Just thinking about “the talk” brings so many thoughts and emotions to the surface. You may be thinking, “It seems like just yesterday he/she was born!” The truth is, children are growing up quickly and learning things at an earlier age than ever before. The idea of children learning about their bodies and other intimate topics from peers at school or even the media can be frightening. Children are curious, so let’s do more than hope and pray they come to us when they have questions.
Parents are the most reliable source for trusted information for children. A perfect time to begin important conversations is when changes happen to their bodies. We can approach body growth changes positively and with understanding. Puberty is such an amazing part of growing up, so empowering our children to love the person they are becoming is important. Using resources such as kidshealth.org can help parents explain the changes that are occurring and reassure children how normal it is. This resource specifically aids parents in talking to their children. It even offers articles for kids to read for themselves. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also has a great webpage to help cover some of the physical changes bodies go through during puberty.
Once the topic of body changes has been introduced, a natural pivot in conversation to more intimate topics is possible. Let’s face it, we should have lots of talks throughout the teen years on the topics of respect, relationship building, boundary setting, etc.
No matter the timing of the talks, we need to remember to keep having them! Teaching our children to respect themselves is so important, particularly in today’s culture. We unfortunately live in a time where pornography is widely accepted as being the norm. Pornography degrades body image and teaches a false sense of intimacy. The following source will prepare you for a conversation that will hopefully keep pornography out of sight and out of mind. Covenant Eyes
The I Decide for Me program offered by Clarity teaches children the value they have and how to make healthy choices that will positively impact their lives. It provides education about the importance of abstinence and establishing safe and healthy boundaries. Not only is it a wonderful resource for our children, but it can also be used as a tool to further conversations about sexual health at home.