Almost every parent dreads the day. Some completely avoid it. But if you care about your child, you won’t. In fact, you’ll have the talk with your kid as soon as possible.
The talk, of course, is that conversation that parents are supposed to have with their kids about sex.
The typical approach of putting it off for as long as possible only to tell vague stories about birds and bees has been a complete disaster. It has left us with generations of kids whose understanding of sex has been shaped by emotion, television and/or whatever member of the football coaching staff lost that year’s bet and had to teach 8th grade health. What could possibly go wrong when your view of love, sex and marriage is shaped by the local public school and the cast of Teen Mom 2?
It turns out, a lot.
I can’t tell you at what age you need to talk to your kids about sex. Every kid is different. What I can tell you is that you need to have that talk early. But where do you start?
Here’s a good place.
“What do you know about sex?”
You’ll get two types of answers to that question.
Your kid could tell you that he knows a little bit about sex. If you haven’t talked to him about it before, that means that you’ve got some deprogramming to do. And prayer. A lot of prayer. A little learning is a dangerous thing, especially when a child is the one doing the learning, the culture is the one doing the teaching and sex is the subject.
The second answer still involves prayer but it’s a much better scenario. When you ask him what he knows about sex, you’re kid will look at you like you just asked for his opinion on quantum mechanics and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t know anything about sex.
“Sex? What’s that? Could you please pass the Fruit Loops?”
Rejoice and be glad! He is still a blank canvas.
Talking to your child about sex is awkward. For you. But if you’re the first one to talk to her about it, it won’t be awkward for her. Remember, she has no idea what it is. And that’s a good thing. It’s your job to teach her what the Bible says about sex as well as where and why the world is so wrong about it. But trust me on this, if you think that talking to your ten-year-old daughter about sex is awkward, try waiting until she’s 16 and has already had her mind shaped by the programmers at MTV and her heart crushed by the predators in her history class.
Safe sex is a myth. The entire philosophy is built upon the idea that sex is purely physical. Sex is just as much an act of the heart as it is a function of the body. They can make pills to keep you from getting pregnant and devices to keep you from catching a disease but there is no pill or condom that will protect the human heart. That’s where parents come in.
Parents, if you’re doing your job and if your kids are listening to what you say, they won’t need condoms and pills. You will be the only protection they’ll ever need. And it starts with a slightly awkward conversation.
If you have the talk early, it will probably be a quick conversation. The idea isn’t to tell your kids everything there is to know about sex. Rather, your agenda should be to teach them the truth about sex early so that the continual barrage of lies they will encounter will be easily exposed for the foolishness that they are.
Parents, you should be the first ones to talk to your kids about sex. And that first talk shouldn’t be the only talk. It should be the beginning of an ongoing conversation. But that won’t happen if you procrastinate or pass your job off onto your kid’s school.
You may not know what to say at first.
And it might be awkward.
But these are sacrifices worth making so that your son will not have to navigate through the deadly deceptions about sex all alone.
And be sure of this.
The navigating will likely begin at a much earlier age for him than it did for you.
So have the talk already.