I’m continuing to engage the conversation this week about how we can protect kids from the dangers of pornography and sex outside of God’s plan. One of the topics that seem central to this is the sex talk. The one parents have with their kids. Yesterday I mentioned that many parents may be waiting too late to have the sex talk as kids are already over-exposed to sex by the time parents muster up the guts to have the conversation.
However, a few months ago I came across a site where I read the absolute best advice I’ve ever heard about the sex talk.
The advices to parents was: Don’t have the sex talk with your kids!
You’re probably thinking, “what? I thought that was the problem.” I wasn’t finished. There’s more.
Don’t have the sex talk with your kids! Have thousands of sex talks with your kids!
I think most parents dread the talk. They see it as a right of passage, something they have to get through. Once they’ve done it, they’veÂ conqueredÂ it. And that’s part of the problem.
There’s not “a sex talk.” There are hundreds of sex talks. No matter how thorough you are, you can’t get it all in. I imagine the very first time they learn this stuff from their parents, their brain isn’t even processing questions. Their mind is being blown away and they’re more in a state of shock and disgust. Their questions are going to come later. Days later. Weeks later. Years later. If all the parents are looking to simply conquer the sex talk, who’s going to answer the questions when they come. If moms and dads don’t continue toÂ initiateÂ the sex talks, our kids aren’t going to feel completely safe asking theÂ embarrassingÂ questions.
I’m not writing all of this as someone who’s done this, but I remember being a teenager with questions without really knowing where to get answers. Kids need this. Below is aÂ phenomenalÂ video I came across about sex talks, especially the first sex talk. It’s a parenting blog that wrote several posts about talking to your kids about sex. I’ll post more links in a later post, it’s good stuff. What I love about this video most is that part of the video is a 12 year old boy telling parents what they need to know about talking to their kids. Classic!
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You are correct, sir! Talking about sex to your children should be a progressive thing starting with even our attitudes about the body and how we refer to our body parts especially the “private parts.” It’s important to be sure to use the correct terms for parts like penis, vagina, breasts, etc. (How you reacted, just now to those terms tells a lot about how taboo sex is… just a thought.) As we do that we also should be talking about appropriate ways we relate to both males and females and how we respect all people. One conversation leads to another conversation leads to another conversation and so on.
I don’t remember exactly when the topic of actual sexual intercourse came up with my two oldest (11 and 9 now) but it was all in the context of how God created us biologically and even the feelings (physical and emotional) connected to those. Being able to break down the feelings of shame and “taboo-ness” connected with the body and sex goes a long way in being able to enter into deeper conversations about how my children think and feel about sex.
There are some great books that parents can read along with their kids at different age levels around the topic of sex. I’ll have to find where on Amazon they are and will put it back here in the comments.
Thanks, Kenny, for bringing this up.
Here’s a link to Amazon with the books I was talking about –> http://amzn.to/i6URbT. They are the first 5 in the list. They’re part of the God’s Design for Sex series. The first four books are meant to read in tandem with your kids at different developmental stages. The last book is a parent guide on how to have a lifelong conversation about sex with your kids. I think it’s a great series.
Also, Kevin Leman co-authored a book called A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids About Sex http://amzn.to/fEUwjH. I haven’t read the book, but I respect Kevin Leman’s take on parenting.
I thought you had jumped on the crazy train or off a cliff, but solid post.
Parenting through relationship means a ton of conversations and not just a single one.
Great post, as usual.