We, as parents, have this amazing gift of watching our babies slowly mature into toddlers and then before we know it they are entering the season that some call tween and then the teen years. About this tween stage parents start getting the wiggles about the “talk” that they are “supposed” to have with their child. Parents often dance around it like it is a cobra ready to strike and then what?
I am facing these pre-teen years head on and all that comes with it but does the “sex talk” really start in this season of life or should it start much earlier?
You see, our babies brains develop a sense of self worth early on. The healthy affection they receive, the needs being met, the affirmation of who they are as they develop, all of these things begin a solid foundation for our children’s healthy sexuality.
As our children grow we teach them about healthy boundaries. When we teach them about their private areas, the correct names of the private parts and then teach them what is appropriate, we are beginning to equip them. When we teach them what to do if someone is tickling or touching or asking them to touch in these areas then we are equipping them to protect themselves. We have taught our children how to yell and where they can hit if anyone tries to touch them inappropriately.
From an early age we talk about the value of a kiss. We share about why we don’t kiss everyone and we begin reading books about protecting our kisses. Our favorite book about cherishing kisses is “The Princess and the Kiss” by Jennie Bishop. This book is a story about a princess protecting her kiss and as her suitors come she turns so many away because they wouldn’t value her kiss. Oh, you will have to get the book to see the ending. It is truly a beautiful story. Even my boys like it. 🙂
Another thing we talk about with our children but especially with our boys is guarding the eyes. A wonderful resource to start the visual understanding for our children is the book, “The Squire and the Scroll” by Jennie Bishop. Our children love this one too. At one point the young squire chooses to guard his eyes and it prevents him from being turned into stone. The brave knight thought he could handle the images and he did not fare so well. I highly recommend this book. Something clicked with my boys when we read this book and then discussed the effect of what we watch. Our children watch us for an example of how to respond to images on magazines, television, movies and people around us. If our children are constantly seeing images of unhealthy sexuality and inappropriate images this will not train their brains to view this as wrong. Instead, they will become desensitized and view the unhealthiness as normal.
I realize this is not always easy if you are a single parent or if your marriage is battling but please hear me out. Children learn so much from their parents behavior towards one another. They learn what a healthy marriage looks like and what healthy affection is. Jason and I kiss (closed mouth) in front of our children, we embrace often and touch often but it is always appropriate. This is so very important for our children to see. The security of mom and dad is really very important but please do not give up if this is not what you have been able to give your children. God can reach into the deepest places of our hearts and our children’s hearts to heal. I am one such child, having come from a broken home.
I am going to carry this subject into tomorrow. There is more a brewin’ in my brain.
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden , like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations ; you will be called the Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. ” Isaiah 58:11-12
Our God is a restorer of the broken!