This two-part blog on talking with your children about sexuality is more important now than ever before. All research says that the more, positive, healthy sex education kids receive from home, the less promiscuous and confused they will be. Both blogs are taken from my good friends and Christianparenting.org.
Talking to your elementary aged child about sex
“Because of the society we live in, the consequences of avoiding these conversations far outweigh the consequences of giving too much information too soon.” —Dr. Margaret Stager, Case Western Reserve University
Sex can be an uncomfortable conversation to have with kids, but with media at their fingertips, most kids are exposed to sex at a young age.
We need to have age appropriate, intentional conversations with our kids early so that we will be their trusted guide, and they will come to us with questions. Our role as parents in a sexualized, digital age is to protect our kids when we can, but more importantly, to equip them with an understanding of God’s story of sex that is compelling and hopeful.
Most importantly, our role is to invite them into a relationship and to model our own (imperfect) pursuit of purity.
The good news is, all that really means is turning to Jesus, again and again, as we continue on this journey with our kids.
This is part 2 of a 4-part mini-series that will be a field manual and reference as you open up conversations about sex through every season of your parenting.
In each of our 4 parts, we discuss age-appropriate ways to engage children as they grow in understanding God’s better story about sex. Each part is broken down into three sections: protect, equip, and model.
This is how we want you as parents to think about your role in teaching and guiding your child in these conversations about sex.
Here are some ideas to address with your elementary aged child as they grow in understanding God’s story of sex.
• Filter the amount and types of influences you let into your home—install filtering and monitoring software if you haven’t already. Continue to guard digital time and screen interactions.
• Discuss Internet safety and boundaries with parents of your child’s friends.
• Warn about seductions and tricks from both strangers and familiar relations, in person and online.
• Begin to introduce how human sexuality is a part of God’s plan.
• Continue to teach your son or daughter basics of physical boundaries and healthy touch.
• Reinforce their right to say “no” in situations that make them uncomfortable.
• Begin the discussion about good images vs. bad images, respectful language vs. objectifying language.
• Model positive body image—children will catch on to your confidence.
• Guide them to express and experience feelings appropriately (ex: pulling someone’s hair isn’t a kind way to convey interest).
• Communicate that you’re a safe place for questions.
• Demonstrate integrity and respect for others in your own life.
• Consistently enforce technology boundaries for yourself and your home. Model excellent social media use and digital stewardship.
• Let your children see the importance you place on deep and meaningful friendships.
At its root, conversation means to “turn with” or “dwell with.” It’s not about crafting the perfect moment to have a one-time, high-pressure sex talk. It’s about creating open, ongoing dialogue in the context of a safe, loving relationship.
This is the beginning of a life-giving, lifelong conversation.