Straight Talk- Part Three

Here are more great notes from “Straight Talk With Your Kids About Sex” by Josh and Dottie McDowel!  Sorry this post is so long, the quotes really hammer home the point.  But feel free to skim if this post doesn’t apply to you or you’re short on time.

“Thanks to the social-media revolution some of the most perverted and distorted views of sex are reaching our kids.  They are just one click away.  For the most part TV and the movies portray immorality as fun with no negative consequences.  But even with the accessibility of media, it is still not the number-one influence on how your child acts.”

“The sad reality is that studies show that ‘fewer than 15 percent of parents discuss sexuality with their children.’  Most parents have abdicated their responsibility.  Instead, peers and the media have been the primary sources of sexuality information for America’s children since the 1940s.”

“Home is where our kids should be learning about sex.  Scripture works from that assumption.  Proverbs 1:8.  It is clear that God wants Christian parents to be the primary sex educators of their children.”

“You as a parent have a wonderful, God-given responsibility to instruct your children.  And your children desperately need you.  Attitudes, opinions, values, and instruction about sex can be one of the greatest gifts you can provide your children.”

“Before a child ever hears about sex from a “sex-ed program,” he/she should hear from mom and dad.  And remember, whether you talk with your children about sex or not, others are talking- right now.”

“You might think that sex would be a sensitive and even an embarrassing subject for children… so they would naturally be more comfortable learning about it from people other than their parents.  But not so.”  “Research shows that when young children want information, advice, and guidance, they turn to their parents first.”

“The encouraging news is that if you as a parent build a loving, warm relationship with your children early on, then in their teen years your kids will more likely depend more on you than on their friends, the media, and the Internet for information on sex.”

“Parents who avoid discussing the topic of sex with their children are doing their children a disservice.  Such children may get the idea that sex is bad, which can affect them throughout their lives.  Such children may seek information elsewhere, and this information can be incomplete or erroneous.”

“When parents become actively involved in their children’s sex education, they ‘minimize some of the pitfalls faced by children and adolescents who turn to their peers for sex (mis)information.  And the truth is kids who feel their parents speak openly about sex and listen to them carefully are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors.”

“But whether you are actually talking to your kids about sex you are still teaching them much about it.  Whether you use words or not, your body language, attitude, relationships, the way you treat others, your comments about your children’s friends, what you watch on TV, and what you “click on “ at your computer- all of these things are teaching your children about sex.”

“Talking about sex is part of your child’s world and is much more common and “out there” than a generation ago.  Kids are often more comfortable with the topic than the parents trying to speak to them.”

“Recent studies show that ‘adolescents who are well informed and comfortable in talking about sexuality with their parents are most likely to postpone intercourse.’  ‘Youths whose parents talked to them about right and wrong with regard to sexual behavior were significantly more likely to be abstinent than peers whose parents did not.’”

“Withholding information until you think your child is ‘ready’ can increase the chance that children will explore more on their own, go to others with less knowledge or different values than you, or accept inaccurate information as fact.”

“Commit very early on to always be honest, loving, and open with your child about God’s wonderful gift of sexuality.  You won’t be encouraging sexual promiscuity- you will be helping to discourage it.”

“When should you start talking to your child about sex?  You might fear that if you start too young it will be “too much, too soon.”  On the other hand, you may fear that if you don’t deal with it, then later it might be “too little, too late.”  The problem is almost never “too much too soon,” but rather “too little too late.”

“Because of the society we live in, the consequences of avoiding these conversations far outweigh the consequences of giving too much information too soon.  A bigger danger is that your children don’t know your position, expectations or values… Parents can’t control the flow of information between children at school or on the playground- kids are going to talk about sexuality.  You can’t rely on schoolyard conversations or even school-sponsored classes to educate your child about sex.”

“In today’s culture our kids are discovering sex and sexual behavior younger and younger, and you will want to be there first to introduce sex within the proper context.”

“Sex education should begin at birth.  Children should learn the right words for their genitals along with other parts of their bodies.  If you can be comfortable talking about it, this sets the tone for future discussions as the topics comes up.  You don’t need to elaborate with more details than your child needs to answer his or her question.  You will know when more information is needed, because they will probably ask.”

“Ignorance is dangerous and can be so destructive.  Yet knowledge, combined with a loving relationship with one’s parents is the overriding factor leading to your child understanding that sex is God’s design.”

“A very simple rule of thumb is that if you talk with your children when they are young, they will be comfortable to talk with you when they are older.  The opposite is also true.  If you are not answering their questions at 2 and 3, they will not be asking them at 12 and 13.  If you wait to discuss sex with your kids until they are in their teens, they are undoubtedly going to be uncomfortable.” 

“Talk to kids really early, when they’re too young to be embarrassed.  It’s less embarrassing for you, too, and they are very matter-of-fact at ages 4, 5, and 6.  After they’ve been on the playground for a few years, and heard a lot of snickering, it’s too late.”

“When you are honest and tackle the topic of sex at the appropriate maturity levels of your kids—you become the expert to them!  As they grow, they will trust you and listen to you!  You may not be your child’s only “sex educator,” but you can (and should be) the first, the primary, and most important sex educator in their lives.”

“There is no set age that you should share certain things with your children.  They key, however, is to continually take advantage of the daily opportunities that arise.”

“Talk about sex in a way you feel comfortable.  Remember, children don’t need all the details at one time.  Accurate information needs to unfold over a period of time.  Each brief conversation lays the foundation for the next one.  With each conversation you take it a step further in your child’s proper understanding of his or her sexuality.”

“Your child will instinctively know if you are confident and comfortable.  If you are he or she will come back to you again and again.”

“Remember, no matter what age your child is, it is never too late to start talking to them about God’s wonderful gift of our sexuality.  By starting with them when they are young you can build a trusting relationship that will pay off when they are older.”

Straight Talk Part Four

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