I talk to my kids all day and every day. About everything. My kids and I have a very good open line of communication, especially thanks to losing their dad at a young age and blending our family which brings up lots of emotions.
Even with all that, the thought of having “the talk” really stressed me out. Partly because it is a big deal. Partly because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, or say it too early/too late. And a lot because of the way we speak of these things is different than how our culture teaches. Our bodies are precious, intended for a purpose, and to be protected.
Because of my anxiety leading up to the ominous conversation, I did what I always do, fact find from people who have traveled the road before me. And with everyone I spoke to, they squashed my fears.
I was making it out to be a bigger deal than it actually was.
I have read so many books and podcasts and absorbed alllll the information so I would love to share with you what I’ve learned!
To start, I began reading my kids this book series years ago. It has been very helpful to trickle in the talk, rather than trying to have this very complex conversation out of the blue one day. And it isn’t an outright sex talk at a young age. It starts with speaking about our bodies and how God created them perfectly and each body part has a purpose. We speak of our private parts with their anatomical name, just as we would an arm or eye. These private parts aren’t dirty, they are good! As your children grow, the conversation builds and gets more specific.
When my oldest daughter turned ten in April we booked a hotel downtown and had some of the more nitty gritty talks. It wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable because I think I had laid enough of the groundwork over time. I had been intentionally sharing pieces of these conversations over time in an informative way, versus a negative or intense way. It was sweet to take the trip with her and have a lot of one on one time, and sort of mark the transition into womanhood as she knocks on puberty’s door.
She knows after that trip and truthfully, because of the conversations we have had over time, that I am the resource for her to turn to with questions regarding sex or sexuality, not her friends or other adults. I am sure they will weigh in over time, but having the conversation with her first gained her trust in that department. Talking about sex isn’t off limits, it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is beautiful and it’s how God created us. So no stigmas here!
Start young and start small. Trickle age appropriate information and inform your child over time. The talk doesn’t have to be this big, awkward, earth-shattering conversation. It is building the facts over time so they will have a complete, secure, and confident view of sex and sexuality.
Some other resources you may find helpful: