“Do you know where babies come from?” My best friend asked while we were swinging in my backyard. My heart rate increased because although I was not certain of the answer, something inside told me this was a taboo subject. Before I could even take a guess, she blurted out, “Your mom and dad had to do it!” She just had the sex talk with me in 30 seconds. If only all parents had my friend’s bravery. Are you asking, “How do I talk to my kid about sex?” This will help.
Sadly, this newfound information my friend revealed was indelibly burned into my memory and prevented me from making eye contact with my parents for the better part of the next month. The probability is high that you may have had a similar experience in your own life in regard to how you learned about sex. Because of that, you may have stigmatized sex is something bad and embarrassing. How do I talk to my kid about sex? Before their friends do!
As we broach a subject that’s often a challenge to discuss with our kids, I want to give you a few helpful tips that my husband, Chris, and I have employed with our own children.
Start the discussion early. Parents, this is going to happen. Their bodies are going to grow, they are going to become curious, and they are going to ask questions. Expect it. Chris and I decided to talk to our kids about sex fairly early. We wanted them to hear the truth about sex from us instead of some skewed version from their immature friends. We explained to them that God created it for married couples so that more people would fill the earth and also for our enjoyment. Don’t be afraid to talk to your kid about sex.
Nothing should be off limits. Those initial conversations with our kids were just that—initial. Puberty is hard for kids, so we have to make sure we walk through it with them. Because we have sons, Chris has had most of the discussions with them. However, that does not give me a pass to avoid it just because I’m a woman. I’ve had many conversations with my sons about their growing sexuality.
One thing we’ve tried to do with our kids in regard to sex is not to look shocked, surprised, or embarrassed by their questions. We do our best to keep a “poker face” and make sure they don’t feel humiliated by their lack of understanding. We try really hard to discuss this as naturally as we can. After all, God created us this way, and it’s a beautiful thing!
Keep your hands to yourself. In general, the average person enjoys a good hug or a pat on the back. We need it and often long for it. But it’s vital that we let our kids know what’s okay and what’s not. You cannot say this enough. Be proactive!
When my sons would go to someone’s house for a sleepover, I would give them the same talk every time. “Now remember, no one is ever supposed to touch your private parts, okay?” Yes, I knew the families well whose house they would be at, but that didn’t matter to me. I know that many sexual abuse situations occur by friends and family members. I wanted my sons to be prepared.
Moms and dads, be okay with your imperfection as parents. You won’t get everything right. You’ll say things you wish you hadn’t and forget to say things you wish you had. The important thing is that you talk to your kid about sex and the other issues that go along with it. Keep communication open. Let them know that nothing is off limits with you. If your kids can’t ask you about sex, they’ll ask someone. Make sure that someone is you.