Okay. Okay. Deep breath, you guys. The “sex talk” doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. I promise. In fact, it can be the talk that draws you closer to your children. Say what? No really, it can. Here are a few things I did before I began teaching my tween daughter about sex.
Build A Relationship
Have you ever had someone give you advice without first showing that they care about you? Yeah, I have. It’s no fun. I rarely listen to someone who hasn’t first built a relationship with me. Before you ever talk to your tween about purity and sex, build a relationship with them. And never stop.
Building a relationship with your child is crucial. Without a good relationship, your child won’t care what you teach them about anything-especially sex.
I tell my children often, “You can talk to me about anything? Boys you like. What you’re feeling. What’s right or wrong in a certain situation. Anything at all-you never have to be afraid of asking me anything-even if you’ve done the wrong thing. I love you no matter what. Don’t ask your friends. I know more than your friends. You’re friends are learning just like you. So if you have questions, come and ask. I’m always here.”
So many friends of mine have told me that their parents never taught them about sex. They just “figured” it out-whether from a porn magazine or a tv show. One friend even said that it wasn’t proper to talk about sex in their Christian home -so they didn’t talk about it. Ever.
Being an approachable parent is important. I want my kids to come to me before they go to anyone else. I want to be their safe place. When they’re scared, I want them to share their fears with me. When they have a crush on a boy or girl, I want to know. When they have questions about sex, I want them to ask me. Be your child’s safe place.
Set the Limits
We talk openly about our body parts around here-long before having “the sex talk”. I have two girls and two boys, so words like boobs, period, and penis are used out loud. I don’t shy away from using the correct terms for the correct body parts. I treat the subjects respectfully, teaching them boundaries. The home is a place you should be able to talk about anything. But the home is the limit. Just because you say those words at home doesn’t mean you should say them else where. Our children shouting the word PENIS in the grocery store aisle is something we want to avoid. I also let my children know that they shouldn’t teach their friends about these specific things. We leave that stuff for moms and dads because it’s their job to teach their kids.
So before teaching your daughter about sex, ask yourself what kind of relationship you have with her? Does she know you are a safe place? Does she know you love her? Do you show it? Are you approachable? Are you making her aware of the correct terms for her body? This isn’t about sex yet-it’s about educating. Assume your children doesn’t know these things. Tell them. Also, remind them every day you love them, and be open about telling them about their body.
Notice Your Daughter
While your kids grow, there will come a point when it’s time for the “sex talk.” I think this time is different for every child. Some kids mature faster than others. But as a parent, it’s our job to notice when that time is here. Maybe it’s when your daughter hears something at school that you wish she didn’t hear. Maybe it’s when you notice her body is changing, and she’s starting to talk about boys. Either way, it’s our job to look for the signs. Ask God for wisdom to know when to approach your child. We have to be aware of what’s happening in their lives. And we need to do it intentionally.
I recently noticed that time was here for my daughter. I’m going to be honest here-at first I was terrified. But I faked it. Ha. Yes, I faked it. I asked for advice. I prayed. I made mistakes along the way, and I prayed some more. Ha! A lot of the time, I wondered if I was doing it right.
Talk to Your Daughter
Then a woman, who has grown children, shared a book with me, Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle. This was the book I used as a guide to have conversations with my daughter. We went through it slowly-we haven’t finished it yet. The book is written in two parts. The first part is directed toward the parent, and the second part is directed toward the child. What I love most about the book is that it mentions important topics like the body changing, sex, molestation, pornography, modesty, and homosexuality. Some of these topics may need you as the parent to give more of an explanation. If your child is anything like mine, sometimes it takes more than one conversation for them to comprehend what your teaching them.
Ask Your Daughter Questions
As I was teaching my daughter, we’d stop often. I’d ask her questions like, “What do you think about that?” “Explain sex in your own words.” “What does God’s Word say about modesty?” “Why do we want to be pure?”
I tried my best to address her heart. We, as parents, can give a list of rules to our children; but rules often fail to reach the heart. I long to see my children desire to live a pure life because they’ve experienced the Lord Jesus working in their lives. I don’t what them to do it because I said so. I want them to do it because Jesus is crazy in love with them.
Chase your child’s heart. Love them like Jesus has loved you. Unconditionally. With abandon. Relentlessly pursue them.
No one ever told me chasing my child’s heart meant choosing bravery over timidity. But it does. I asked my daughter recently, “Did you ever feel awkward talking about sex and all that stuff?” Her answer: “No, I love talking to you.”
You never know the difference you make as a mom. I know I didn’t.