Talking to Your PreTeen about Sex

Great blog from Paige Clingenpeel on talking with younger kids about sex and sexuality. Come to find out it would be better to have 100 one-minute conversations than 1 one-hundred minute conversation. Don’t forget to check out Paige’s podcast too. It is so good.

Talking to Your Pre-Teen about Sex

I had the opportunity to talk to parents of elementary aged kids at our church about the sex talk! This can be such an awkward conversation to have with our kids, and many times it feels like we are having the conversation too soon. But reality is many of our kids have already been exposed to a sexual worldview and are starting to form their own values on the topic. So it is essential that parents are having these conversations with their kids even in preschool!

Here are some quick tips on when and how to have these conversations with your kids today:

Be specific and detailed

  • Don’t use baby language to identify body parts, this only causes confusion.
  • They will act grossed out, but they truly want to know the details.
  • If you don’t share the details, they will find it elsewhere without your guidance or worldview

Use media to start the conversations

  • Ask them questions about what they think that commercial means, lyric means, etc.
  • Share how God designed sex to be within marriage. And though the world thinks otherwise, our creator knows what is best for our bodies and relationships. So, we need to be careful who is teaching us, and how to find wisdom from the Bible instead.

Not 1 talk, but MANY TALKS

  • If it is only one talk there is a lot of pressure to provide all the information and becomes tense for our kids. Whereas if it is a natural flow into a bits and pieces of information when relevant it allows the conversation to be more natural.
  • Encourage questions, and answer without judgement or awkwardness, this creates a safe place for our kids to come back to us when they have questions.
  • If they do not feel comfortable asking questions in person, then encourage them to text you, or write it down on a private journal for you both to communicate.
  • Kids do better when having hard conversations when sitting side by side (like in the car), or during an activity (playing a game, throwing a ball, etc.) where they don’t have to make eye contact.

Don’t focus on the DO NOT’s, but rather the WHAT TO’s

  • God made our bodies good
  • God made sexual drive good
  • God teaches us self-control
  • God commands we honor our brothers and sisters of humanity
  • God commands sexual purity FOR OUR GOOD


  1. Jim Burns, Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality, 2008, Baker Publishing
  2. American Girl Body Books
  3. Luke Gilkerson, The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality, 2014

Special announcement:

Coming soon! Jim Burns’ newest book, A Student’s Guide to Sexual Integrity will be released August 4, 2024. It’s a book written for teens and pre-teens. The student video curriculum for small groups and church youth ministry will be released in late May.

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Paige Clingenpeel

Paige Clingenpeel knew she wanted to work with adolescents, young adults, and women of all ages since she started college. She was called into ministry and majored in Intercultural Studies with a minor in Christian Ministries. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she understood her ministry should focus on mental health. Paige pursued her master’s degree in counseling, earning her degree in Addictions and Community Counseling. After becoming a licensed mental health counselor in Indiana, she worked nationwide with women, adolescents, young adults, and parents! Since 2009, Paige has combined her therapeutic knowledge, training in ministry, and sense of humor into powerful and practical messages. Paige has spoken nationwide for parenting, women, youth, and professional counseling conferences and retreats. She is a TEDx speaker and has worked on TV, radio, and web-based media. Paige contributed to the women's marriage and parenting site and can be seen hosting the tween show iShine K'nect on TBN. She works as the Discipleship Lead at Pine Hills Church, is an adjunct professor for the Graduate Counseling Program at Indiana Wesleyan University, and hosts ‘Embracing your Season,’ a parenting and marriage podcast sponsored by Homeword.

  • About HomeWord

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