I was blessed as a kid with parents who spoke clearly and appropriately about sex. The summer before I went into sixth grade, I remember my dad taking me camping to Lake Atsion. It was here that we spent time camping and cooking. And it was here that my dad gave me “the talk” about sex. I’m sure it was somewhat awkward for both of us, but this was clearly an important conversation.
From what I’ve heard, most kids don’t learn about the birds and the bees from this type of candid discussion from their parents. Most kids learn from their peers, from pornographic magazines and websites, and from experimentation.
Leanne and I decided early on in our parenting that we didn’t want our kids learn first about sex from others. Several years ago at a Family Life Marriage Conference, we picked up a four book series called “God’s Design for Sex.” Each book is written for a different age group to give parents the tools to talk to their kids about sex with age appropriate material. Leanne read through these books with Hannah already, and I’ve been reading the books with our son. As Isaac is in the first weeks of sixth grade, we are finishing up the third book in the series. There’s been a little awkwardness as we’ve talked about things like periods, AIDS, and about some of the “mechanics” of sex. (I’m an engineer, I couldn’t help it.) But our conversation has also been good.
I’m thankful for the example of my parents, for helpful tools like these books, and for the chance to teach our kids about a subject that matters.
How did you learn about sex? How have you handled this subject with your own kids?