As a mother raising seven children in today’s culture, I have often wondered how in the world was I going to raise pure, honest, and Godly children, especially when it came to bodily temptations.
Can I raise them to save sex for marriage? Can I raise them to have a life free of pornography/harmful addictions? Can I raise true men and women of God that respect and honor each other? So how does one accomplish this?
Listening is just as important as talking
The verdict is still out for me, but I think the first step is the willingness to have open-ended, consistent, and casual conversations. Listening is just as important as talking. When it comes to “sex talks” we often worry “are our children ready?” However, I believe sometimes it is us as the parents that are not ready. This can result in the absence of the many needed conversations. This allows the world to give them their first sex talk.
There is an appropriate time to talk to our kids about sex, but if we are waiting till the very last moment possible, know that there’s a good chance you won’t be the first to do so.
Be bold and purposeful
My husband and I have answered many questions, asked many questions, and often questioned ourselves on the appropriate information to share. Our oldest four kids are a year apart, so this makes our sex talks quite frequent. These conversations look different with each child because they are on such different levels. It may be what a specific word means or explaining how a baby comes out or the dreaded question of how it got in there in the first place.
Our oldest is more mature and asked questions earlier, so we spoke with him multiple times before we spoke to our second son at all. As parents of seven children, we’ve come to realize that it is rare that the child will invite the conversation about sex. Don’t take their silence to mean that they are not curious. It’s really up to us to boldly and purposefully open the door for these discussions.
One of the first things we did was to tell our kids that if they haven’t already they will start to hear things at school about sex. We’ve been straightforward with our children that what they hear is not always accurate. We’ve told them that we want to be their supplier of information because we’ve already lived it. I go ahead and tell them this from the beginning. I don’t put their friends down, but I clearly let them know they are not a reliable source.
I loved Mary Flo Ridley’s book called Simple Truths. I think it is a must-listen for any parent. She speaks of how kids are like sponges, and we can slowly and appropriately fill their sponge. When culture tries to pour out its poison on our kids, their sponges won’t have room to absorb it. They will always know mom and dad are a safe place to come back to when they learn more and more. They know you’ve already touched on it and that it’s not a subject that is off-limits.
We must determine ahead of time that when they do come to us we must keep our reactions neutral. We need them to know that nothing they say will shock us (even if it secretly does!)
Our children are being exposed to sexual content earlier than ever before. May this mobilize us to action because stifling discussions does not help our children. Let’s open up Christian resources and get on the same page as our spouse or other positive voices in our children’s lives.