Parents, we have to talk with our kids about their bodies and about sex.
If we don’t, someone else will. And it’s not like it was when we were kids when the internet didn’t exist.
Why We Need to Talk with our Kids about their Bodies and Sexuality
Do I really need to answer that question? Just off the top of my head I’d respond —
- Anyone can give the nuts and bolts of how our bodies work, but with the overwhelming sexual temptation and pornography and sexual addiction running rampant, kids need to have a safe space to learn and talk about their questions with someone who cares for them.
- There is a positive correlation between an open dialogue between parents and kids about sex and sexual abstinence. Feeling safe to talk with you also helps protect kids from sexual abuse. (Read more here.)
- If you don’t talk with your kids about sex, someone else will — and the information most likely will be distorted, wrong, too graphic, addictive, or used to lure, shame, or trap our kids. Kids hear more from their friends and through media than we realize — even at 6 years old.
- Nearly 60% of 16-18 year old have sexual intercourse, and nearly one-third of 13-15 year olds have sexual intercourse. Furthermore, 67% of teens who have had intercourse wish they had waited.
There are far more reasons than I’ve included in this list. The bottom line is, as Anne Marie Miller frankly writes in her book, 5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know about their Kids & Sex (which I highly recommend):
Your child is not the exception.
The reality is that you cannot shelter your child from the world. Someone is going to define what “sexy” is. Your child will hear words you don’t want them to hear and potentially see things you don’t want them to see. And the hard truth is that you have little control over this.
What you can control is the conversation, as well as from whom your child first learns about sex.
How do you want your child to learn about sex? from a peer? The media? A photo of a scantily dressed model hanging in the window of a lingerie store at the mall? If you want them to learn the values you have established in your home, you need to have this conversation. Don’t be afraid that it will spark unnecessary curiosity. It might, but because you are being proactive, you can help guide what happens next. (Anne Marie Miller)
Unfortunately many parents don’t talk with their kids about their bodies or sex because
- they’re embarrassed or feel awkward
- the kids are disgusted or aloof
- they don’t know when or how to talk about it
- they think their kids are too young or don’t need to worry about that yet
In fact, 64 percent of all parents in one survey said their own moms and dads didn’t do a very good job talking to them about sex. No wonder we feel inadequate! But inadequate or not, we need to open up the conversation and keep it going.
Talking with our kids about their bodies, healthy sexuality, pornography, sexual abuse, and more is not a one and done talk. This is an ongoing conversation had within the context of a loving, trusting relationship — between you and your child.
Teach our kids about healthy, Biblical Sexuality
Wherever you find yourself on the list of reasons why parents don’t talk with their kids about their bodies or sex, one of these resources will help.
—> The first few series give you age-appropriate books to read with your kids. Grab the parent guide, too, as it will help you prepare for questions or conversations that might come up with your kids.
—> The single resources are for parents and will give you a wealth of information you probably don’t know (but think you do). Grab one of the resources below and read it.
As inadequate as you may feel, you are the best person for this job.
The Talk: A Sex-Ed Family Bible Study
For Parents :: Having the Talk: Biblical Sex-Ed Training for Parents — an online video course for parents about teaching kids (ages 6-10) about sex.
For Kids ::
- Book 1 :: The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality (designed for ages 6-10)
- Book 2 :: Changes: 7 Biblical Lessons to Make Sense of Puberty (designed for ages 8-12)
- Book 3 :: Relationships: 11 Lessons to Give Kids a Greater Understanding of Biblical Sexuality (designed for ages 11-14)
God’s Design for Sex Series
For Kids ::
- Book 1 :: The Story of Me (designed for ages 3-5)
- Book 2 :: Before I was Born (designed for ages 5-8)
- Book 3 :: What’s the Big Deal (designed for ages 8-11)
- Book 4 :: Facing the Facts (designed for ages 11-14)
Pure Foundations Series
For Parents :: Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality: A Biblical Approach to Prepare Them for Life by Jim Burns
For Kids ::
- Book 1 :: God Made Your Body (designed for ages 3-5)
- Book 2 :: How God Makes Babies (designed for ages 6-9)
- Book 3 :: The Purity Code (designed for ages 8-14)
- Book 4 :: Accept Nothing Less: God’s Best for Your Body, Mind, and Heart (designed for ages 14+)
Resources to Help Parents Teach their Kids about Sex
5 Things Every Parent Needs to Know about their Kids & Sex by Anne Marie Miller
Straight Talk with Your Kids About Sex by Josh McDowell
More Than Just the Talk: Becoming Your Kids’ Go-To Person About Sex by Jonathon McKee
Resources for Kids to Prevent Sexual Abuse, Porn, and other topics we need to address
Picture Books to Read with Kids
- God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect their Bodies
- I Said No! A Kid-to-kid Guide to Keeping Private Parts Private
- Good Pictures, Bad Pictures: Porn-proofing Today’s Young Kids
- CLICK HERE to find other kids’ books on preventing sexual abuse.
Guides for Parents
It’s not too late to talk with your kids about their bodies, healthy sexuality, and sex. I’m praying for you as you do!!
Question for You ::
How did you introduce this topic with your kids and how old were they?
This article originally appeared ErikaDawson.com.