Monday, May 5, 2014

How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex

Can you tell the age my kids are getting to? I am reading cyber parenting books and lots of pre-teen children’s fiction.

When I did a series in 2012 on teaching children about sex, my husband was reading What’s The Big Deal? with our 9 year old son, now it's my turn to read it with our 9 year old daughter.   My husband is also about to the read the next in the series, Facing the Facts, with our now 11 year old son.

This is my first foray into giving detailed information about God’s view of sex, and the realities of sex outside of marriage with one of our children.  It’s going well so far.  In order to feel a bit more prepared to do so, I read a book for parents by the same authors: How and When to Tell your Kids About Sex.

It was very helpful.  I had realised that although I wanted to be open and address issues factually and without either squeamishness or fanfare, I wasn’t entirely how to do so once the conversation and questions turned to more specific questions. This was a great resource in helping me think through such things, with sample conversations and ideas for age-appropriate information.

They deal with 4 stages: infancy to kindergarten, pre-puberty, puberty and adolescence. Over all of these stages, they have developed 12 principles of sex-education with can be applied to across these stages. These principles include:
  • Parents are the principal sex educators
  • First messages are the most potent
  • We should seize teachable moments and become askable parents
  • Stories are powerful teaching tools
  • Positive messages are more powerful than negative messages
  • We must inoculate our children against destructive moral messages
  • Sexuality is not the most important thing in life
I finished reading this book with much more confidence about how to address topics and seize teachable moments. We are committed to being open, honest and very positive about sex and God’s design for it with our children; this book gave me some extra tools to actually be able to do it.

Just like with the cyber parenting book reviewed last week, I am reminded that being a parent requires us to be pro-active in many areas.   Here is another area which I want to be prepared, ready and willing to teach my kids a helpful, godly way forward and to be able to point out the contrasting morals of our world.   This book is a great help in enabling us to do so.

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