How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex
#5 Don’t Leave Them Alone
In our last post, we began to discuss why Mark and I decided to tell our children about sex at the ages we did. The first reason was because we wanted to be the ones who filled their sponge, we wanted to be the first ones to pick up the pen and help to start writing their sexual stories. The second reason we wanted to start the conversation with them while they were young because the average age a child first sees pornography is 7. Stop. Re-read that and breathe.
Sweet friends, I don’t care how killer tight your filters are, I don’t care if you blindfold your child as you walk past Victoria’s Secret, I don’t care if you’ve bubbled wrapped your child and never let them out of your house… The question isn’t IF your child will be exposed to pornography, it’s WHEN they are exposed to pornography have we equipped them to properly respond?
Imagine a child who comes across porn at 9 years old, but their parents have decided to wait till they are 13 to tell them about sex. That child will sit in what we can only imagine is shame and confusion for 4 unnecessary years (longer if the child was exposed sooner). I swore I wasn’t going to give ages, but y’all, waiting till your child is 13 is to talk to them about sex is waiting too long.
Our goal is to be wise in regards to protecting our children against pornography. We do in fact have filters. Our computer is used in our main living area. Our kids have been taught to avoid other people’s devices outside of our home because other people have different standards than we do. We have extensive processes before our kids get devices. We spend hours educating ourselves so we can be prepared to help our kids. But the single greatest defense we’ve got going is open and honest conversations about what our kids are seeing. “Mom, I was watching a 5-minute craft and I saw something inappropriate!” “Ok, baby. Why don’t you pull up the video so we can watch it together and you show me what was inappropriate!”
Talking about sex with our kiddos on the early side, set us up to talk about pornography on the early side.
One of my favorite resources is Not If But When: Preparing Our Children for Worldly Images by Perritt
The truth is we can’t be everywhere with our children, and we are trying to raise our children to leave. Our goal has been to equip them and try and set them up with tools to navigate pornography for the rest of their lives. And for us, that has meant not leaving them alone in their sexual journey!