How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #13

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#13 When the room’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’…..

Ok. Everybody lighten up! Laugh a little. 😂 My title was supposed to make you smile. I realize this is a heavy topic. One that deserves to be spoken of with dignity and honor. But let me let you in on the best secret; when you do the hard work of laying the foundation for this topic, it can become the most joy-filled, funny, life-giving, God-honoring topic to discuss with your kids. Some of my favorite laughs and sweetest talks have stemmed from talking to our kids about sex.

Furthermore, if we believe God created and the world corrupted, if we believe sex is good and right, then why are we pretending that as married couples we aren’t having sex? Maybe, in all honesty, because some of you aren’t having sex, and that’s another series for another day. The world is not hesitating at all to flaunt their ideas about sex, but as parents, we hush, and sneak, and lie, and dodge, and cover up our sexual relationship as if it’s some contagious and horrific disease. Again, I’m not suggesting running around your home making crude and vile announcements about your marriage bed, but I have NO problem with my children understanding that when our bedroom door is locked, the message is clear, “Your father and I don’t want you in our room!” And the reasons for that can be endless. We are talking, we are “talking” 😏, you are driving us crazy and we are protecting you from near death, we are changing, we are sitting in our closet talking about the days when we didn’t have children and we are trying to figure out where we went wrong in life, etc…etc… 😬

I want my children to have a clear, robust understanding that a healthy married life consists of a healthy sex life, and sex isn’t just for procreation. God created it for our enjoyment. But I also want the details of the marriage bed to remain a holy mystery for them to uncover with their spouse! It’s a tight rope, and we all just have to beg for wisdom. 

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #12

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#12 They Won’t Understand All At Once

I’ll never forget any of the instances when we first walked with our children through the specifics of sex. With our firstborn, I literally had a script written out, “Now Mark, I’m going to say this then you say this! Don’t be too funny or too confusing!” I’m pretty sure I had started a prayer chain and people had signed up to pray around the clock. I felt like we were heading into a war scene. I was a nervous wreck, while sweat poured down Mark’s face.

Our sweet firstborn sat stunned with a blanket over her head the entire time we talked. The talk was a lot shorter than it was when we had run through our lines, but when you are racing through sex information you talk as fast as a caller at an auction. When we got to the end of our perfectly-scripted, prayed-over battle plan, we asked our girl if she had any questions. If you knew ANYTHING about 9-year-old Katie, you knew the girl asked approximately 4 million questions AN HOUR. As she slowly pulled the blanket down from her face, I was anticipating which of the rehearsed questions she was going to ask. Her little cheeks were bright red because she HAD BEEN SITTING UNDER A BLANKET probably hyperventilating, when she asked, “Can I go to bed now?!”

WHAT? No questions from the QUEEN of questions. You don’t need any clarity and deep moral and spiritual guidance???? “Of course you can go to bed, baby!” we told her.

Here’s the deal, your kid might have zero questions the first go around. Your kid WILL NOT remember everything you told them the first go around. They will be a little stunned and slightly horrified at the words coming out of your mouth. They could suffer from a little PTSD. They will remember the strangest things. That’s why part of the goal is simply to communicate that you and your spouse are a safe place to ask any and all questions moving forward, “Daddy and I want to answer ANY questions you might have any time you have them!” This statement alone opened the doorway for communication.

The good news is we got better and better with each “talk”…. Mark and I got more comfortable and learned from our previous mistakes. Our information, approach, and script (which got thrown out the window with Julia) were like a good wine, sweeter with time.

Cheers to all of you and your battle plans!

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #11

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#11 Do you talk about sex in a mixed company in your home?

Excellent question!

We do openly discuss all topics together as a family. One of the BEST things we did was when we first had “the talk” (remember you aren’t just going to have one talk—you want to have tons!) both Mark and I tried to be present. If it didn’t logistically work out for Mark and me to both be there for the initial conversation, the parent that was present encouraged the child to go to the other parent and tell them all about the conversation that was discussed.

I mean who better to help our daughters understand sex from a male perspective than their father? Who better to help our son understand sex from a female perspective than their mother? We wanted them to know from a very early age that we were BOTH safe. It was key to have this conversation with them before they naturally began to pull away from the parent of the opposite sex.

With that said, there are lots of times our son will ask Mark a question in private, or the girls will ask me a question, but on the whole, we talk about most stuff all together sitting around the dinner table or driving down the road. No off-limits conversation. And let me tell you, we’ve had some doozies 🙂

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #10

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#10 Resources

Y’all, I’ve compiled ALL my favorite resources into one single space. The books/websites I’ve listed are my go-to’s. I’ve learned so much from so many different sources. Widen the circle. Read a book. Click on a website. It’s all just one step in the right direction!

Click here for my favorite resources.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #9

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#9 What-If

Today is for all the parents who think they’ve missed the boat, and it’s too late to talk to their kids about sex.

Come so close so I can grab your face… IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

“No, Sara…. You don’t understand! We haven’t done any of these things and our kids are nearly grown.”

Y’all, our kids learn from our mistakes far more than they learn from our successes. Humble yourself, go to your child, apology and open the conversation TODAY! I don’t care if your kid 14, 24, 34, 44, 54, 64, 74 (if you have a child that’s seventy-four and you’re still living, I want to know you!)

“But Sara, I don’t know what to say! It’ll be awkward to talk to my grown daughter, who has her own children, about sex!”

Start with, “I’m sorry!”

I’m sorry that we didn’t talk about sex while you were growing up. I’m sorry if it caused you pain and shame. I’m sorry that my lack of communication about sex might have left you confused and alone. I’m sorry I did not help write this story on your heart. You were always worth being uncomfortable for, and I’m sorry we blew it. Will you forgive me? As parents, we are still growing and learning what it looks like to be Kingdom-minded. Is this an area where we can grow together?

It’s never too late, friends!!

PS If you have specific questions that I have not answered that you would like to see answered in this series PLEASE leave me a comment, or send me a FB message at Sara Littlejohn, or email me

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #7

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#7 Don’t start with “don’t”…..

I realize how ironic this statement is, but hear me out. We are BAD about this. The church is historically BAD about this. Anytime we approach this subject (especially with our teens) it’s obsessively rooted in “DON’T HAVE SEX TIL YOU’RE MARRIED!” And that’s the extent to which we go. I’m not sure how your parenting works, but simply telling my child not to do something hasn’t always been the most effective means of keeping them from doing something. 

Imagine you are potty-training your toddler and the only action you took in regards to helping them learn was, “don’t pee in your pants!” Some children’s personalities would be so motivated to please you as a parent that they would try their hardest to not pee their pants. Some children would pee their pants just to spite you. Some children would absolutely have no idea how to keep from peeing their pants.

Jay Stringer offers a similar analogy. What if we wanted to teach someone about cooking, but all we talked about was food poisoning. How distorted, confusing, and ill-prepared would someone be to actually cook and know the delicacies and wonders of food and cooking.

Y’all. This is what we do to our kids in regards to sex. We give this grand imperative and then we walk away and think we’ve “fulfilled” our parental-role. Then we are shocked when our children choose to do otherwise or find themselves in a position that wooed them to do otherwise.

No amount of “True Love Waits” conferences, no amount of purity rings, no amount of contracts, no amount of chaperones, no amount of accountability partners, no amount of attempts to legislate your child’s sexuality will actually put YOU in charge of their sexuality. Our children are moral responders and will have to make this choice and a million other choices for themselves. We can’t make it for them.

I can hear the rumble in the peanut gallery already. Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I believe God ordained sex to be between one man and one woman in the protection of a covenant marriage. I think there are REALLY important things we can do and say to help our children in this department. But I think we are on a fool’s errand if we simply think telling our children not to have sex before they are married is the primary goal and the primary tactic. It’s not.

Life, sex and Godliness is so much bigger and so much more beautiful than, “don’t have sex before you are married!”

There is so much destruction, perversion, pain and danger that can take place loonnngggg before anatomical parts meet.

I think abstinence should absolutely be the goal in parenting, but I think abstinence has become an idol in American churches. I think we’ve become distracted and obsessed with a moral outcome, as opposed to being experts on the children standing in front of us. I want my children to love their God with their entire being! I want my children to love others with their entire being! I want my children to tell the truth! I want my children to be kind! I want my children to be sacrificial and wise! I want my children to be discerning! I want my children to know their God is good, that He is safe, that He adores them and is moving toward them in every way! I want them to know He is in the business of redeeming brokenness. I want them to know their God is a healer, a rescuer, a guide, a forgiver and He is reason that life is worth living.

If the only relational goal we have for our children is to get them to their wedding day as virgins, we are failing and we will be failed.

Don’ start with don’t. Dive deeper, go wider prepare of feast of information for your child instead of an anemic appetizer.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #6

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

God created, the world corrupted.

Julie Lowe, one of my favorite professors, drilled this idea in to my mind and I see a lot of parents forget this reality: sex was God’s idea and He said THAT IT WAS GOOD!

Many parents hesitate or delay talking to their children because they don’t want to, “ruin their innocence…”

I honestly felt that exact same way!

But here’s the catch, my friends. I’ve never hesitated to talk to my children about what God created. From the earliest of ages I’m whispering in their ear, “look at that beautiful moon God made!”, “look at that sunset God painted to show us His glory!”, “look at all those billions upon billions of stars and think about how God knows their names… and He knows YOUR name!”

But somehow when it comes to the topic of sex we get tight-lipped and stand-offish.

God created, the world corrupted.

Talking about sex does not take away from our child’s innocence. Yes, there is weight in walking through that door and realizing you can’t ever walk back through, but it’s a right of passage to walk through that door WITH our kids! WE should be the ones holding their hands and whispering in their ears, “Let me tell you about this good, right, and precious thing that God created…..”

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #5

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!

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #3

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#3 Name the part and who can be A PART!

Yesterday, we talked about using the correct anatomical terms when teaching our kids about their body parts. In addition, it is important to tell your kids who has permission to touch their body and who does not. 93% of juvenile sexual abuse victims are abused by someone they know (RAINN).

Be specific here, vague does no one any good. For example, you are helping little Susie (2-4 years old, for us) bathe and you’re going over body parts, “Susie, I want you to know that the only people that get to touch your vagina, breasts, and bottom are me, daddy and Dr. Hall. But Dr. Hall only gets to touch you if we are in his office AND if mama and daddy are with you AND you are comfortable with him touching you. Your WHOLE body is very special. But these places on your body are really extraordinary and only really safe people, who have permission, get to help you with these body parts and touch these body parts.”

Obviously, everyone’s “safe” list will vary according to your specific family and friends. But make sure you give specific names. Recognize I don’t label all family, friends, teachers, coaches, and medical professionals as “safe.” I give the name of the family doctor and the location where it’s appropriate for this touching to take place and the caveat that either Mark or I are present.

In addition to instructing them about who can touch THEIR body, it’s important to cover that they are not allowed to touch anyone else’s special body parts. You can distinguish appropriate touches (hugs, holding hands, high-fives, pat on the back) from inappropriate touches.

The thinking is two-fold here. At some point, they will become curious about other people’s bodies. It’s good to establish now we aren’t going to explore other people’s bodies. Toddlers do this all the time. And it’s not even connected to their sexuality it’s just development. But even as young as 2, 3, and 4 we can speak to this situation and build an understanding in their brains about privacy and appropriate behavior.

The second reason, oftentimes child predators make children touch the abuser’s body. Children will often know THEY aren’t to be touched, but when a predator begins to take a child’s hand and force them to touch the abuser’s body, kids can get confused and paralyzed. Teach them not to touch other people’s private parts, and that no one should ever force them to touch their private parts or someone else’s private parts.

One great way to reinforce this is to role-play. “Can Cookie Monster touch your bottom?” The child laughs in hysteria, “NO!” “Can Cinderella touch your penis?” Again, hysterical laughter… “NO!” “Can Coach Billy touch your breasts?” “Can Pastor Billy touch your vagina?” “Can Sunday School teacher Susie touch your bottom?” “Can teacher Lily touch your penis?” And so on and so forth.

Remember to tread lightly, be gentle in your approach, be factual NOT emotional.

I’m already proud of you guys! We can do hard things for our kids!

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex Day #2

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex

#2 Talk early and talk often!

As parents, if we abdicate our role and responsibility and abandon our children by not talking to them about sex, we will leave them wounded and vulnerable in more ways than we can possibly imagine.

Read that again.

Let us dispel the idea that talking to our kids about sex is a one time conversation. Mmmmkk? I mean, you don’t have to be a parent long to realize telling your child anything once is only slightly better than never having said it. Am I right? The goal is to start talking to your kids about sex at a very young age and never stop talking to them about sex.

One of the very first conversations we have with our kiddos (18 months-3 years) starts as soon as we are teaching them body parts, “Head, shoulders, penis, toes….”

Here is why…

First, if from the earliest of ages we are making up names for our kids’ body parts we are subtly communicating shame. We are subtly communicating a shrinking away from. If we, grown adults, cannot use the anatomically correct words in front of our kids, then who can? When we make up code words we are communicating that there is something inherently wrong with the real words. Even from the youngest of ages, we begin to write our children’s sexual stories with deception, secrets, code words, shadows, and mystery. When we do not use real words we are communicating that these body parts must be spoken about in a vague way. In all actuality, what we want to be communicating to our kids about their body parts is this is the most natural, beautiful, and God-given thing EVER. If we unashamedly point out to our children that God made the sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, the birds, the ocean, and the mountains, then why do we hesitate to celebrate that God also made vaginas and penises? When it doesn’t feel natural and normal to use the real anatomical words with your children, be aware that might be some of your own sexual brokenness that you are bringing to the table. Remember, you are the tone-setter! “Those are your eyes,” should be as natural as, “that is your vagina.”

I can already hear squirming, “BUT SARA, I don’t want my kid walking around saying, ‘breasts’ in public places. I DO understand. Here’s the beauty, as your kids grow and develop (probably by school-age) you can begin to help them separate the idea that these are “in-house” words. If a child has always heard you use the correct name for their body parts, and now it’s time to venture out into the world, you can gently say when the opportunity arises, “Hey baby, ‘penis’ is a word we use in our house because our house is safe. When we are in public or you are at school, how about we use another word?” Inevitably, each of my kids has asked, “why?” They genuinely did not understand what was wrong with the word. Enter praise hands. Then we could say, “There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with the word, there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with your body parts, but what you’re going to learn is outside of this house people don’t like using those words and it makes them uncomfortable.”

Do you see? This leads to beautiful, truth-telling opportunities. I’ve established my home as safe, I’ve re-affirmed there is nothing wrong with those words and I’ve begun to teach my child that things are different in the great big world beyond these walls.

Second, and of high value, the reason we have taught our kids the correct names for their body parts is for their protection. In a court of law, in a police report, all mystery and room for interpretation are removed if my child can say, “that person touched my breasts.” Instead of, “that person touched my Bee-Bees.” Is this horrible-awful that we have to even consider the reality that someone might inappropriately touch our children? Yes! But y’all, this is our world. 1 out of 3 children is sexually abused or molested by the age of 18. 1 out of 3.

Believing that our children are gifts from God means believing that their bodies, every single part, is a gift from God and should be spoken of as such. If we believe their bodies are amazing and knit together by our awesome Creator, then let’s communicate that by teaching them the truth about their bodies. Let’s help them learn to be comfortable and safe in their own skin. Use the right names, people. You can do it!