How to Talk with Your Kids about Sex
- Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Help them feel close to you and connected to your family. Realize that kids need to feel loved, and to have a strong sense of belonging. Don't leave your kids trying to fill those needs through sexual relationships. Affirm your love for them on a regular basis, and let them know their place in the family is valuable. Make the time and space in your life that you need to build close relationships with each of your kids.
Eliminate unnecessary activities from your family's schedule. Take them on dates to do fun things together regularly. Talk with them in the morning before your day begins and in the evening just before bedtime.
Show your kids that you're open. Let your kids know that you are always open to answering any question from them. Show them your interest and transparency through your facial expressions, eye contact, gestures, and body language.
Model sexual purity for your kids. Recognize that the way you live your life is the most powerful sex education lesson your kids will ever receive. If you're a dad, show how you remain faithful in marriage and treat women lovingly and respectfully. If you're a mom, demonstrate your marital faithfulness and treat your husband well.
Don't forget your opposite-sex children. Understand that daughters need their dads to give them the male perspective on sex, and sons need their moms to give them the female perspective. Give your opposite-sex children just as much attention as you do the ones who share your gender.
Teach them to resist peer pressure. Help each of your kids learn how to become his or her own person rather than defining themselves by their peer's reactions to them. Encourage your kids that they are each one-of-a-kind originals who are deeply valued by God. Motivate them to stand up for their convictions.
Set healthy boundaries. Set appropriate boundaries of modesty for what your kids are allowed to wear, and teach them that this is an important part of respecting their bodies. Set boundaries on the types of media your kids are allowed to watch or listen to, and explain that it's an important part of respecting their minds. As your kids show you that you can trust them to make wise decisions, give them more personal freedoms and responsibilities.
Make your home the center of your kids' activities. Whenever possible, have your kids spend time at home. Before you allow them to go out, make sure you know exactly where they will be going and who they will be with. Get to know their friends (and their friends' parents) well.
Keep puppy love in perspective. Remember that puppy love is a common part of growing up. Don't make more of it than it is, and guide your smitten kids into healthy friendships that will keep them from putting too much emphasis on a crush.
Make your kids your heroes. Let your kids know what specific talents and character traits you admire about them. Catch them doing something right as often as you can. Say, "I believe in you," "I trust you," and "I think the best of you." Then they won't be nearly as likely as some other kids to seek adulation through a sexual relationship.
Focus on each kid's emotional - not chronological - age. Realize that each child is different. Understand that each of your kids may have different paces at which they're emotionally ready to hear and absorb information about sex. Don't give them more information than they can handle at a certain age, but don't withhold information simply because you don't want them to grow up - they will, and there's no stopping it.
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