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
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