Saturday, March 12, 2011

How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex

While communicating the Gospel to your children is the most important role of parents, communicating clearly about sex is vital. Children will learn about sex from someone, and parents need to make sure they hear what God has to say. Children need to have their thinking shaped by God at a foundational level because they will be influenced by Lady Gaga, peers, and secular sex education. Parents need to get to their children first and more frequently than these other influences. This calls for ongoing and open dialogue.

For some help in this, check out the following article by Mark & Grace Driscoll. While I have a bit of skepticism about some of the stats, the overall advice is excellent. The article begins:

A child’s sex education often comes through schools or churches. But a Christian parent should always be the first person to speak with their child about sex related issues. As Ephesians 6:1-4 tells mothers and fathers:

    Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Talk to your kids early

The appropriate age to discuss these matters varies from child to child but if a parent is going to err, it should be sooner than later. Ensuring the lines of communication are open and honest between a parent and child is paramount. For younger children, this includes talking to them about inappropriate viewing and touching as well as keeping them in safe surroundings. Here are some tips for keeping your environment safe for your kids:

  • Children are never to be left with people that are not fully trustworthy.
  • If your child plays at a neighbor’s home, make sure you know who is there and that a trustworthy adult is in charge.
  • Ensure there is not pornography in the home.
  • Remember that abuse often comes from other children.

Dialogue about inappropriate touching and viewing should begin when your child is very young to help prevent sexual abuse. Conversations about sexual contact and inappropriate exposure should happen no later than age 10.

Parents are not always well educated about the facts surrounding childhood sexual abuse or wait too long to open lines of communication. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and go with your gut. For more helpful information, visit the Kids Need To Know website.

Talk regularly with your kids

The “sex talk” is not a one-off conversation. Regular dialog about sexuality should begin when children are young and last until they’re married for the sake of loving, biblical guidance. The fact is parents are not always able to shelter their kids from every single outside influence. Whether information is coming from neighborhood kids or through inappropriate media content (even when its viewed accidentally), healthy, regular rhythms of communication is vital.

Read the rest here.

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