My apologies for the slightly offensive, overly eye-grabbing title but it fit so well for this post.
Here is the truth: A lot of people have a lot of opinions about a lot of things. For example, parents have wildly varying opinions about when and how to talk to their children about sex.
Some don't want to talk about it all and avoid it.
Others are way too carefree in their handling of the subject and don't mind how their child sees or hears about it.
Here is the one thing I have learned through both ministry and life experience. You as a parent want to be the one who explains sex to your child. Not some kid on the bus or the playground. Not by stumbling across some website or finding some strange movie on netflix. It should come from you at the right time and in the right way.
Here is my opinion: Talk to your kid about sex early and often. Let me explain.
Early: We live in a day and age where children are being exposed to things that my generation didn't see or hear until jr high, high school or college. Technology, the internet, and uninvolved parents are perfect conditions for a brush fire of sexual curiosity and experimentation among elementary students. Yes, you read that correctly, elementary. So when I say talk to your kids early about sex it means you need to beat the world at it's game. Now before you rush out to have "the talk" you need to prayerfully consider each child and there maturity and decide when that time is. I took our oldest child for a weekend away last week. He just turned 10. It was an opportunity to tell him in the safety of a loving father-son relationship, from a biblical perspective, and without shame or embarrassment.
Often: The "sex talk" as it has become known is thought of as a one and done experience with most parents thinking "I'm glad that's over," when it's done. What should happen is that when you explain sex to your child it opens up an ongoing conversation. I told my son that he can come to me with any question or curiosity. I plan to have ongoing conversations with him to help clarify issues and also assist in his journey to purity throughout the adolescent years. My hope is to develop a trust and safety with him.
But where do I even start? How should I go about doing this?
I'm glad you asked. I two answers for you:
- Take your child on a weekend away and make it a big deal. I took Eli on our "Man Trip" and we went camping. I built it up for a while and he was really excited about it. We went biking, canoeing, grilled steaks, made bacon over the fire for breakfast, and I gave him his first pocket knife. It made it a memorable experience because of the adventure and not just because we talked about sex.
- As far as knowing how to go about talking to your kid about sex I'm sure there are a bunch of resources out there but we used Passport2Purity by Family Life. It helped unpack some of the main topics. and gave good guidelines to help you through the weekend away. I was thankful for it because I could explain some things and then we would listen to a session and it would reinforce what I just shared.
In summary talk to your child early and often about sex. It will be beneficial to them and their personal walk with Jesus and their relationship with you.