As a parent or would-be parent, how would you talk to your little, young, tender, fragile but curious mind about Sex? At what stage would you recommend this teaching? Do you see any need to have this sort of chat with them at all? While you read this article written by David Thomas on Lifeway.com, I’d love to hear your opinion below on this subject.
When my daughter was 6 and her twin brothers were 4, I took them to the hospital to see a friend’s new baby. On the drive, I retold all three of my children the stories of their own births. I should have predicted what I was getting myself into.
From the back of the car, my little girl asked, “How did the doctor get me out of Mommy’s tummy?” I responded with, “Well, that’s a great question.” (What I was actually thinking was, Where is your mom right now? I had no intention of educating our children on the nature of labor and delivery by myself).
Before I had a chance to answer the question, one of my 4-year-olds answered by saying, “He pulled you out of Mommy’s belly button.
“My daughter snapped back, “No he didn’t, Witt. Your belly button is closed and nothing goes in or out.
“My other son explained, “I think they cut Mommy’s tummy open, pulled us out quick, put a zipper on, and zipped it back together.
“Lily argued, “Mommy doesn’t have a zipper on her tummy, Baker.” I chuckled to myself as my three young children worked to understand the mystery of birth. I stepped into the banter with some accurate and age-appropriate information before they began speculating further.
We often find ourselves in these kinds of moments with the kids we love. Here are some guidelines for developing these conversations and resources to help along the way.
Talking With Kids 101
#1. Start early.
A number of great resources recommend beginning a conversation when kids are 3-5 years of age. Obviously, we aren’t talking about intercourse with a 4-year-old, but we are explaining how God made a boy’s body and how He made a girl.
#2. Use anatomically correct words.
Avoid terms like “wee wee.” God created the penis and the vagina. Those are not inappropriate terms, they’re anatomically correct terms.
#3. Invite questions.
When kids ask questions, begin with “I’m so grateful you feel safe enough to ask about the things you wonder about,” or “that’s a fantastic question. Let’s talk about that.”
#4. Find books to read together.
Having a guide or resource to help inform conversations can make the process seem less confusing or unfamiliar. These books can also help guide what conversations are age-appropriate and when to introduce certain topics.
#5. Stay a step ahead of her development.
Don’t wait until an event has taken place. You would never want your daughter to begin her menstrual cycle and then discuss that event.
#6. Put development in a physical and spiritual context.
We want our kids to grow up with a sense that the changes they will experience in their bodies are God’s way of making them into men and women.