Growing up, I never had a sex talk until the night before my wedding. My sister sat me down (thank the Lord) and told me a few things she thought I should know. Being inexperienced in the area of sex meant I did not have a clue. I am grateful for my sister giving me the lowdown.
Bean and I decided early on that our kids were going to know about sex and their bodies, whether they liked it or not. Generally, they cringe every time we bring the subject up. I tell them one day they will be happy we were so open with them. The man-cubs keep assuring me that will never happen. So, let’s begin.
“How to Talk to your Kids about Sex”
1. Start talking. Now. Jump in.
- One morning, a certain man-cub who was seven years old at the time, came in with an erection. It was such a surprise to this boy. Bean handled it like a champ and said it was perfectly normal, happens all the time for man-cubs. From that moment on, we talked about sex and our bodies very normally because it is NORMAL. We are all sexual beings! Just be age appropriate. Also, make sure you talk about their private parts by their actual name. Penis, vagina, breasts, etc. Don’t be shy. This could possibly help protect them from sexual abuse. Take any opportunity to talk about sex. Create a safe place for them to ask questions. No question should be out of bounds or shameful! Be prepared because it could get awkward…
2. Make friends with the awkward.
- It might be awkward! However, don’t let it stop you. Do you think I loved talking to my man-cubs about masturbation? Be honest. Tell them it can be a bit awkward. The more you broach the subject, the more normal it will become. I have a unique philosophy on masturbation and needed to communicate it to my boys because there are different messages being preached at church and out in the world.
- If you are not comfortable with your own sexuality, your kids will pick up on that right away! If there is shame or a bad connotation to sex, it will be communicated, whether you think so or not. Seek counsel, healing, therapy. Please don’t pass it on to the next generation.
4. Don’t wait!
- When should you start? When your child begins to discover their body. There are lots of books out there that can help you. We used The Boy’s Body Book and Almost 12 as well as Every Young Man’s Battle.
5. Put your teenage kids in charge of their own sexuality.
- I did not come up with this one on my own. A friend discipled me in this aspect. What do I mean? Trust your kids. After talking with them and giving them the lowdown on all aspects of sex, trust them to take charge of their sexuality. I don’t have tons of rules on my man-cubs. They come up with their own rules. Yes, indeed they do. I’ve raised them believing that sex is natural, sex is fun, sex is best when it’s one on one. I am here to offer advice and help, but they are in charge of their own sexuality. It has been communicated from early on that we believe sex should be saved for marriage and to have multiple sexual partners can damage their bodies and their souls. It has also been communicated that sexual desire is normal, particularly for teens! It’s what you do with the desire that is important. I communicate often that I trust them. Bean and I have a healthy sexual relationship. This is embarrassingly clear to my boys. I ask them how they are doing, particularly with the temptation of pornography. Yes, I will be writing a post on How to Talk to Your Kids about Pornography.
7 thoughts on “How to Talk to your Kids about Sex”
there was no discussion! just between the kids at school, mis-informed older friends' siblings, and some awkward films we could watch at school, that seemed interesting, only because it meant we got to skip PE 😉 and so the road map was terrible, and my path was uncomfortable.
i really appreciated what you offered here. much of this we do, but we need to get over this hill, this bump on the road where the emerging sexuality collides with internet usage, what society/marketing/advertising sells as “ideal” and how we make choices. thank you! x
First, Thank you! Having young kids that seem to be growing up way too fast I feel like we need to get smart and have some good discussions starting soon… I'd love to hear more about your “unique perspective” on masturbation… I value your insight! Also to answer your question, I did not have a sex talk and was really left to learning from friends… I feel lucky that I married my high school boyfriend but we did not escape unscathed from the impact of premarital sex and our choices during the years before we married… Matt was handed a box of condoms as a teen- that was the talk… I really really appreciate this blog post and your wisdom on raising your godly man-cubs… having two of each (boys & girls) we've gotta get over the awkward and really dive in so our kids can have a really healthy foundation because I agree- the world is screaming and we need to be louder and more clear on these topics. THANK YOU AGAIN
How I wish this wasn't such a difficult subject for the church. Thank you for being honest and open about a beautiful thing.
Yes, Erin. Having boys in this culture that sells sex so cheaply can be daunting. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks, love! Glad we are communicating about this! 😉
Yes, Staci, me too! We can change it! And I think we are…
thank you for reminding me to internalize that my boys want to see sexuality as a beautiful thing. that i can make it beautiful to them.