Ok, so back to the birds and the bees.
If you have not read part 1 yet, I recommend https://chrismlegg.com/2011/07/03/talking-to-kids-about-sex-part-i/
I really think that somewhere around age 11ish is the perfect age to tell our kids about sex.
At this point, I think they are likely to be prepared to have the conversation somewhat and likely to actually be interested, or at least know
that they should be.
However, I don’t think the world will give us until 11.
and I say that as a parent who home-schools his children.
It has been important to me to be the first, or at least among the first, to communicate to my children about sex, so I didn’t wait
until 11. I started at 9 with Mark. For those with kids with more access to messages about sex, you may have to start even sooner.
It is very tough to integrate starting early enough to be the main voice without starting too soon, I know. It has to be prayerfully and wisely
considered based on your children’s situation, maturity, etc… and you have to be prepared no matter how soon when the questions come.
So, starting at 9 and making specific time each year for the last 3 years, here has been the format:
Year one: The (God’s) purposes for sex.
This was mainly a conversation about the spiritual aspects of sex, and the God given purposes: intimacy, unity, pleasure and procreation. For simplicity’s sake, we started with procreation. I told him, without any biological details, that sex is how part of the man’s genetics and part of the
woman’s genetics come together to form the genetics for a new person, showing how that explains the similar traits we all share. At this point, I was prepared, if Mark asked, to tell him about the biological act of sex, but when I asked if he wanted to know, he declined.
Next, we talked about how God loves to give people good things and that one of the things that God gave to humans is sex… to create a bond of intimacy… and how it is about knowing each other in ways that you don’t know anyone else – it is the bond that makes marriage special and sacred and different than any other relationship that exists. (for more about this in an adult conversation, check out parts 1 and 2 of https://chrismlegg.com/2011/03/01/erotic-facets-of-sexuality/). We talked about how in 1 Corinthians 7, the body of the husband and wife actually belong to one another! and that is how important sex is the good gift that creates a one-ness in marriage.
I talked about how God created sex as something special about marriage and also created marriage as something of a protection for the power of sex. The analogy I used here was that of a fire.
In the proper setting (oven, grill, fireplace, campfire) a fire is life-giving and wonderful. It is entrancing (ever stared at a campfire and lost track of time?), warm, inviting, hospitable, and amazing in many ways. However, outside of its proper homes, fire is deadly. Let loose in a forest or a home, the same life-giving power can take life and ruin lives.
I tool a moment to let him know that we would talk more in the future, including more about the details of sex and more (though I had not thought through it is such detail yet as I am presenting it here).
I also warned him that he might come across randomly, or through friends or media, information about sex, including images of sexual stuff. I told him it would typically include naked people and that was a good sign for him of what it was… and that he would probably have a gut feel that there was something wrong. I encouraged him to stay away, or walk away, and to feel free to come talk to me about it. I asked him if he had already seen anything like that, and except for some (by today’s standards) very tame confusions about people referencing sex on TV, he said no.
I was relieved since I had seen my first Playboy at about age 6 (found or stashed it in the woods by some neighborhood kids).
I asked him if he had any questions about anything, but (no surprise) he did not.
Since we had talked a little scary at the end, I wanted to reiterate once more that sex was a wonderful good gift from God and that someday he would want to know all about it and that I would be looking forward to talking about it anytime he wanted to… anything at all.
The next day, by the way, I asked if he had come up with any questions. He hadn’t.
A few times throughout the year, I asked again… he didn’t. The next year he would.
This has taken more space than I expected, so I think I will stop here to avoid creating an article that is too long to read. The last two headings next week. Click here to continue