Parents today have a greater responsibility than ever to talk to their children about sex, intimacy, proper body images, privacy, sacredness, and what is right and wrong at young ages. While I don’t necessarily believe the world is full of more child molesters and sexual predators than ever before, it is teeming with people who do not have a correct or healthy view of sexuality, intimacy, marriage, relationships, boundaries, privacy, and pornography. Our media is over-saturated with messages and images that support incorrect views on sex. And since our world is consuming and more media in larger quantities, children at younger and younger ages are being exposed to graphic images, pornography, and incorrect views about our bodies and relationships. As parents we have the moral obligation to instruct our children in what is good about our genders, the opposite gender, sex, intimacy, and our bodies. As parents we have the blessed opportunity to be the one who our children turn to when confronted with shocking or new information and images, someone who loves them and trusts them. So we need to talk early and frequently with our children about sex.
I was recently given the book 30 Days of Sex Talks: Empowering Your Child with Knowledge of Sexual Intimacy for Ages 3-7 (they have books for kids 8-11 and 12+ too!) to review and I love what the Educate and Empower Kids company is doing with these books. I agreed to review this book, in part because I had already written two posts on my site about talking to kids about sex – What to do when those Awkward Mother-Daughter Conversations Start and How did the baby get in your tummy? 6 Tips for Having “The Talk” with Preschoolers. My husband and I are working hard to establish an open dialogue at home about our bodies, about men, women, marriage, kissing, relationships, privacy, and all of it. Our oldest, twin girls, just turned five, and are curious often about different things, and about how things work and why things are the way they are.
What I really like about the 30 Days of Sex Talks is that the 30 days are more like 30 mini discussions to have with your kids. It’s a curriculum of dialogue you should have and discuss with your children in the various age ranges. At five, the middle point of this beginner book (ages 3-7) they are able to understand most of the material found in it, and most of it will apply to them.
While my husband and I have already discussed many of the lessons found in this book, especially the first 10 days, I realize there are still several things we haven’t discussed with with our daughters, or things that our girls aren’t doing well, like locking the bathroom door behind them in public restrooms (or at friend’s houses or in our own house). And we haven’t talked to them about what to do if they need help in a bathroom, or about which adults to trust and who might not be good to trust (other than of course the typical “stranger danger” people trying to offer them candy, grab them, or take them away, etc). And we haven’t really gotten very far into a conversation about romantic love, or about pornography.
Many of these days really require that my husband and I discuss between ourselves what we think about a given topic, what our house rules will be, what we’ll call certain body parts, what is and isn’t acceptable, and so on. The best way to have these sex talks with our kids is of course with my husband beside me. Like I mentioned in my previous post, being on the same page with your spouse, and rehearsing what you’ll say, helps you feel comfortable talking about these sometimes difficult subjects with your children.
I highly recommend this series of books for you to use as a guide for you family. The book is short, the daily lessons are just simple bullet points about one aspect of sexual intimacy. Several are even positive and lighthearted like day 14 – “You have feelings and emotions that connect you.” and Day 1:
Whether you pick up 30 Days of Sex Talk or not, think seriously about talking to your kids about sex. It’s really never too early. And as you have mini, organic, dialogues, they will become easier, and your child will (hopefully) be comfortable talking to you about confusing images or feelings they may have seen or experienced. That is definitely what you want! You are their moral guide to understand their bodies, their gender, their privacy, and someday sex and intimacy. So, make sure your child can talk to you, again and again, not just during some big, one-time-only “the talk.”