For the past nine years, “God takes a little piece of mommy, and a little piece of daddy, puts them together in mommy’s tummy and grows a baby!” has been enough to satisfy my boys on the topic of how babies are really made.
About eight months ago, it became clear to me that if my husband and I wanted to be the ones to have “the talk” with our boys before anyone else got to it, the time was now.
You might be wondering why in the world I would want to have this talk with my boys at their young age (7 and 9).
My answer? Hal and Melanie Young, who wrote the amazing book Raising Real Men, say that if you wait until a boy is 10-11 years old, you’ve waited too long. Our boys have iPads they use as a support to their violin lessons, and access to a monitored computer. They also use old iPhones in order to be able to carry their (completely safe) music with them everywhere they go.
With kids’ first pornography viewings averaging around age 11 or 12, it’s easy to see why time was ticking away for my husband and I to be what Hal and Melanie call “the firstest with the mostest.” (Related: We now have the Covenant Eyes filtering system installed on every device in our home, including mine, and highly recommend it).
I actually had a dream (nightmare?) in which the little girl who lives beside us was sitting in a tree describing the birds and the bees to my boys. Shudder.
I’ve worked hard to maintain open communication with my boys throughout their lives. There’s not much they won’t tell me, not too many questions they won’t ask. But you see, I found out about sex in the back of a minivan on the way home from a swim meet from a friend’s older sister who thought it her duty to educate all the younger girls. The way she talked about it made me feel ashamed and honestly, dirty, and I never told my parents it happened (surprise mom and dad!).
Not a word. No way.
I know from personal experience that hearing about something as sensitive as sex in the wrong way can make a child clam up. I personally felt as though I’d done something wrong by even listening to the conversation (in truth, I was way too young to know to leave, and probably couldn’t have if I’d thought of it), and at the time, wasn’t really in to confessing my failures to my mom and dad.
In addition to that, the way the world teaches our kids about sex today is just plain wrong. They’ll find out about the world’s views on sex soon enough, but I believe it’s my job as their parent to give them a biblical framework from which to understand everything that gets thrown their way.
So I immediately began searching for some material to guide me. I had a few basic requirements:
- Biblically accurate (of course).
- Not too graphic.
- Not above their comprehension level (in other words, appropriate for their age range).
- Correct terminology (no pet names).
- Coming from an overall framework of the goodness of God’s design, celebrating God and his gift to us.
- But also pretty straightforward. I wanted this to be an introductory stage, where we share the basics and expand on them later. Because we homeschool, I kind of wanted it to be like an expansion of our science curriculum, but one that celebrated God’s design of the human body and reproductive system).
So obviously, I took to the internet.
After searching for options, I landed on a study by Luke Gilkerson called, The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality.
I’ve used many of Luke and Trisha’s materials over the years with my boys (we especially love their Write Through the Bible cursive series and their study on The Apostle’s Creed), and I trust them to provide solid, biblical studies that are perfect for children and families. The Talk is exactly what I was looking for.
“When it comes to the matter of teaching kids about sex, Christian parents are often confused about what to say and when to say it. The Talk is a series of 7 studies, all anchored in the Scriptures, that helps parents to talk meaningfully with children about sexuality. The Talk was written for parents to read with children ages 6 to 10 years old. The study supplies elementary-age children with foundational truths about sexuality at a level they can understand.”
We recently started going through the material over breakfast with our sons as a family. I purposefully chose a week to study this when I knew my husband would be home and able to join in. In fact, he’s been the one leading most of the discussions.
(Because we have all boys, it felt right to do it this way. I considered asking him to do the study alone with the boys, but ultimately decided against it because I want to keep the lines of communication open between me and my boys. Refraining from the study felt like I was communicating that there were some things off limits for mom, and that’s not the message I want to convey).
There have been some moments that made me want to hide under a rock…I won’t lie. My sweet little boys have been wide-eyed, fascinated, and disgusted all at the same time. There’s been some laughter, and some warnings to leave the responsibility of educating their friends to their friends’ parents. But overall, it really hasn’t been that bad. In fact, it’s actually been pretty good.
To me, that’s the mark of a successful study.
Grab a copy of The Talk for your family, today!
Luke and Trisha Gilkerson provided me with a free copy of The Talk for free. That being said, I truly loved it, and never recommend products I don’t.
I love that you have joined your boys Brooke! As a single Mom, I did decide to tackle the talks myself. There were some touch and go moments, and there has been some eye rolling. BUT, I also wanted them to know that although these are private conversations, they are not taboo to speak of in your family. My prayer is because we have been open, they will be open with their future wives when they need to talk about sex.
Way to go, Trena!
This is great. Sharing with husband. Thanks for the resources!
I’ve had the conversation in full at age nine and eight respectively. My nine-year-old son was exposed to more than I would have liked, but gratefully came and told me what was inappropriate. Open and honest discussions that are ongoing help to create an ongoing sexual identity and I pray they are developing a healthy and realistic view of this topic.
I have taught the birds and the bees using this booklet to my boys, 6 and 9. I originally did not plan to include my 6 year-old until he started bombarding me with questions, such as “what is sexy”? This booklet provided a biblical way to share the message that sex is a precious gift from God when the loving act is between a married man and woman.
I’ve been amazed at how the “sexy” word is thrown around with children these days, Sara. My boys don’t understand what it really means, but they hear friends using it. It’s hard. I think you made the right decision.
I don’t know if you read this: ,http://natepyle.com/seeing-a-woman/#sthash.Ut8P3YPK.HShULQb8.dpbs sorry the link didn’t post as a link. It’s an article by Nate Pyle about talking to boys about how to “see” girls…very very good. My husband and I raised 4 boys and a girl…I wish we’d had this a LOT sooner.
You’re right on and I’m enjoying your blog even though our guys are grown, our baby girl is 18 now and we’re playing with a grand son and have another on the way!
What do you mean “Biblically accurate”? The Bible is not a biology textbook.
Hi Ben, I wanted the book we used to explain biblical sexuality, reinforcing God’s design for a loving sexual relationship inside of marriage. I also wanted it to reinforce the biblical concept and value of life at conception. Perhaps I should’ve explained that better. Thanks for asking me to clarify!