When parents ask how we teach our children about sex, I say, “We tell it like it is.” We don’t use codes or substitute words for anatomical parts. And we cover their questions as they come. As they ask, we answer.
The other day, one of our sons said, “Girls pee out of their butts, right?” Well, Edric couldn’t let him live with that delusion, so he explained, anatomically speaking, where the locations of parts were. There was no malice in the discussion. It became a science lesson.
Most of the time, it is our upbringing and exposure to sex outside of the context of God’s design that makes us squeamish about discussing sex-related topics with our children. I’m not saying that we need to pull out charts and diagrams and sit our pre-school aged children down to explain EVERYTHING. But when their questions do come, we are a better source for information than peers, movies, the Internet, etc. Please, not movies or the internet! As for peers, they don’t always have a biblical perspective on sex either. So, we are it. This is it is part of our role to explain sex to our children in a way that makes them appreciate God’s design for it.
Some children seem to be more curious than others. I have seen the difference in our kids. One may snicker when they see a billboard of a woman who is not so modestly dressed. Edsa, unfortunately, has these from time to time. And another, may think nothing of it. But since we have three boys, I know that they all will, at one point or another, become interested in girls’ bodies.
We need to be attentive and available when we see signs of this. One of our sons was careening his neck when I was driving along the highway, and I asked him, “What are you looking at?” It was such an obvious attempt to look at something, I was interested to know what had caught his attention. He gave me an embarrassed and awkward smile, but after some prodding, he revealed to me that he saw a billboard that had the word “sexy” on it. There was a woman posing in a “come hither” manner and even though she was clothed (thank God), it was the word “sexy” that bothered him. We talked a little bit more about it and his fascination was addressed appropriately.
A couple months ago, another one of our sons told me that he was feeing guilty for imagining girls without their clothes on. Whoa! I was caught off-guard. But I stopped myself from panicking. I explained to him that our mind is very often the battleground, so when he has thoughts like that, he needs to replace it with “whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute.” As Philippians 4:8 tells us, “if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
We had this conversation while walking together, hand-in-hand, mother and son. These tender moments, when my kids reveal what is in their heart, are very often had during one-on-one time. I didn’t want my son’s guilt to blossom into a fixation so I focused on the principle of filling your mind with God’s word to protect yourself from temptation.
I have said this often, but it is so important that Edric and I remain vigilant about what our children watch and what they are exposed to. We don’t want to awaken desires prematurely. We tell our sons that it is normal to find girls pretty but they must safeguard their innocence and save their purity for the ones they will marry.
Grateful as I am for our homeschooling lifestyle because it allows us to filter through the positive and negative influences that our children are exposed to, I know that prayer is the real key. We need the Lord to protect our kids. We can’t monitor them 24/7. At the end of the day, they must internalize what it means to stay pure and experience the blessings of committing to obey God in this area. We can’t do that for them.
Two great books for young children that teach purity are: The Squire and the Scroll for boys (this was recommended by a friend. Elijah really enjoyed reading this.) For girls, a great book is The Princess and the Kiss.