If you are dreading the day you finally decide to have “The Talk” with your pre-teen child, consider a different way of looking at it.
Perhaps talking to your children about sexuality and their body, is more than a “talk” or “THE talk”. It is a long-term conversation and discussion. This conversation starts early and continues through until their wedding day. This is not a one-time, one-and-done talk.
In a changing and shifting culture of sexuality, children will hear and see things earlier and earlier. Our role as parents is to be open and available to explain and to answer questions early and often.
Sexuality and our body are not dirty or bad things… if seen through God’s plan and an understanding of His Word. After all, we are the “Temple of the Holy Spirt” and “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.”
If your child’s sexual discovery is a conversation not a talk, they will know that they can ask you any question, any time, and you will be honest with them.
Our children, teens, and young adults need to be comfortable with their body, in a God-honoring way.
They need to know what is happening to their body as it changes and develops in healthy, age-appropriate ways.
They need to make the connection to God, their changing body and God’s gift of sex, while parents tie it to God’s words about marriage.
Here are a couple of quick, key hints and tools to help as you navigate these conversations:
Start the conversation during potty-training as a toddler discovers their body.
Have appropriate touch conversations early on for themselves and others.
Teach your children that modesty is more than just a clothing choice.
Have conversations that are age-appropriate and developmental stage-appropriate.
Use correct terms and not cute made-up names.
Pace your conversation throughout childhood into adolescents and up to their wedding.
Answer the questions, that are being asked and wait for next questions to gauge how much information is needed to be shared.
Be prepared to discuss sexuality, sexual identity issues, same-sex attraction etc. in an age-appropriate way as questions are asked and observations are made.
Listen, don’t always talk. Listen for feelings, attitudes, ideas and comfort levels.
Use and refer to the Bible often as a foundation for conversations.
Find out what misconceptions are being shared among their peers.
Realize that conversations are different from child to child and gender to gender, in the same family.
Allow the conversation to change and in some ways end, once they are married. Your adult child’s sex life needs to be kept sacred between them and their spouse.
Finally… Pray for, with, and about your child’s mind, heart, emotions, and sexuality!