Parents…please talk to your children about sex!!! Do NOT leave it up to others to do this very important element of parenting. No matter how “unqualified” you may think you are….the fact that you have children to talk about it to shows that you at least have a rudimentary understanding of the process! Public education, culture, television, church….these can all help or hurt the process…but none of these should ever be substituted or relied on for being your child’s primary source of understanding.
Some keys for approaching:
1. A blanket approach may not work. Each child has a different level of understanding, and different questions/issues they may have. A “group” or “family” discussion can be helpful, but make sure you also have personal time with each child.
2. Don’t avoid “dirty” words. Even if you get red in the face, blunt honesty with your child lets them know this is a topic you’re willing to love them enough to approach. This doesn’t mean certain “slang” terms…but the everyday ones that we try and make up nicer words for.
3. Do it more than once! Your children are new people every day! Don’t assume that a 12 year old agreeing with you will end up being a 15 year old with no questions.
4. YOU know your children better than any 10 step system, or 3 category process of “how to speak to your children about important issues”. Be honest, show them your heart, and share with them God’s design for a loving relationship.
5. PRAY AS OFTEN AS YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD. They face a world of temptations on a regular basis…we believe in prayer, right? Let’s do it then.
This is not an exhaustive, or an experts list. Just a 26 year old parent of 2 baby girls….who loves teenagers, and their families, and realizes that far too many people will be watching to see what Nickelodeon can teach their children for them about sex.
For the record, I do not think they should be stealing this role from the millions of parents who probably won’t even realize it’s been stolen.