in Sight said...

This is a subject we should not be afraid to discuss...the world certainly isn't afraid to.

I would love to be a member of the 5:16 club...actually, I already am...I just hadn't found your blog yet!

Isabel said...

This series is so good Sarah mae. Thanks A LOT! So glad I'm still on time!

I have a question, which you might answer later on. How do you react if your kids see two people (Sometimes even same-sex) behaving inappropriately in public? This has been ticking in my head since last year, and I honestly don't know how I should react!


Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Great advice Sarah Mae! We have done all the intro stuff as my son was growing up and he knows that it is a gift from God to be shared between a married man and woman. But we haven't yet discussed the mechanics of sex and I know it's time.

So this will be very helpful! I look forward to more and will be sharing this with some other moms I know.


MamaHen Em said...

I can't say enough how much I love the topics you tackle. We have tried to be as honest and forthright (age approrpiately) as possible with both kids. I don't think anything they ask could possibly shock me and it is so true that at their ages, they aren't embarrassed by it. Our hope is that by the time they hit pueberty, the details have been filled in and the groundwork is strong. Sex is a gift and it is a beautiful thing - I want my view in before they get a world view :)

Onna said...

I completely agree!! As a School Counselor I have always used the real names for private parts and try to answer questions simply and honestly. My kids are 3 & 6. My son who is 6 is starting to ask more questions and I try to give him honest answers with out to much detail.

Great blog- I came here from the 31dbbb forum!! So glad I did!! I'll be reading your blog from now on!!