A healthy, on-going parent/child dialogue about sexuality and physical development will curb the impact of destructive, false messages the world offers about sexuality. Establish yourself as a trusted expert to whom your children can turn to find out the truth about sexuality. Toss out the idea that there is only one "talk." Instead ask yourself "How soon can I begin to equip my child to filter messages about sex and sexuality in age-appropriate ways?"
5 key areas of development will help determine how children and teens view themselves and their sexuality: needs, values, beliefs, skills, and supports.
- Foster close parent-child relationships
- Assist in the development of healthy friendships
- Teach children to value purity and obedience vs immediate pleasure or fitting in
- Teach skills to stand up for what is right and to resist peer pressure
Sissy Goff and David Thomas of Raising Boys and Girls discuss a few ideas for shaping a healthy, age-appropriate conversation with your kids about their growing bodies and how/when to talk about sex.
- Be the 1st and best source of information
- Use anatomically correct words
- Invite questions
- Revisit conversation often
- Stay a step ahead of development
- Put puberty in a physical and spiritual context (For example, "This is how God intended.")
- Find and read books together
- Watch how you talk about yourself and your own body (add on by Kelly)
- Recite and verbalize words that make you feel uncomfortable before starting a conversation with your child. (add on by Kelly)
- Acknowledge your child's feelings during your conversation (add on by Kelly)
The responsibility lies with you to read discerningly, take what you can use, and leave the rest. Many resources come from a faith based perspective.
Talking to Your Kids About Sex and Puberty (Focus on the Family)
God's Design for Sex book series (Stan and Brenna Jones)
Flight Plan: Your Mission to Become a Man (Brady and Burns)
The Caring and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls (Valorie Lee Schaefer)