Today’s guest post is by Bill and Pam Farrel, the authors of 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex.
Ever feel a lump in your throat when your child asks, “Where do babies come from?” or your tween or teen have numerous questions like, “How do I handle the opposite sex?” “Why should I wait til marriage for sex?” Or your college student wonders, “Is this the one?” Our newest Hearts at Home book 10 Questions That Kids Ask About Sex covers MANY more than ten questions kids ask from pre-school to premarital! We’re excited to share tips with you this week on this very important subject!
When it comes to talking about the birds and the bees, keep these “talking” principles in mind:
Cover the basic biology before they hear about it on the playground. Talk about body changes before they happen and feelings for the opposite gender before they are interested in the opposite sex. Talk about healthy, God-ordained sex in marriage before you have to deal with distortions of sex by Satan. (In the book we even give you suggested conversations and wording to use that you can adapt and personalize—we want to make your job EASIER!)
Give them 20 percent more information than they ask for. Be tactfully explicit—not abstract. Answer the question with a short answer first, wait for response, and then offer more details as you need to.
Positive message are better than negative. Instead of saying “don’t do this or that,” try to reframe it into an affirmative. For example, instead of telling a tween or teen premarital that sex is bad, so don’t do it, tell them that sex is a good gift and that is why it is to be protected until expressed in marriage. If you’re looking for a book for your teens, our book, Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti is a positive upbeat and humor packed book written for tweens and teens. We made sure humor was added because if you keep your sense of humor when talking with your kids about topics vital to your heart you become more approachable and less, well . . .like the relationship police.
Use accurate medical terms instead of nicknames for body parts. Be straightforward and tell your child why you want to talk about the next layer of sexual information. And if you lacked in judgment in an area growing up, share this information at an age-appropriate time. (Often you can guage the “age appropriate time” to tell a child by how old you were when you faced the temptation, trial, or you tripped up and made a mistake). Remember, we have to be willing to face down our own past so we can give our kids a future.
What about you? How did your parents talk to you about sex? Would you like to follow in your parents’ footsteps or approach the subject differently with your kids?
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