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How and When to Tell Your Kids about Sex
In the next chapter, we will give you a way of thinking about your child’s
character that will help you understand how to shape that character, and
we will build on this throughout this book. How your child responds to
pressure to experiment with sex at age fourteen or to view pornography at
age eleven will have less to do with the biology they know and more to do
with their moral character and strength. The job of building their character
belongs first and foremost with you as the parent.
PRINCIPLE 2: Parents are the principal sex educators.
No one will have an impact on your children like you. If you avoid dealing with this topic, your impact will be confusing, frustrating, unsure,
and unclear. If you take it on directly, you have the opportunity to have a
powerful, clear, healthy, and positive influence on your child.
Sex education is about much more than “sex proofing” children
through the teenage years. It is about preparing them to handle God’s
gift of sexuality rightly throughout life, preparing them to experience all
the fullness of God’s blessing as they date, get engaged, marry, and have
children themselves—or as they live out their calling as singles.
Children start learning about sexuality from their earliest moments. They
learn about sexuality from watching how their moms and dads treat each
other. They soak in the messages of the media, of their peers, of our culture in
general. We urge you to start sex education early in the life of your children.
PRINCIPLE 3: First messages are the most potent.
Why try to be first? Let’s say someone was teaching your child the wrong
way to spell or do math. You wouldn’t abandon your child to the wrong
answers for years and then try to correct those erroneous habits after the
fact. Then why do we let our kids learn about sexuality from secular society
for years and then try to correct all that when they are thirteen? It is much
more powerful and effective to provide your children with a solid and ­age-
­appropriate foundation from the start.
Remember also that if you do not talk to your kids about sex, your silence
is not just an absence of information. Your silence in fact teaches your kids
that Dad and Mom do not want to talk about sex and are probably not
a good source of information about sex. You teach by silence that sex is
shameful or secret, which will drive them to others for information.
By seizing the opportunity to teach them about sex, you communicate
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