Final Post on Talking With Your Children About Sex

Instead of dividing this up into two more posts, here’s a long one.  This is just such an important topic and I didn’t want to leave anything out!  I hope this series has inspired you to be open and honest with your children.  To build a close-knit relationship with them so that they will feel comfortable asking you about anything.  Click here to start on Part One of this series.

The following quotes are from Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young:

“We need to help equip our sons to keep their thoughts away from sexual sin, and that will mean training them to keep their eyes away from the imagery that surrounds them.  Job the righteous said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how can I look on a maiden?”  (Job 3:11)  Fathers will need to be diligent to do the same; if Dad is ogling the young woman sunning herself on the beach, how can his teenaged son (who at least still has the moral right to marry her!) be expected to discreetly watch for shrimp boats on the horizon instead?”

“First, it is clear that sexual immorality is sin, and indulging in lustful thoughts is sin as well.  It’s a basic rule but in our culture it has to be taught explicitly.”

“We’ve also taught our boys the Golden Rule applies here- we do to to others as we would want them to do to us.  Any young lady they meet is almost certainly going to be someone else’s wife (since only one will ultimately be their own).  How would they want someone to treat their future wife?  They shouldn’t do anything toward that young lady that they wouldn’t want to hear about their bride’s past.  That really clarifies it for a young man!”

“The Bible teaches us not to defraud one another in relationships.  Fraud is the practice of persuading someone to believe you have promised a thing which in fact you are unable or unwilling to deliver.  how about winning the heart and affections of someone that you are not seriously considering for marriage?  Isn’t this what happens in the usual teenage dating situation?  We teach our sons that the Biblical pattern expects them to be able to support a wife before they go out seeking one, which means they won’t be “going steady” as 14-year-olds.  They have a responsibility to guard the hearts of the young ladies they know, and not entangle them in a romantic web which frankly means very different things to a girl than it does to a boy.”

“A barber once asked one of our middle-schoolers, “Do you have a girlfriend?”  Our son answered with mild surprise, “No, I can’t support a wife yet!”  We’ve taught our boys that the Bible places responsibility on the man to support his family, and the Biblical counsel is, Prepare your outside work, Make it fit for yourself in the field; And afterward build your house.  (1 Timothy 5:8; Proverbs 24:27)  Don’t go building romantic attachments when marriage is still well out of the question.”

And the final notes from Straight Talk by Josh McDowell…

“Speak up.  If you don’t like a TV show, CD, video, pair of jeans, or doll, say why.  A conversation with her will be more effective than simply saying, “No, you can’t buy it or you can’t watch it.”  Support campaigns, companies, and products that promote positive images of girls.  Complain to manufacturers, advertisers, television and movie producers, and retail stores when products sexualize girls.”

“Use teachable moments in your daily life.  Something on TV, seeing a pregnant woman, hearing real stories about real people, seeing nude pictures, wanted posters, homosexuals you see in public, discovering a condom, sex misinformation, wedding albums, animal behavior at the zoo or elsewhere, school assemblies, sporting events, practice, school plays, and music.  Instead of dismissing negative information, make a conversation out of it and use it as an opportunity to teach and mold your childWhen you see something that doesn’t uphold your values, point it out to your child.  Make it a conversation.  Be your child’s cultural interpreter.”

“For example say, “I feel sad about some news I just heard.  My cousin’s son has to drop out of school to get a job.  He and his girlfriend had sex, and now she’s pregnant.  He will have to work and pay child support instead of finishing his education.  What do you think about that?”  These real stories provide excellent teachable moments.”

“In January 2012 the lives of Melissa, Tom, and their children changed forever.  The police showed up at their house to interview their oldest son, 13-year-old Kyle.  Under questioning, Kyle admitted to being addicted to pornography and to have crossed sexual boundaries with two of his siblings and a little boy who visited their house often.  Melissa and Tom were utterly shocked.  Their son was taken from their house that day and put into juvenile detention.  He was charged with three counts of sexual abuse, one of them a felony.”  It happened to their family and unless you are a super-involved, proactive parent, it can happen to yours.

“Definitely monitor all of your child’s internet usage.  But do it with them, not sneaking behind their backs.  Make it a relationship instead of a rule.”

“You must buy a quality internet filter for every internet device your family owns.  It is unwise to have Internet access without some form of blocking and filtering device.  Consider putting every single family member (including both parents!) on an “accountability program” where emails of inappropriate usage gets emailed to the accountability partner.”

“Choices have consequences.  And when your kids choose not to have sex before marriage and then remain faithful in marriage, they thankfully miss out on a lot of pain and heartache.”

“Does it concern you that so many young people lack sexual boundaries?  Have you been in a mall and watched how some 12-, 13-, or 14-year-old kids act?  It’s as if no one has taught them moral boundaries or how a boy should treat a girl?  The most effective way to communicate how your son or daughter should treat the opposite sex is by modeling love and respect within your own marriage.”

“One of the best ways to teach your young daughter how to respect and treat the opposite sex is for her dad to take her on dates.  This will also help her know what standards to expect.  Tell your daughter, “If a young man doesn’t treat you this way, then you need to walk away from him.”  Open the door for your daughter, dress up, be very polite, talk kindly, and model the way that a man should respect a young woman.  This will set the bar high for her future dates.  Dates with your daughter can be a behind the scenes way of making sure your daughter doesn’t feel pressed to do anything that she isn’t comfortable with and to help her avoid the pressure to cross her boundaries.  The same holds true for sons.  Moms can take them out and model how a lady acts.”

“The relationship you have with your kids is one of the most important keys to helping them say no to sexual involvement.  If the relationship is good, if you really connect with them lovingly, your kids are far more likely to have a healthy self-image and realize the boundaries you set for them are to provide for and protect them.  When you instruct your kids within the context of a loving relationship you are helping them develop a healthy self-image and giving them added strength to stand strong in the midst of a destructive culture.”

“As much as this might get our stomachs flipping, being available for any question your child asks is important.  If your children are asking you the questions, then you are in a position to guide them.  They key here is to be as calm as possible with any questions you kids might ask and be honest and candid with your answers.”

“Be an askable parent.  Let your children know they can talk to you about anything, anytime.  Even if you feel uncomfortable with the questions, try to not let your kids sense it.”

“Be a “Listening” Parent  When we listen to our children, it tells them they are important and we want to hear what they have to say.  Many parents say they want to be good listeners, but their kids just don’t talk a lot to them.  This is where asking them questions can get them talking.  Asking them questions can show them respect and confirm that you value their input.  It can let you know how much they know or don’t know about a subject, help to clarify statements, and help you evaluate your child’s maturity.”

“Be a Parent With Values.  Your kids make decisions about their sexual behavior based on their values and by and large, they get their values from you.  The following is just a list of possible value areas to consider in your family and discuss…
sex in marriage,
children are a gift from the Lord,
created in the image of God,
friendship,
loyalty,
purity,
faithfulness,
the Bible is God’s truth for us,
sex is beautiful,
behavior,
dating or courtship,
how we dress,
God is love,
love one another,
love people vs. loving things,
respect,
integrity,
honesty,
trustworthiness,
relationships,
pregnancy,
marriage,
reverence,
a wedding.”

“Be a Parent Who Befriends Your Kids’ Friends.  How do you want to be remembered by your children’s friends?  Get involved with your kids’ friends and choose to have a positive impact.  As you do, it can 1) make a statement to your child that people who are important to them are important to you.  2) It will put you in a position where your kids and their friends will want to communicate with you and listen to your opinions, which will most likely reduce negative peer pressure that your child’s friends will have on him or her.”

“Be a hero to your kids’ friends.  Take the time to talk to your child’s friends, let them know you care.  Take the time to get to know each child on your child’s sports teams and let them know you’ll be rooting for them.”

“Be a Parent Who Dreams with Your Kids.  Kids who feel they have a promising future are the most deliberate in preventing pregnancy… Hope is a great contraception.  When we champion our kids and dream their dreams it raises them to a whole new level of hope and they end up wanting to live up to high expectations.”

“Dream with your children and enter their worlds.  The sky is the limit in creative ways to communicate your unshakable support.”

The following notes are from How and When to Tell Your Kids About Sex by Stan and Brenna Jones:

“Sex education is never done.  You will think that you have already covered something, but if your child was not ready to hear it, it is as if you never said it.  Kids need to hear the most important lessons over and over again.  Repetition is critical.”

12 Principles of this book:

“Sex education  is the shaping of character.”

“Parents are the principal sex educators.”

“First messages are the most potent.”

“We should seize those teachable moments and become askable parents.”

“Stories are powerful teaching tools.”

“Accurate and direct, truthful messages are best.”

“Positive messages are more powerful than negative messages.”

“We must inoculate our children against destructive moral messages by teaching them.”

“Repetition is critical; repetition is really, really important.”

“Close, positive parent-child relationships are crucial.”

“Sexuality is not the most important thing in life.”

“Our God can forgive, heal, and redeem anything.”

Pray with your children.  Pray through the Ephesians 6:13-17 list of the armor of God, beseeching God to equip your kids.  Pray through Galatians 5:22-23, the fruit of the Spirit.  Pray through Matthew 5:1-12, the beatitudes of our Lord.  Such prayer can have a profound impact.  God works through prayer both to impact our children and to impact us.”

“You, the parents, are the most important influence on your child’s character.  Either you will be a haphazard and thoughtless teacher who gives little thought to what you are doing in your parenting, or you will be a prepared, thoughtful, responsible teacher.”

“We want our children to believe the following:”

-“They are loved.”

-“Their choices matter, they make a difference.  They are responsible for their actions and for the consequences.  We teach them this by the way we respect them and discipline them.”

-“The goal of life is not necessarily to be happy, but to love God and to become good in the way God intended.”

-“They are children of God, made in His image, and their sexuality is His gift to them, meant to serve beautiful and wonderful purposes.”

“How to handle sexual curiosity:  How do we respond when we find our children playing with their private areas, or playing this way with another child(ren)?  The most important principle is not to exaggerate the importance of the incident, but instead to use it as a teaching opportunity about the privacy of your child’s body and what a blessed gift and miracle that body is.  If you handle such an incident in a calm, positive, and reasonable fashion, it can be a constructive experience.  If you overreact, you run the danger of instilling in your children a deep sense of guilt or the sense that sexual interests and feelings are bad, and of pushing them away from you when they have questions or concerns about sexuality.”

“If your child doesn’t want to sit on Uncle Bob’s lap or hug an older cousin, stand behind them.  Praise the child for being polite but assertive.”

“Continue to remind your children that there are to be no secrets where their bodies are concerned.  Their bodies are private, a special gift from God.”

“How much information do you give your child?  Err on the side of providing too much information.  And give detailed, clear, and direct information.  We don’t mean indiscreet or lewd.  Avoid using language that is figurative, too technical, or obscure.  Typically, little damage is done by giving too much information if the information is true, sensitively described, and offered in a positive spirit.”

“Kids wonder what a penis is even for?  What is a vagina used for?  What do they do?  They are curious and they want to know the answer.  Talking about sex with your kids isn’t something you need to feel embarrassed or shy about.  A simple, “Sex is when the man’s penis fits inside the woman’s vagina.”  They may say, “Gross!” and that’s okay.”

“The parent can say, “You know what?  I like talking to you about this, and I’m glad that you want to know.  Would you please tell me when you have more questions so that I can talk more about it with you?  Sex is very beautiful, but a lot of people believe the wrong things about it, so you will hear other kids telling you really dumb and wrong stuff.  And TV shows many people who have the wrong ideas about sex.  I want to talk with you about it so that you will know God’s truth about sex.”

“Talk to your children early about sex- early elementary school- and then repeat and repeat the message in new forms as they move toward and through puberty.”

“You can tell your child, “A baseball glove is used to play baseball.  If you use it to go down to the pond and scoop mud, you are not using the glove very well.  And it is that way with God.  He gave sex to us as a gift.  If we don’t use the gift the way He wants, it’s like we are telling God we don’t like His gift, like we don’t love Him enough to use it just the way He wants us to.”

“The world will be repeating its messages about sexuality over and over to our children in movie after movie, joke after joke, television program and commercial after program and commercial.  On and on the sexual messages of the world will come at our children.  Our lessons cannot be offered to our children once for all, but must be renewed, revisited, and repeated over and over again.”

“One of the great dangers of the busyness of our lives, of our investment in careers, church, and everywhere but the family, is that we simply will not be there for our children, available to be close to them and enjoy them.  Build a relationship with your child that is grounded on encouragement and praise.  Mindful of their fragile sense of self at their pre-puberty age, take every opportunity to build your children up; communicate your confidence in them and your excited expectation for what life has in store for them.  It’s easy to let your child slip away in their late elementary years as they want to spend more time with friends, be more independent, and more difficult to communicate with.  To continue to build a close relationship, put effort and creative energy into the relationship.  Think of good opportunities to spend time with your child.”

“Praise your children when they ask questions, any questions, but especially questions about sexuality and relationships.  Acknowledge how threatening it can be to talk about such things.”

“Restrain your impatience to jump in and talk; give them time to develop their questions.  Attempt to provide a good answer to any question a child asks, regardless of how confusing the question is.  Often our discomfort leads us to hurry the child or demand clarification that the child cannot provide; this comes across as rejection or other negative reactions.”

Discourage early romance.  Given the realities today of when marriage tends to occur, parents should discourage early involvement in romance.  There is strong evidence that adolescents who start dating early are more likely to begin having sexual intercourse early.  Those who mature early are more likely to get into trouble with premarital sex than are “late bloomers.”  Because of the influence of peers, kids who are in groups that start dating early are at greater risk.  Early dating is not harmless.  (Elementary and middle school dating is not harmless).”

“Tell your stories.  Remember the power of stories.  One of the most helpful things you can do as a parent is to tell your stories to your kids.  Tell them of the ups and downs you experienced.  Tell them what the power of infatuation felt like when you were sure it was lifelong love.  Tell them about the obsessive way you wrote your flame’s name over and over, the way your whole day revolved around when he would call you, or the way you got an electric thrill to see her smile at you.  Tell them about your confusion and pain as a relationship died a lingering death.  Tell them about the agony of betrayal.  Tell them how your powerful feelings blinded you to his flaws and led you to exaggerate his perfections.  Do all this to give your children a wider range of experiences, namely your experiences, to serve as vantage points from which they can see their own experiences more clearly.”

“In their relationships with the other sex, teens will experience feelings of sexual attraction and have opportunities to learn how to handle those feelings rightly and glorify God in the process.  It’s a normal and good thing for them to feel sexual excitement for someone they care for.  But we must also tell them, again, that sexual purity requires discipline.”

Whew, you made it through this long series!  Any thoughts/ comments??

2 thoughts on “Final Post on Talking With Your Children About Sex

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