Beyond "The Talk"

Give your kids a healthy perspective of sex.

I vividly remember when my mom had "the talk" with me. She took me out for a special lunch at a fancy restaurant. Although the food was delicious, I probably didn't eat much of it. My stomach was churning as my mom explained all about sex, periods, and boys. I sat there dumbfounded with questions running through my mind. Questions like, You put what . . . where?! And, My mom and dad have actually done this six times?! (I had five siblings.) To make matters worse, it seemed like she was shouting. In my 12-year-old brain, I imagined that everyone in the quiet restaurant could hear what we were talking about.

I am thankful for my mom's courage to teach me about sex. However, in this generation, her approach would be far too little, far too late. Our kids are growing up in a sex-saturated world. By the time they are in middle school, most of them have will have seen pornography, know all about gay marriage, and be curious about oral sex. There is a time for us to lament the culture in which our kids live and then there's a time to equip them to live well within it. What I'm learning in the midst of raising three boys could fill a large volume, but here are some of the highlights.

Ditch "the talk" for discipleship.

"Mom, what does a condom do?" my 14-year-old asked me out of the blue while I was cooking dinner. I'm actually getting used to these questions from my teenage sons. Why? Because my husband and I have made it a point to have many conversations with our kids about sex, pornography, masturbation, how far is too far, abortion, and homosexuality. Don't get me wrong. I've had some of these talks while trembling with anxiety. These aren't easy topics to tackle, but I really want my kids to hear about them from us.

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Juli Slattery

Juli Slattery is a TCW regular contributor and blogger. A widely known clinical psychologist, author, speaker, and broadcast media professional, she co-founded Authentic Intimacy and is the co-author of Passion Pursuit: What Kind of Love Are You Making?

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