Do you remember that fateful day your mom or dad sat you down and had The Talk about sex with you? Or are you like me and that day never came? Everything I’ve learned about those birds and bees came from peers, the internet or experience. I vowed my girls would not struggle with sex the ways I did… from ignorance and the shame that followed.
Because of that vow I’ve always listened to podcasts and teaching series about how to prepare our children for life.
How to do you talk to them about sex, dating, and marriage?
When do you start having The Talk about sex?
Is there a way to make it natural and more every day?
What exactly do you explain and what do you leave out?
So many questions, and honestly – there are a lot of very practical answers. But Let me start with the less obvious question.
Why does it matter that we Have The Talk about sex with our Tweens?
The talk is uncomfortable, embarrassing – for us and them – why even have it? They will see enough on TV and hear about things from their friends to cover the basics. Why not let them learn on their own?
That was the philosophy of my parents’ generation. Avoid the embarrassing conversation altogether. If possible avoid all embarrassing conversations… I’m not here to debate the right or wrong of that… Instead, let’s look to the Bible for clear instruction.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Our sexuality, dating, marriage, care of our body – all of it – is part of our real lives. Since our lives are to be lived as Worship to God – it matters that we teach these things to our children.
So much of what our Children learn is by watching our lives. How is your Marriage? Does it need a dose of Hope and Joy? I’d love to give you this Free E-book to help.
Having the Talk honors God by teaching the next generation how to Love Him with their whole lives.
If that Why is too deep for you… let me just say from experience that learning by experience is scary. Our body should not scare us. It was created beautifully by our Amazing Creator God who intended it to be the vessel we live, laugh and love with.
- Having The Talk takes away the fear of the unknown.
- It lessens the misinformation from peers
- and it helps us prepare to make wise choices that will impact our future!
Have The Talk with your Tween! Do it scared. But do it!
So What is The Talk about Sex Anyway?
This is an informational series of conversations that should start Early and be continues repeatedly. I’ll talk about when and how later, but for now just start thinking about it.
The Talk is an Information – factual – age-appropriate – conversation about:
- Our Body
- Changes in our Body
- The Opposite Sex’s Body
- Self Care
- Modesty & Safety (I bet this is not what you think)
Do it scared if you have to but you should be the authority for them in all these areas! Let’s break down each area together.
From an early age, children are curious about their body and your body. Why not talk about it early and often?!?!
“This body part is called a ____ ____ and God created it to do… “
Early on we decided to use medical names for body parts to make it easier to have “The Talk” when they reached puberty. That has really been so helpful (but more about that later)!
As they grow they naturally feel pain in joints and so there is another natural conversation.
“Our body is always changing and as you grow it will change more in this way…”
When you know it’s time to talk more in-depth about the body – it may help to have a book with pictures you are comfortable letting them see. *** (To explain fallopian tubes and ovaries for example – things they can’t see but need to understand). Let them see the pictures, unashamed or embarrassed with you. I’ve been told that goes a long way in alleviating their need to be sneaky later on.
Changes in our Body
I can only speak from a woman’s perspective here… sorry boy moms. A woman’s body changes too much, so quickly as a Tween nears and enters adolescence. It’s important to talk about those changes before they happen.
Do you remember growing boobs, terror as your first several menstrual cycles came and all the rest? It’s scary if you had no idea it was coming – like me. I’ve talked about those things with my girls since they were old enough to follow me – uninvited – into the bathroom that time of the month. It’s not going to shock them.
My #1 Tips: As she nears puberty why not take her shopping for training bras and pads? Make it a girls day out. Get a pedicure, maybe a milkshake and shop to be prepared for the day it comes. It will be a great bonding day – she’ll never forget – and it will feel like a right of passage instead of something embarrassing or shameful.
Still terrified about starting this conversation? Maybe your thinking “you lost me at talking about body parts and menstruation”. This video course (The Whole Story) is a great place to start – watch it together or on your own – it will give you the facts in a biblical way to help you start well!
The Opposite Sex’s body
Your child may act totally grossed out by the opposite sex or maybe totally boy crazy already. Regardless, they need to know the facts about the way both sexes’ body were created and designed. This lays the foundation for the “Sex Talk” when they are ready for it.
Just the basics will do. You may also need some pictures on hand as before – to explain the inside parts they can’t see (don’t go overboard here).
Invisible – yet felt – Hormones
Boys and Girls both deal with hormones so you may as well identify them in the talk. Hormones control so much of how our body functions. The conversation can be as light or deep as they can handle… and make it fun.
Hormones make us sleepy, awake, tired, ready to fight… it doesn’t have to be embarrassing. But sometimes it helps to know our enemy – and hormones really are the Enemy as our Tween hits puberty.
Emotions and self-control
With all of those racing Hormones come an emotional rollercoaster. It’s helpful – for girls – to explain how to keep a calendar to help with awareness of when those emotions are hormone related.
It’s okay to give examples at this point.
“It helps when I feel daddy is particularly annoying – and it’s that time – to know I should go get a Latte instead of finishing the fight I think he is picking.”
It’s a great coping skill I pray my girls will learn it young.
My #2 Tip- Teach your girls to:
Keep a calendar.
Learn about Self-Control and how to Keep Joy even when you are over the top irritable.
Thank God for the Holy Spirit who is always our Help!
Is Joy missing in your life? Need a guide to help your girl keep her Joy? I’d love to give you this Free 30 Day Reading Guide to help.
Modesty and safety
Along with Hormones we talk about peer pressure and the desire to dress to impress. The Bible does not lay out a clear dress code for life. So I want to Speak to 3 areas of Modesty.
- It is critical that we teach our Tweens to care more about their character than their appearance.
- To focus on growing in the Fruit of the Spirit.
- They have to learn that their identity is to be found in Christ alone.
- If that is in place, every other area of life will flow from a right heart.
- But when they dress I teach them to think about what our appearance says about who they are.
- They are smart, creative, women of integrity.
- There is no need to dress to lure men or repulse men.
- Fashion can be a beautiful expression of worship.
- LOL Yes, I truly believe that!
- I don’t want them to be ashamed of their body nor do I want them to show that body off inappropriately.
- There is a balance and this is an area I choose to pick my battles at times.
- Predators are real and I do not sugar coat that with my kids.
- This doesn’t have to do with how we dress as much… but it applies here
- We talk about the dangers of social media – it goes much farther than stranger danger.
- It’s never okay to send sexual pictures dressed or naked of yourself.
- Naked and sexual are reserved for your husband.
- Anything that has to be done in secret is a bad idea.
- People pretend to be other people all the time – only trust Face to Face friends.
- It’s never okay to send sexual pictures dressed or naked of yourself.
God created sex to bring pleasure within the confines of Marriage only. I don’t want my children to see shame in that. It’s not primarily about procreation. Sexuality is a beautiful way to connect and enjoy the marriage relationship. It’s a connection that never stops – hence God’s design for 1 partner.
The conversation is factual here.
Just presenting the facts and only as they are at the age to hear them. Culture introduces sex way to early so stay ahead of that. The average 10 and 11-year-old in Public School talk about sexual things among peers. If you haven’t talked to them by then – chances are someone else has.
This is also a conversation we have had repeatedly (in stages) since they were very small. Children always want to know where babies come from – or how they were born. From the very beginning, we have used medical words as part of that story.
For example: I have Thrombophilia and had to take blood thinners by a shot to the abdomen 2 times daily throughout each pregnancy to avoid miscarriage. Our story goes like this:
“When you were as small as an orange you grew inside the placenta in mommy’s uterus. To keep you alive mommy had shots to her belly. To keep you safe when it was time mommy had a c-section so they cut mommy here (showing the scar) to take you out.”
Dating / Courting / Marriage
From the time they could play with dolls, my girls dream of being mommies. But we emphasize that mommies need a daddy. It’s hard to raise babies alone. And Marriage is still not on their mind.
But dating is… How does that happen? I remember the first time an adult asked my 5-year-old if she had a boyfriend. I about had a moment!!!!!!!
Part of our talk has been the difference between dating and courting. The importance of knowing someone well and cultivating lifelong friendships instead of focusing on dating.
Dating tends to be a game – Teens are playing it too early – where people are hurt over and over until they settle for whatever’s left.
I want my girls to know they should never settle.
- They should pursue Jesus.
- Love God.
- And pray that as they pursue that calling, there will be a man – also pursuing Jesus who is just right.
- I want love and forever for them.
We are already praying for the men these little girls will grow up and marry. Praying they will be godly men who Love Jesus and will love our girls the way Christ loved the Church. And I will teach these girls to pray that as well and settle for nothing less.
Whew, didn’t realize there was a soapbox hidden under that topic.
That is what Our Talk about Sex has been. I’ll be sharing more about How we started the conversation to make it natural and the best age to begin having THe Talk about sex in the next few articles.
Have you had that Talk yet? I’d love to hear your best tips. If you haven’t, I’d love to know what questions you have. Let’s dig into this topic together.