A Potpourri of Biblical and Practical Perspectives
on a Variety of Topics . . .
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Q: Could you recommend books or ways to talk to boys about sex, as well as learning respect for sexuality?
A: We haven’t found it necessary to use books to explain sex to our children so I’m afraid I don’t know any to recommend but I’ll share how we deal with sex and sexuality at different ages:
Ages 0 - 3 Allow them to point out body parts on themselves, you and daddy and simply state what it is just as you would when they point out their nose or tummy. They are just naturally curious about those parts of anatomy just like they’re curious about anything else.
Ages 4 - 8 They will begin making comments and asking questions. “Wow, mommy, I don’t have those!” “Why doesn’t baby Susie have a penis?” Don’t laugh (as hard as this is sometimes!) and also don’t make them feel bad for asking. He/she is just coming to an age of awareness and is noticing differences. Remind them that this is something we talk about at home with only mom and dad to teach modesty and privacy. This is also the age when we started to have to answer questions about sex itself, “Mommy, how did the baby get in your tummy?” Don’t panic! This isn’t that hard to answer! My mom gave me the best advice concerning this: Give them the simplest possible answer to their question. Answer truthfully and yet very vague and simple so that you’re not giving them graphic details that they aren’t yet ready to hear. These simple answers can slowly progress as they get older and are ready for more information. This is also the age when boys may notice scantily-clothed women on the front cover of magazines in the check-out aisle. Our boys would draw my attention to it with concern in their voice. My response was, “Oh, look how that lady is choosing to use her body. God doesn’t want us to show our bodies like that. And look at her eyes. Does she look like a happy, nice lady who loves God? No. How sad.” I don’t rebuke them for noticing, but take the opportunity to show them a healthy way to respond to it since that, sadly enough, is a part of the world they live in.
Ages 9 – 12 These are the years for most of the details about sex. Sadly, kids nowadays hear about sex much earlier than we did, so in order to have them learn about it the way you want them to, fathers should be ready to have “the talk” with their sons and mothers should do the same with their daughters. Be open to answer any questions without rebuke for curiosity. Be calm and explain clearly. Remember to convey that this topic is perfectly innocent to talk about with parents but not with friends or others and we don’t act inappropriately about it as we see people in the world doing. Another issue at this age is how siblings act with each other. By this age, brothers and sisters should always be covered, bathroom door closed, not allowed to come into each other’s rooms when changing, etc. Watch for any inappropriate joking with an opposite sex sibling concerning sexual things. This could be very damaging to that sibling and if it’s allowed with a sibling, it’ll happen outside of the home. Protect your children’s purity and make sure your home is a safe atmosphere of learning not inappropriate, dangerous behavior.
I feel that “sex education” is a process that starts when they’re little and becomes just a part of our lives. It ought to be treated with modesty yet openness in the family so that when they become young adults the children will have the balance of being well-informed and yet appropriate and modest.
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About the Author: Christa Bartsch is a stay-at-home mom who lives in the Midwest. She has led seminar workshops for women on marriage and parenting. She has been happily married for twenty years and is the mother of five children.
WordExplain by James T. Bartsch