Skip to comments.10 Tips for Talking to Your Tween About Sex
Posted on 08/30/2013 11:47:16 AM PDT by NYer
Its probably not news to you that if youre a parent, youre supposed to talk with your kids about sex. If youre like most parents, however, you get a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and your palms begin to sweat every time you think about it. You have no idea where to start. God knows your parents hardly ever talked with you about it. The moment of opportunity passes and you put it off again, hoping and praying youll have the courage next time.
According to research, teens of parents who push through their discomfort and talk with their children about sex, abstinence, the benefits of saving sex for marriage, possible emotional and physical consequences of sexual activity as teens and outside of marriage, are more likely to practice abstinence and less likely to engage in sexual intercourse, contract a sexually transmitted infection, become pregnant and/or have an abortion.1,2 Additionally, research has demonstrated over and over that teens whose parents spend social time with them have better relationships and higher self-esteem.3
So say a prayer for courage, do a little reading and develop a plan with your spouse. Then get talking! Here are 10 tips to help you on your way:
1. God created us as sexual beings! Sexuality, desire, morality and character are all in Gods plan for each human. Children need to understand their changing bodies and how to be good stewards of our bodies.
2. As Christian parents we need to understand chastity and modesty. Chastity is controlling voluntary expression of sexual pleasure according to our state in life. Modesty is the virtue that controls any acts which might cause lust or lead to sexual acts.
3. Dont let your discomfort keep you from talking to your child about sex. You are the most important person in your childs life and he needs to hear this from you! By opening the lines of communication, your child will eventually trust that he can come to you with questions, not to his peers. If you refrain from talking to your child about sex, he will mistakenly learn that sex is shameful and bad.
4. This is difficult for everyone. Most adults never had this experience with their parents. You are not alone. Ask a friend about how they talk to their child. Share stories, laugh.
5. Be prepared. This tip sheet is a great start! Read some of Gregory Popcaks Beyond the Birds and the Bees or Fr. Henry V. Sattlers Parents, Children and The Facts of Life. You dont need to read the whole book.
6. Share joy and pride in your child becoming a young woman or young man. Fathers, take your son out to buy shaving supplies. Moms, take your daughter out to buy her first real bra.
7. Be honest, short and sweet. Dont give too much information at first. When your children are entering puberty, youll need to initiate the conversation. Start small. For example, ask him if he knows what ______ is. Or what his friends say it is. Then you can give him a simple, straight forward explanation.
8. Be matter of fact, despite feeling nervous. Normalize your childs feelings this means you let your child know their feelings and body sensations are normal. Assure them that they are not bad when they have these sensations or thoughts. They need to know that sexuality is beautiful and part of Gods plan for each of us.
9. Provide your child with tools to appropriately attend to his growing changes. For example: Dads, talk to your son about your feelings when your genitals became aroused; normalize; provide some ways for dealing with these feelings. Moms, share with your daughter how you felt when you began menstruating; normalize, be sure you have supplies on hand.
10. Strive to encourage conversation, dont lecture. This discussion will be ongoing over time, not a one-time conversation. You dont have to, nor should you, try to get it all in during one conversation! Once you begin opening the line of conversation in this way, you wont be as uncomfortable and neither will your tween.
1. The Heritage Foundation, http://familyfacts.org/briefs/42/parents-influence-on-adolescents-sexual-behavior
3. Lam, C. B., McHale, S. M., & Crouter, A. C. (2012). Parent-child shared time from middle childhood to late adolescence: Developmental course and adjustment correlates.
Child Dev. 2012 Nov;83(6):2089-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01826.x. Epub 2012 Aug 23.
1. Don’t have sex until you are married!
2. See 1.
3. See 2.
4. See 3.
5. See 4.
6. See 5.
7. See 6.
8. See 7.
9. See 8.
10. see 9.
I would add...EVERYTHING you see on TV & popular media is for the purpose of promoting promiscuity and a general loosening of standards. The Miley Cyrus thing could indeed be quite a teachable moment.
I would guess most kids are getting sex ed from MTV.
Just watch a Mylie Cyrus video on what not to do.
A really pointless article unless your kids are in Parochial School or are home schooled because by third grade the public school system will have taught the children everything you know plus all the perverse acts you don’t.
I’m sure tweens these days could teach their parents a lot about sex. But does anyone really want that?
If you're waiting until your child is a "tween" to teach modesty, that ship has long since sailed. Modesty needs to be taught during their entire childhood.
I was just sick and incommunicado and just about throwing up after seeing mileylicentious performance — thinking about the influence it would have on kids. But then I read MTV has had even worse stuff. And there is the possibility that the “performance” — in the same sense of performance as a drunk coed somewhere — was so over-the-top it will actually have the opposite effect (from intended) on many kids.
Everything in this advice is wrong. It doesn’t even mention twerking, a mainstay of the courting ritual for centuries.
Nowadays, shouldn’t the parent check with the kid first to see if he might like a bra, or she might go for shaving supplies instead? Just sayin....
“Son, it’s time you and I had a man-to-man talk about the facts of life.”
“Sure, Dad, what do you want to know?”
I have an eleven year old. If I just barely hint about talking sex and HE cringes.
I’m going to put if off for at least another 6 months because he’s not even close enough to be comfortable about it, yet.
That’s the way I did it. You don’t need to give your child lectures, just use teachable moments. If you live it, you’ll need to do very little actual lecturing.
Miley Cyrus is a great conversation opener, maybe with, “What is Miley doing that would make a woman like that someone you want to trust?” Once the heart and spirit is right, the physical ideas follow easily. My son just married a wonderful, godly woman who is a true helpmate.
#11. Herpes are FOREVER
My kids are almost 19 and almost 17. They are pretty open about sex with me. My son told me about how one of his friends went “crazy” after she had sex with her boyfriend. He says she wasn’t ready.
My girls talk about what other girls wear and the image it projects.
Also, their aunt had a baby at 16. Her life is very different than our life.
None of them have had a boyfriend/girlfriend yet.
We also talk about the whole gay thing. We live in California and my kids have all done theater, so they are exposed to that a lot. Several kids in our old church have come out as gay. I’ve told them you can disagree with somene’s lifestyle choices and still love them and be kind to them.
My kids seem to want to talk about it. They have lots of questions, and I think they feel safe talking to me about it. They don’t talk to their dad as much.
I appreciate your comment. I don’t have children but I can absolutely appreciate the idea that if you give them spaces of responsibility to grow into, they will. If you give them a pit of admonition to experience, they will likewise adapt to that.
When ever I talked to my kids about sex when the time came, I always prefaced it with, “When you’re married...”