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10 Tips for Talking to Your Tween About Sex
Catholic Exchange ^ | August 29, 2013 | PATTI M. ZORDICH

Posted on 08/30/2013 11:47:16 AM PDT by NYer

dad and son 2

It’s probably not news to you that if you’re a parent, you’re supposed to talk with your kids about sex. If you’re 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 you’ll 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 God’s 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. Don’t let your discomfort keep you from talking to your child about sex. You are the most important person in your child’s 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 Popcak’s “Beyond the Birds and the Bees” or Fr. Henry V. Sattler’s “Parents, Children and The Facts of Life.” You don’t 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. Don’t give too much information at first. When your children are entering puberty, you’ll 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 child’s 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 God’s 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, don’t lecture. This discussion will be ongoing over time, not a one-time conversation. You don’t 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 won’t be as uncomfortable and neither will your tween.

Resources:

1. The Heritage Foundation, http://familyfacts.org/briefs/42/parents-influence-on-adolescents-sexual-behavior

2. http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/FB-ATSRH.html

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.


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 08/30/2013 11:47:16 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...
Perhaps your tween will surprise you with a more profound question as happened on this segment of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Ally's Question

2 posted on 08/30/2013 11:47:44 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

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.


3 posted on 08/30/2013 11:50:44 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: NYer

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.


4 posted on 08/30/2013 11:53:17 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: NYer

I would guess most kids are getting sex ed from MTV.


5 posted on 08/30/2013 11:55:02 AM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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To: GraceG
1. Don’t have sex until you are married!

#2. Don't go too far, or you may forget rule Number 1.
6 posted on 08/30/2013 11:56:20 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana (There's no salvation in politics.)
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To: NYer

Just watch a Mylie Cyrus video on what not to do.


7 posted on 08/30/2013 11:59:30 AM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: NYer

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.


8 posted on 08/30/2013 12:04:03 PM PDT by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
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To: GraceG; NYer

I’m sure tweens these days could teach their parents a lot about sex. But does anyone really want that?


9 posted on 08/30/2013 12:06:25 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: NYer
Modesty is the virtue that controls any acts which might cause lust or lead to sexual acts.

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.

10 posted on 08/30/2013 12:12:16 PM PDT by Hoffer Rand (There ARE two Americas: "God's children" and the tax payers)
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To: NYer

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.


11 posted on 08/30/2013 12:18:40 PM PDT by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: NYer

Everything in this advice is wrong. It doesn’t even mention twerking, a mainstay of the courting ritual for centuries.


12 posted on 08/30/2013 12:19:33 PM PDT by BCrago66
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To: NYer

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....


13 posted on 08/30/2013 12:31:25 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: nickcarraway

“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?”


14 posted on 08/30/2013 12:37:44 PM PDT by elcid1970 ("The Second Amendment is more important than Islam.")
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To: NYer

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.


15 posted on 08/30/2013 12:41:06 PM PDT by skinndogNN
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To: Attention Surplus Disorder

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.


16 posted on 08/30/2013 12:42:02 PM PDT by I still care (I miss my friends, bagels, and the NYC skyline - but not the taxes. I love the South.)
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To: GraceG

#11. Herpes are FOREVER


17 posted on 08/30/2013 1:17:27 PM PDT by LadyBuck (....and we're off to the rodeo......)
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To: skinndogNN

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.


18 posted on 08/30/2013 1:19:01 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: I still care

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.


19 posted on 08/30/2013 1:20:59 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
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To: NYer

When ever I talked to my kids about sex when the time came, I always prefaced it with, “When you’re married...”


20 posted on 08/30/2013 2:20:17 PM PDT by FrdmLvr
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To: NYer

Thanks for posting that. I started watching the clips of Debra’s (Patricia Heaton) interview. She’s so talented and really makes that show. She’s strongly pro-life as well.


21 posted on 08/30/2013 2:34:15 PM PDT by FrdmLvr
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To: NYer

Here it is:
Do it, you could get pregnant.
Do it, no abortion.
Do it, chance of STD.
Do it, get STD, might not be able to have babies when you DO want them.
Do it, you’re a loser and a fool.


22 posted on 08/30/2013 3:10:21 PM PDT by matginzac
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To: NYer

I love Ally’s Question.

It is something that I still ponder myself at the age of 50.

Why are we here?


23 posted on 08/30/2013 3:17:13 PM PDT by not2be4gotten.com
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To: not2be4gotten.com
I love Ally’s Question. It is something that I still ponder myself at the age of 50. Why are we here?

The answer is very simple and, if you think about it, quite obvious. And, no, it is not because heaven is overcrowded. Back in the 1950s, Catholic children learned their faith through the Baltimore Catechism. The answer for a child Ally's age is:

6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in heaven.

The "adult" Catechism states it in similar terms:

I. The life of man - to know and love God

1 God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Saviour. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.

2 So that this call should resound throughout the world, Christ sent forth the apostles he had chosen, commissioning them to proclaim the gospel: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."4 Strengthened by this mission, the apostles "went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it."5

3 Those who with God's help have welcomed Christ's call and freely responded to it are urged on by love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure, received from the apostles, has been faithfully guarded by their successors. All Christ's faithful are called to hand it on from generation to generation, by professing the faith, by living it in fraternal sharing, and by celebrating it in liturgy and prayer.6




4 Mt 28:19-20


5 Mk 16:20


6 Cf. Acts 2:42

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

24 posted on 08/30/2013 3:38:55 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

My observation (6 children so far through “tween” age) is that they are completely disgusted by the idea and would much rather discuss computer games.


25 posted on 08/30/2013 4:20:09 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Stand in the corner and scream with me!)
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To: NYer

Thank you for this.

Your answer is correct.

What is the next question?


26 posted on 08/30/2013 4:35:25 PM PDT by not2be4gotten.com
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To: NYer
Stand Up Girl

PS. Read some of these heart-warming stories about girls who kept their babies!

27 posted on 08/30/2013 4:41:33 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: deadrock

Actually Planned Parenthood was allowed to teach sex ed in two of the local high schools. Typical Oregon, huh?


28 posted on 08/30/2013 4:42:37 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

What is a tween?


29 posted on 08/30/2013 4:44:38 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: NYer

Don,t worry about it, before they are even old enough to be asking those kind questions the teachers at preschool will already be required to teach them every thing they need to know, your children are in good hands.


30 posted on 08/30/2013 5:03:17 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: luckystarmom

I don,t know if my sister talked to our mother about such things but i would have died before i would have even mentioned such a thing to my mother, or even my dad unless i had a good reason which i never did.


31 posted on 08/30/2013 5:20:35 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Salvation

Nothing surprises me on the left coast.


32 posted on 08/30/2013 5:32:19 PM PDT by deadrock (I am someone else.)
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To: ravenwolf

I would have never talked to my parents about anything. I have a much different relationship with my kids. Thank God!


33 posted on 08/30/2013 6:45:40 PM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: luckystarmom

I would have never talked to my parents about anything. I have a much different relationship with my kids. Thank God!


I don,t, thank God.


34 posted on 08/30/2013 7:33:06 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: luckystarmom

I would have never talked to my parents about anything. I have a much different relationship with my kids. Thank God!


I fouled up my last comment bad, the phone rang, some one knocked on the door,When i am on the computer either one by its self is an emergency i hit the button Well???

I do not have any kids to raise and maybe it sounds rude but i thank God for that although i have at least a half dozen great grand children some of them just visited.

And the saying is that there has never been a child raised right in the history of the world.


35 posted on 08/31/2013 12:28:36 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: NYer

We got our daughter a pretty good explanatory book from the library when she was about 10-11, and offered to take on any questions she had. It was actually pretty easy from that point forward.


36 posted on 09/02/2013 9:31:26 AM PDT by onedoug
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