Teaching Your Kids About Sex – Part 2
Well enough about pain and loss for a while.
Let’s move on to a very important parenting topic that is near and dear to our hearts.
The next four weeks are titled, Teaching Your Kids About Sex.
It is a big topic and there is certainly a lot to be say, but I (Kay) will focus on some of the areas we see parents struggling.
Opportunities for Teaching…When and what do I tell my children?
We think your children should hear about sex first from you as a parent.
We know we got this one right because of the wide eyes our kids had during these conversations.
You know, the “You have to be kidding,” look of incredulity and disbelief.
We are amazed at how naive some parents are in thinking an 8 or 10 year old doesn’t have a clue.
While this may be true in some rare cases, most kids have heard something from their friends, been in a neighbors house looking at pictures on a computer, heard others kids talking, have been asked by other kids what they know, or in some cases directly asked for information.
I was talking to one mom whose boy was 11 and she explained to me that she was waiting for him to ask before she or her husband gave any information. What if he never asks?
There is no correct, magical age as each child is different and has different levels of exposure to TV, movies, computers and friends all of which are sources of information.
Let’s remember even kids have sexual feelings.
Baby boys have erections.
A young mom told me her daughter was in bed rubbing a small stuffed animal between her legs and explained to her mom, “This feels good”. Another family laughed and told us their six year old son told his dad while watching Little Mermaid, “My wee-wee gets big when I see Arial.”
Moms and dads, these are opportunities to teach your kids about Gods creation and how God designed our bodies to feel pleasure. A possible response to a four or six year old in the examples above might be, “God made our bodies to enjoy pleasure and good feelings. Hugs and kisses make us happy, food tastes yummy in our mouth, and sometimes we feel nice feelings in our private parts (or penis or vagina). As the child gets older we can name this as a sexual feeling.
Personally, I do not think a child should be shamed, punished or scolded for discovering sexual feelings.
It might be necessary to explain that touching our private parts needs to happen in private places by yourself. I have advised parents who observe frequent masturbation in young children to say something like, “I notice you are touching yourself a lot and I think that means you need some extra hugs and loves. Pick your child up and rock and nurture them. Give extra affection and holding through-out the day.
Be on the alert for stressors (kids learn how to relieve stress or negative feelings with good pleasurable feelings and sex is a good feeling, even for kids.)
Notice and offer comfort for the stressors in their lives. Offer yourself as a comforter and also teach your child other ways to handle stress if masturbation is frequent. Let’s read a book, or play a game or take a walk and see all the beautiful things God makes.
Lastly, be aware of and ask your kids about possible sexual abuse, sexual play between kids, or exposure to inappropriate sexual material if frequent masturbation is suddenly an issue with preschoolers or elementary aged kids.
Thanks & Love,
Milan and Kay
Next week: We will talk about initiating a talk with kids who don’t give you those natural opportunities.