I’ve had multiple conversations with other parents about the importance of talking with their kids about SEX! I’ve encountered flushed cheeks, darting eyes, anxious sigh’s and all around confessions of dreading this crucial conversation. Carey and I even used to teach a parenting class at our church where we offered the frightening statistic “if you’re not talking to your children about sex by kindergarten, you are probably to late!” It’s one thing to offer shocking statistics and teach parenting tips to a room full of nervous parents, but it’s another to BE the nervous parent looking into the eyes of your sweet, innocent, blue-eyed baby girl and offering her the truth about the birds and the bee’s!
And that is why I felt like the biggest hypocrite as Kindergarten and 1st grade came and went without any awkward conversations with my “princess” about that incredibly bad word…SEX! We were waiting for the right moment, we were looking for the best book, we were distracted with more pressing situations…but truthfully, I’m sure there was a little bit of avoidance in all of those excuses.
Last week Carey and I were watching some Christian leaders, whom we respect, speaking out on the topic of sex. Pastors Ed and Lisa Young held a “bed in” on the rooftop of their church in Dallas, TX. for 24 hours to talk about sex, marriage, kids and all of the issues that have been avoided for far to long in the church. One of their topics was on the importance of this crucial conversation(s) with your kids. This was a flashing light reminder to both Carey and I that it was time to have “the talk” with Brooklyn, my 7, almost 8 year old.
I truly do believe that it is of the utmost importance for us as parents to be the first and primary form of sexual education for our children. The world around us is not just talking about sex…they are screaming it! Sex is everywhere from entertainment, social media, magazines, and most importantly it’s in our schools and being talked about with our children and their friends. If your child isn’t talking with you about sex, I guarantee you they are talking to somebody and gaining their idea of sexuality and what it truly means from somewhere. Everyone has “that friend”, the “sexpert.” You know, the kid with the older brother or sister or the one who has been exposed to far more than they every should have been. These are defining years for our children and we must make sure that we are the ones presenting the truth about sex.
I do believe that timing is important and only you, as a parent can know if your child is ready for this conversation. But, I beg you, please don’t be naïve or make excuses because you only have one chance to be “the first one” to tell them about SEX. Carey and I found a great series of books that I will highly recommend. We were even able to download it on Kindle. The book we used was called “Before I was Born” by Carolyn Nystrom. This book discussed the differences between boy’s and girls, marriage, the act of intercourse and pregnancy. It was tactfully presented and informative. This particular book targets 5-8 year old’s but there are a few others in the series that I hope to get and read that are age specific. There is one for 3-5 year olds’ on the differences between boys and girls that I will probably try with Avery in a year or so.
I’m not going to lie….it took a lot of deep breaths to keep myself from giggling like a junior high girl as my husband read the most awkward words to my 7 year old. I’m very thankful for such an incredible man of God who is willing to invest in his kids and push past the awkwardness to help guard his daughters heart! I know that not everyone will have the privilege of having their spouse be a part of this crucial conversation but if it’s possible, I highly encourage it!
We smiled and laughed together and acknowledged the “awkwardness!” We asked Brooklyn what she knew about sex and sure enough some poorly educated neighborhood girls at our old play ground had told her that it was “kissing naked.” Nice! I wish I could find those girls now! 🙂 So we used that as the opportunity to share with Brooklyn that sometimes that is a part of it…but it is much, much more. We read through the book which does a thorough job on it’s own and interjected discussion where we felt like we should. We then were able to talk about God’s plan for sex and set the standard for an open door of communication in the future.
Surprisingly Brooklyn didn’t jump up screaming in shock or get a mental image of her own “conception.” (At least I don’t think she did!) She handled it very well and went on with our day! It was honestly way easier than I thought!
My hope is that we have set the standard for what SEX was created for. That SEX is God’s plan and it’s a great thing in the right context. My prayer is that Brooklyn will always feel comfortable coming and talking to us or asking us questions about all the stuff she is bound to hear and experience in the years to come!
I survived our “awkward” conversation. I’d love to hear from you.
Did your parents discuss SEX with you? How did that effect you?
Have you had the conversation with your child yet? What are you most nervous about?
What are your thoughts, questions or concerns?