Having ‘The Talk’ with Your Kids
Updated: Apr 25
I remember I’d been left on the couch in the living room for just a few minutes while Mom went into the kitchen to get something to eat (on a commercial break, of course - it was the 80s after all!). Apparently, there was something on the TV screen when my Mom walked back into the room, and my eyes were locked onto it.
But I don’t remember that.
But Mom knew I’d seen it, and she wanted to address it (whatever ‘it’ was - *insert shrug emoji here*).
Mom called me into her room a couple days later and had… THE TALK. I remember thinking, “Ok, so there’s just me and my sister, so this has only happened two times. I think I can be ok with that.”
Anybody else remember thinking delusional, coping thoughts like that, too? ;-)
Now, it’s only fair to tell you she painted this act in the beautiful, godly light it was created to be. And that was definitely a gift to me (especially that she even chose to have this ‘talk’ with me - some of you didn’t have that luxury!). But we only talked about it that one time. And if I’m honest, I was ok with that. I didn’t like how uncomfortable and awkward I felt during this talk (and anytime this subject was even hinted at the rest of my growing-up years). I felt so icky and my stomach would just tie up in knots when I could sense one of my parents was uncomfortable with the subject matter we were discussing.
But this experience stuck with me, as I know YOUR experience (or lack thereof) stuck with you, too. It’s formative. It’s defining. It’s shaping. And it’s INCREDIBLY important.
And the second I found out I would have the gift of being a parent, I began to think about all these hard conversations I was now called to have with my child(ren). But ESPECIALLY this one.
And that’s exactly what I began to question - why did it only have to be ONE conversation?
Why couldn’t it be a string of ongoing conversations that happened whenever our kid(s) had questions about it?
And why did it only have to be this ONE hard conversation that mattered so much? Don’t ALL the conversations we have with our kids matter just as much? Isn’t every conversation to show them they are seen, they are valued, and the concerns and thoughts of their hearts MATTER?
Now, let’s get real for a second. Don’t for ONE second think I’ve got this all figured out and that every conversation we have with our four sweet boys is full of meaning and depth. Ummm NO. We’re in the age and stage where bodily functions, burps, and farting noises are the topic of nearly EVERY dinner-time around the table. I find myself LONGING for deep, meaningful conversations! ;-)
If I’m honest, I would tell you I have to consciously decide to listen to those silly things that matter sooooo much to them (even though I don’t understand how to level up on Super Smash Bros Ultimate... and I don’t really care to know all the Pokemon character names). Those things don’t really catch my fancy… but the hearts of my boys sure do. And if they’re ever going to feel comfortable coming to me about the BIG things (like sex and dating and what to do about pornography), I BETTER be listening to them while they share all these ‘little’ things.
So yes, we talk to our boys about the differences between boys and girls. We answer questions they have about sex and gender differences as they come up. We’re constantly trying to create that precious ‘space’ where they feel safe to even ASK those questions. And you know what? We’ve made lots of mistakes. But we’re learning as we go, and we’d be selfish not to share what we’ve learned along the way.
The best tool we’ve come across so far is this set of books. These will help you have language to communicate with your kids in age-appropriate ways:
How & When to Tell Your Kids About Sex (Parents’ Guide) → https://amzn.to/2wqUctR
The Story of Me (Ages 3-5) → https://amzn.to/2xpmUes
Before I Was Born (Ages 5-8) → https://amzn.to/2Ug1dXb
What’s the Big Deal? (Ages 8-12) → https://amzn.to/3dqn6uB
Facing the Facts (Ages 12-16) → https://amzn.to/3agJvIJ
We know this can be scary. We know this can be SUPER uncomfortable. But in our age of technology and information, isn’t it even scarier they could ask some chick named Alexa or Siri to explain it to them first? Think about THAT for a minute!
So when your 3yo boy keeps asking why you don’t have a penis, when your 5yo jumps up and down to ask you why he has ‘these balls next to his penis’, when your 4yo asks why his baby girl cousin sits down to go potty… don’t freak out! Instead, say a prayer. Ask for wisdom. Ask for peace and bravery. Holy Spirit will freely give it. And He’ll give you the right words, too.
If you’re looking for more perspective on why these talks matter so much, please listen to this talk here.