Talking to kids about S.E.X. ..and what to say, in a Christian way.
Okay, but beyond that. We want… • To keep them from having sex before they are married? • To keep them from getting pregnant before they are responsible for themselves? • To keep them from contracting diseases? • To be virgins still at 18? • What’s your goal? NO SEX!
IF sex is so taboo/sinful/ unmentionable that we can’t speak openly about it, • IF they grow up thinking that sex is forbidden and shameful, • THEN how do they accept themselves as sexual beings? • THEN what do they think of themselves if they fail to abstain? • THEN what about later, when we want them to have a healthy sex life with their spouse and give us grandbabies? Guilt & Shame vs.Grace & Peace
Why talk to your kids about sex? • Their peers are / will be talking about sex. • Children’s perceptions of sexuality can be influenced by friends, television, music, movies, etc. • Parents need to influence their perceptions.
Why talk to your kids about sex? • Your child’s health • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) • At least 25 known STDs today vs. 2 in 1960 • 1 in every 4 adolescents contract an STD vs. 1 in every 25 in 1970 • Some current STDs are fatal. • Pregnancy • 8% of total births in Florida during the year 2000 were to women age 18 and under
Why talk to your kids about sex? • Your kids want you to talk to them about it! • 94% of teens polled stated that adults should let teens know they should wait to have sex at least until after high school. • 88% of teens say it would be easier to avoid early sexual activity if they were able to have open, honest conversations about sex with their parents. • 59% of teens say their parents are their role models of healthy, responsible relationships.
When to talk about S. E. X. General Suggestions Shameless Setting Developmental stages Be proactive
Talking about sex is NOT a 1-time conversation • It is ongoing and continuous • Start young using everyday events • “Teachable moments” • Child Led: they ask ~ you answer When should you talk to your kids about sex?
Children tend to be most receptive to their parents’ sexual values when they are around 8 or 9. • Students in upper elementary grades are the most likely to make favorable attitude changes about delaying sexual activity. • Talk to them when they’re the most curious, not when they’re most hormonal! Parents often say too little, too late.
How to talk to about S. E. X. Teachable moments How specific at what age Do’s and Don’ts of communication Abstinence/virginity/sexual purity Guilt & shame vs. grace & peace
Starting the conversation about sex: • Use teachable moments • Current events • Bristol Palin and / Jamie Lynn Spears pregnancy • Media • Commercials • TV show content • Movies • Book or article
Starting the conversation about sex: • Don’t be afraid to practice before having the conversation. • Role play with a friend, family member, or spouse. • Role play with yourself in the mirror. I think we need to talk to them about this.
More teachable moments… • Local events • Situations involving friends, family members, or people in the community • Child curiosity • Take advantage of questions children naturally ask and facilitate deeper conversations • Changes in your child • Visible signs of sexual maturity such as developing breasts or facial hair
Talking to your young child 3-10 years. They’ll break the ice before they’re 4! Book by Deborah Roffman: but how’d I get in there in the first place? ..but how’d the baby get in there? …and how does it get out? Momma, why does your pee-pee have hair on it? Daddy’s tail is on backwards!
Tips from Pediatricians Answer their questions with matter-of-fact responses. Use the correct terminology and explain what the body part does. Define “private parts”. Use generic examples so you aren’t describing what mommy and daddy do when they have intercourse. T.M.I.! Let them explore their bodies without shame. Self-stimulation is normal. Also, fantasies are normal. Explain, they can touch themselves when they are alone. That’s private.
Focus on the facts • Anatomy of males and females • Sexual intercourse and pregnancy / fertility • Other forms of sex including oral sex, anal sex, masturbation, and physical intimacy • The physical and emotional side of sex including differences between males and females Talking about sex with adolescents How specific?
Focus on the facts continued… • STDs • What are STDs and when is there a risk of contracting them? • “Safe sex” and contraception • Rape and date rape • Including discussions about risks raised by intoxication and accepting rides or going places with people who put you at risk • Sexual rights • You have the right to… • stop any sexual contact with a partner at any time. • say no to any unwanted touch at any time. • make your own sexual decisions. • not be pressured into being physical or sexual. • not express your sexuality if you choose not to.
Keep it simple • Share facts • Use proper terminology • Find out what your child knows… listen to their responses and reactions • Be prepared to repeat yourself • Try to appear relaxed • Be conscious of your tone of voice and body language Communication DO:
Laugh at them or giggle nervously. • Roll your eyes. • Talk only about sex! Sex is interwoven in to: • Commitment • Communication • Choosing a mate • Marriage • Having Children • Expectations Communication DON’T:
Asking the right questions is key! Open ended = Good Closed ended = Bad “opens” up a topic Requires explanation to be answered Can be answered with a “yes” or “no” Does not allow for elaboration or discussion May force your child in to lying instead of being honest
Communication 2 most important messages to convey:
Abstinence isn’t just saying “No” to sex It’s saying “YES!” to the rest of your life
Abstinence education is not “sex is bad” • Not intended to be “just say no” • Instead, focuses on helping youth understand how to achieve goals, create positive relationships, and live the happiest and healthiest life possible
Definition of Abstinence: • A positive lifestyle for an adolescent that promotes self-control, character and a solid foundation for friendships and for committed love within the context of marriage. • Abstinence is the commitment to not participate in sexual activity. -What is the Definition of Abstinence. (n.d). Retrieved January 28, 2006 From http://www.greattowait.com/program.html#definition • Youth ages 12 to 17 who had abstinence education defined "abstinence" as including many sexual behaviors while only avoiding vaginal intercourse. So be specific when you define abstinence with your child.
There are no Guarantees in life… • Abstinence is the only 100% effective method of protection from the possible physical, emotional, mental and social consequences of sex outside of marriage. • Teens that make a virginity pledge delay initiation of sexual intercourse by 18 months. • BUT, they are one-third LESS LIKELY to use contraception at first intercourse than are their non-pledging peers; and therefore, more likely to become pregnant or contract STD. So take the best of both schools: Abstinence AND Sex Ed. http://www.themediaproject.com/topics/abstinencecontraception.htm
sex marriage love friendship Relationships built on lust There is no foundation. It will fall and quickly.
Recent research has found that 61% of teen relationships that involve sexual activity end within 3 months • 80% end within 6 months • In the U.S., the typical age at first sexual intercourse is 17.2. Teen perception that sex will make their relationship stronger = false!
Present and Future Benefits of Abstinence • Emotional Well-Being • Physical Well-Being • Goal Achievement • Dating/Relationships Marriage
Wait until you are older Wait until you feel ready Wait until you are in Love Wait until you are in a mutually faithful, monogamous, long term relationship I’m old enough. My friends are already doing it. I feel ready now I AM in LOVE!! Whatever! I will be the only virgin left on the planet! Popular Terminology vs. Possible Teen-Brain Interpretations
Caution Teen Brain- UNDER CONSTRUCTION • Blame the Amygdala! • Feelings • Impulses • Gut-level judgments • Emotional decisions Girls usually have fully- developed judgment by their late teens. Boys, early twenties.
CEO of the Brain = Pre-frontal Cortex Pre-frontal Cortex functions include: • Organizing thoughts • Planning and decision making • Moral intelligence • Rational behavior • Abstract thinking THIS PART OF THE BRAIN UNDERGOES MASSIVE CHANGES DURING ADOLESCENCE! This affects a teen’s risk-taking behavior and judgment skills
The importance of Parental Involvement • Teens say their parents have more influence over their decisions about sex than anyone else. • Teens that have strong emotional attachments to their parents are much less likely to become sexually active at an early age
Family Expectations • Expand your definition of Abstinence and purity to include appearance and attitudes. • Let your children know that they are valuable and worth waiting for. • Be specific about what is and what isn’t acceptable in your family- (allowing forgiveness).
Helping Teens Avoid Sexual Activity • Think and reflect about the following questions as truthfully as you can…
If you have answered “yes” to these, …then you have built in protective factors that will help keep your children abstain from sexual activity! “Reducing the Risk: Connections that Make a Difference in the Lives of Youth” by Robert Wm. Blum, M.D. and Peggy Mann Rinehart, PhD, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, University of Minnesota.
From the Medical Institute for Sexual Health • Remember, there are over 25 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and some can last a lifetime with no cure, while others can cause infertility and cancers. www.medinstitute.org
What’s the secret to raising kids in a sexually explicit world? • Let them know that sex is a wonderful gift from God, intended to be shared between a married couple. • Ultimately, it is your relationship with your children that ingrains your family’s values and expectations about purity and sex. • Let your child know how you love them and want them to have a future full of healthy, happy, fulfilling relationships. Tell them that healthy futures don’t just happen. They take planning and smart choices.
It’s never too late. What if my child has already had sex
You know how happy I am to be your mom/dad, right? • I understand that many of the kids your age have sex. How many kids do you know who are having sex? • Tell me about the peer pressure to have sex. • Where are you with all this? • How do you feel about your choices so far? If your teen hasn’t told you so, but you think they are having sex, start with questions.
Ask if they’ve been hurt or forced to have sex. Sexual coercion, abuse & violence are NOT okay. • STD screening by M.D. is very important since infections are common among sexually active teens. • Tell them how STD’s can be prevented by using condoms. • Daughter? Pregnancy test. • Tell her that there are many ways to prevent pregnancy before she’s finished being a kid. • Talk with them about emotional consequences of sex, about broken hearts and breaking up. If they have had sex: Be honest. Share your feelings, But be concerned, not angry. It isn’t too late to be influential on their future choices.
How to help them return to a sexually pure lifestyle: Empathize with their conflicted feelings. Remind them that sex is a special gift from our creator that is intended for a committed, secure relationship. Be straight-forward. They don’t have to keep having sex just because they already started. Tell them you wish they will wait for their life partner. Set appointments to talk regularly – daily, before dates, Friday afternoons, etc. Recognize that it’s not an easy choice to abstain, especially now. Empower their character. Help them set goals and strategies to minimize temptation and situational struggles.
Grace and Peace • If they did it, they did it. They can’t get that first time back. And the past carries with it physical and emotional consequences. But spiritually, it is possible to start over. Passages to read together: • Jesus lesson for Nicodemus in John 3:4 • Paul’s letter to Corinthians I Cor. 6:9-11 • They need your forgiveness… • They need to ask God for forgiveness… • They need to forgive themselves… …not for who they are or who they’ve become because they are still your child and a child of God. GRACE …but for the choice they made, for letting themselves down. PEACE
Sex and GodSex and The Bible How to help your child understand their sexuality from a biblical perspective.
God’s Word Lay a spiritual foundation for sexual purity. Study the scripture’s approach to sexuality with your kids. God created sex and sex is good! God gives strong instruction on sexual sins. Pray for and with your children as they face more and more temptation.
John 15:17 • Rom. 12:9-10 • 1 Cor. 13 • 1 John 4:7 – 5:5 What the Scripture says about Sex, context: LOVE
Gen. 1:26-28 • Song of Solomon • Prov. 6:20- 35 • Prov. 7:1-27 • Matt. 5:27-30 • Mark 7:18-23 • 1 Cor. 6:12-20 • Gal. 5:16-21 • Eph. 5:3 • Col. 3:5-9 • 1 Thess. 4:3-8 What the Scripture says about Sex, context: God’s Gift of Sex