Talking with our children about sexuality is sometimes hard. In my last post, I explored the reasons why this important topic is so often avoided or put off.
I have already determined that I am going to talk about it even though it makes me uncomfortable.
My children are precious, and I will not leave them to find their own way about sex with the cultural mess we are facing. How about you?
Here are 8 keys for a successful plan.
1. Make education your lifestyle rather than an event: The concept of "the big talk" is not realistic. For just as our children do not learn everything they need to know about history from one big talk, they will not learn everything about sexuality in one sitting.
2. Read up on the issue yourself: Just this past summer I read two books on Christian sexuality education and our kids. I know I need a continuing education on this topic, so I keep learning!
3. Find good resources for you and your children to share together: Do yourself a favor and put some tools in your hands. Of course, we want those resources to portray a biblical worldview!
4. Read the books aloud together: Let the author say the tough words for you.....but don't just toss the book at your child and leave the room. When the words come out of your mouth, it opens the door for the words to come out of your child's mouth when they have questions or issues.
5. Admit your nervousness: Remember it is okay that you feel nervous! I find it best to let my child know that I am nervous because this is a private topic, not because it is a "bad" topic. Let them know it is okay if they feel a little nervous too! It will put them at ease.
6. Do not demand eye contact: Young teens especially are self-conscious. It is all right if they do not make eye contact in these discussions or if they giggle or sigh. Let them deal with embarrassment their own way without reproving them. Sometimes a discussion in the car is good with all eyes facing forward.
7. Use natural teachable moments: Daily life will give you a myriad of discussion starters. Use both the positive and the negative images around you to open the conversation lines. The more you do this, the more natural this will be.
8. Read the Bible aloud: Do you realize how much of the Bible deals in one way or another with the issue of sexuality? Let the scriptures you read as a family lead you into teachable moments. Don't skip over the texts that are there to help us. (Try Proverbs 5 and you will see what I mean!)
When I talk about this list of suggestions with parents, I usually hear three common questions:
- What books and resources do you recommend?
- What should I tell my kids at what age?
- Which parent should talk about which issues with the kids?
So those are the questions I am working on next........