Talking to Kids About Sex
“Where did I come from?”
“How come he can go outside without a shirt but I can’t?”
“What were those people in the movie doing?”
Kids ask the best questions, don’t they?
It can be awkward, funny, surprising, or any combination of those when a conversation turns to sex. Yet if we’re going to prepare our kids to face real life and make choices to follow Jesus in every way, we have to step up and train them (Proverbs 22:6).
How do we respond when our children—of any age—ask us questions about sex?
Tips For Talking To Your Kids About Sex
- Start early. As soon as they ask any question about sex, it’s time to start the conversation. Try to think on their level and explain it in a way they can understand, but don’t feel pressured to tell them everything at once.
- Be approachable. We can’t expect to be the ones who teach them about sex if we’re not around and already building relationships with our children.
- Make it a conversation, not a one-time event. Don't make “the talk" a one-and-done. Be available for follow-up questions and keep the conversation open. Help them feel comfortable asking you absolutely anything so they go to you to learn about something first, rather than their friends, the Internet, or outside influences.
- Get past the awkwardness. Sex is part of normal life, so discuss it like it is. If children sense you are uneasy, embarrassed, or shamed, this sends the message that sex is an uncomfortable subject instead of a good thing from God.
- Embrace curiosity. It's natural for kids to be curious about sex. And it's natural for that curiosity to grow stronger as they grow from children to teenagers. Use their curiosity to help them understand their bodies, how they work, and what sex is about.
- Start at the beginning. God made man and woman similar, yet different. Use the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2 in which God says it’s not good for man to be alone, and talk about both the similarities and differences of men and women.
- Point to God. Sex is God’s idea, created to be enjoyed by husbands and wives (Song of Songs—all of it). Show in the Bible that God made sex to be a beautiful thing for a marriage (Ecclesiastes 9:9, Matthew 19:4-6, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5). And practically, sex is how God brings more kids into the world and makes families grow.
- Pray. Pray that you will be able to recognize when your child is ready to talk. Ask God to prepare you and your child for the conversation. If you’re not sure how to talk about sex with your kids, ask God for help and the best things to say (James 1:5).
- Learn from others. See what worked for other parents and their children. Ask what Bible verses or additional books were helpful.
Don’t worry if you stumble through the first conversations with your kids. We can make the most of every opportunity to teach them about sex in the right time and in the right way for them. As we help them see God’s best for their lives, they’ll be better prepared to keep talking next steps with Jesus with every choice they make.
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