Chapter 3: Talking to Your Kids About Sex
Oh my! I am so glad Brian Dollar waited three chapters before unlocking this one! The subject of sex is one that we need to talk about more often yet we try so hard to talk about it less.
I wholeheartedly agree with Brian in the need to talk to our kids about sex but I feel that each parent has to do that in their own way and the best way for their kids. That being said, let’s focus on a couple of key points before we get into this weeks discussion.
First, God created sex. He created it to be a special physical connection between a man and woman inside the context of marriage. This is the first and most important fact of sex that we need to teach our kids. This is a non-negotiable. Once we establish this non-negotiable then we can help our kids to know when to say NO. It becomes a bit more black and white as they get older instead of the incredible greys they are trying to find their way through now.
The topic of sex and relationships is a big one in schools at any casual location—the playground, cafeteria, the gym etc. We all know that our kids are incredible sponges. They soak up everything that is around them. This generation of kids is learning more about relationships and sex from media, the music on the radio, TV, and it is being confirmed by other kids at school. Let’s change this wrong definition of sex.
Here’s the deal: your kids are going to want to date sooner or later. It’s the way God created them! Let’s start talking to our kids openly and courageously. Sex is only awkward in our conversations because we have allowed what we see as adults to taint the beauty that God created.
Your kids will learn what it means to be married by seeing you and your spouse. I know that sounds like a lot of pressure, and it can be. That doesn’t mean that you are to fake it and never let your kids see your struggle. That won’t help them in the long run. You and your spouse can’t talk about each other in a negative way to your kids. You have to edify your spouse even when you are upset with them. Remember that your sons will watch not only how their mother submits to their father but they will also watch how their father speaks to his wife. The same will happen with your daughters: she will learn how to be a wife and mother from hers and will also define how a man should treat a woman by how her father treats her mother. This may seem very elementary and it is until you try to apply it. In that moment it becomes much more difficult and you have to become much more intentional.
I encourage you not to wait until your kids start asking questions before you bring up these subjects. Kids often ask their parents last or they ask because of something they have already heard, so make sure you are first voice your kids hear on the subject.
1. How old were you when your parents began, if at all, to talk to you about sex and relationships?
My parents simply told me I couldn’t date until I could drive. That made it a topic that was not up for discussion. However, they did talk to me about sex. My mom was very open with me. I believe the conversations started around 11. She didn’t go into the same details that Brian Dollar and Cherith did with their kids, but over the course of many years she brought the subject up in different ways and answered many questions that I had. I’m glad she talked to me as much as she did. I had no idea I would have that many questions.
2. What do you and your spouse do to make sure your kids see a solid, healthy marriage?
Donovan and I have a 3 year old son, Levi. He absolutely loves when we hug or hold hands. He likes to put himself in the middle but there are times when he will cheer just because daddy came home and gave momma a hug. There are times when we aren’t on the same page. In those moments, we watch our words to make sure that we aren’t putting each other down but dealing with whatever the issue may be. He knows that mommy and daddy love each other and that we are best friends.
3. When did you realize that relationships aren’t really how they are portrayed on TV?
I love this question. As girls, we love to dream of princesses, princes and romance. At a young age, Disney has done a great job of creating this in our minds and although we know it is not realistic, there are a lot of great aspects to the “princess world.” As you get older, you realize people aren’t always who they appear to be. Meeting your knight in shining armor can begin to feel like searching for a missing needle in a haystack. That’s not because they don’t exist—God sent me my knight—but because we are all imperfect living in an imperfect world. The closer you get to adulthood the more you begin to realize this truth. I would have been around 18 when I realized that there was a difference between the world of relationships I saw on TV and the relationships I experienced in life. This is a hard reality to face and can be very jolting for anyone. That is why these conversations are so very important from a young age. Let’s not try to pop the beautiful bubble of imagination but let’s try to help our kids see the seriousness of relationships, their purpose, and how to treat the opposite gender at all times.