The Talk


Stacy Edwards shares advice about talking to your children about sex, even before they enter kindergarten.

Years ago, I attended a “Grace Based Parenting” conference and heard Dr. Kimmel speak on the topic of teaching our kids about sex. The most shocking piece of advice? Start talking to your kids about sex before they enter kindergarten.

Now at the time, I didn’t worry much about talking to my kids about sex. After all, I had a preschooler and a toddler so I figured I had a few years to muster up the courage to embark on the most nerve- wracking and awkward experience of our lives.

But this fall…we have a kindergartener.

God is great about creating segues right into situations we are obsessing about. All summer, I’ve been meaning to have “the talk” with my daughter but between VBS, family vacations, and school shopping I just hadn’t found the right time. Until one day…

“Mommy, how does a baby come out of a mama’s tummy?”

Here it was! It was time!

Thankfully, in that same conference, Dr. Kimmel had recommended a wonderful set of books by Brenna and Stan Jones that make starting this conversation super easy. I sat my soon-to-be kindergartener on the settee in our special reading nook and we started in on “The Story of Me.”

You know what’s great about talking with your child about this stuff when they’re young? There’s no giggling when you get to the anatomically correct words for body parts- they haven’t yet been out on a playground where these words have shock value. And you know what- all the awkwardness I stressed about was non-existent. To my child, this was just another special time of learning and laughing together in our special reading place.

We may as well have been reading about giraffes or something.

Here are a few other noteworthy tips that might be helpful if you’re considering having the same conversation with your child:

  • Don’t wait. Since our children were old enough to understand, we’ve repeatedly taught them that their bodies are a special gift from God- and that no one is allowed to touch them. This helps to establish an ongoing dialogue between you and your child while also empowering them to identify (and fight) childhood sexual abuse.
  • Talk about the future. During this conversation with our kindergartener, I realized she’d be going into an environment where it’s cool to talk about being “boyfriend/girlfriend” or hold hands and kiss. So we talked about the fact that dating is something you do when you’re ready to find someone to marry. We also told her that we as her parents would help her learn about finding the right person. To this my child replied, “Having a boyfriend doesn’t even make sense- I’m not ready to get married!” Thank you, Jesus.
  • Don’t call it “the talk.” Okay, so calling it “the talk” does have dramatic effect (which is good for blogging). However, talking to your kids about sex and relationships should be a continuous and open conversation that starts at a young age and continues through their lives. They are going to learn about it somewhere- it might as well be from you!

And if your child should happen to be in the same class as my kindergartener, don’t worry. We also talked about the fact that some kids might not have talked to their parents about this stuff yet- there’s still time…

-Michelle Hutchison

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