Five Ways To Talk To Your Teen About Sex...

For the past week, the topic here on this blog has been about parents having "the talk" with their pre-teens and teens. After 13 years of student ministry, I'm convinced that for parents, talking to their kids about sex is one of the toughest parts of parenting. And I'm also convinced it's one of the on-going conversations between a parent and teen that cannot be overlooked. In light of that, here's today's list:

Five Ways To Talk To Your Teen/Pre-Teen About Sex:
  1. Seize the moment. As I've previously stated, we live in a sex-saturated culture. Sex is all around us - on tv, in the movies, in advertising, and in our music. When a tv show or song on the radio raises an issue about sex, use the everyday moment as an opportunity to bring up the subject with your teen. This seems to be far-and-away the best, informal opportunity to broach the subject with your kid.

  2. Inquiring minds want to know. Many times, your pre-teen or teen will bring up the topic of sex before you as a parent do. That's why it's important to give thought to what you want to teach your child about sex and relationships far earlier than you actually plan on talking to them about it. Because if they've got questions and you aren't ready to talk, they'll find someone who is - and that someone may not share your values & wisdom.

  3. Find a partner. Most student minstries in churches and many schools talk to teens about sex and relationships. Find out when and what your teen's church or school is teaching about sex and use this natural time to bring up the conversation at home.

  4. Ask about their friends. One way to initiate "the talk" with your teen is to ask them what their friends or peers think about the topic of sex. Ask what they think they might know or questions their peers might have. This allows your teen or pre-teen to open up without feeling direct pressure on themselves as an individual.
  5. Develop a culture of openness & listening within your home. If your teen feels that your home and your relationship with one another is safe and open, they're more likely to talk to you about tough topics like sex and dating. Be sure your child knows your door is always open to talk and that you're there just to listen if they need to talk things out.


10 Tips For Parents When Having "The Talk"...

Earlier this week, I encouraged parents of pre-teens and teenagers to be sure they are talking with their kids about sex, dating, and relationships. Because here's the truth: No matter how sheltered or protected you think your child is, they are being exposed to messages about sex. Our culture is sex-saturated and your son or daughter is hearing tons of messages about sex. Why not let them hear the truth from the people who should love them the most? So I thought I'd use my blog to help spur on those conversations and help those of you who are parents with some guidelines about having "the talk" with your teen. I'm kicking that off today with 10 things parents should remember when talking to their kid about sex. Here we go:

10 Tips For Parents When Having "The Talk":
  1. Just because your child may ask questions about sex doesn't mean they are sexually active. - The teen years are full of confusion and chaos on this subject. If you're teen is initiating the conversation, don't freak out and assume it's because they're sexually active already. Be thankful they trust you enough to come to you with their questions instead of going somewhere else for answers.
  2. In today's society, talking to your teen or pre-teen about sex, MUST include talking to them about pornography and the dangers of it. - If current statistics hold up, your middle school or high school child not only has a close friend who is involved in watching pornography, but they most likely have a close friend who is already considered addicted to pornography. Some statistics even show that the average age a child is exposed to pornography for the first time is 7 years old. You MUST address this topic parents!
  3. Know that your kid wants to hear the truth about this from you...and not from their friends in the locker room. - Teen polls consistently show that the #1 influence on teens is their parents. And it's head-and-shoulders above any other influence in their life.
  4. Be sure you cover the basics of sex with your teen or pre-teen, but also spend some time talking about body image & self-worth. - When a teen makes poor decisions in the area of sex & dating, the majority of the time it is out of a longing for love, value, & worth. Make sure they know they're loved and valued by you and by God.
  5. Talk about consequences of pre-marital or casual sex. - Consequences are real and teens need to be aware of them.
  6. Be ready to talk about difficult issues. - Most teens have more questions than simply "What is sexual intercourse?" Be sure you're teen knows that your door is always open no matter how difficult or uncomfortable their questions may be. And then don't act shocked when they come to you with those questions.
  7. Be prepared. - Having "the talk" is difficult. No one argues that. But being prepared and having a game plan will do wonders in eliminating that uncomfortable feeling.
  8. Be honest. - Teenagers can ALWAYS smell a fake. You don't have to share every single mistake you've ever made in this area, but be honest with your teen and don't be afraid to share what you've learned from experience.
  9. Listen. - A big part of having "the talk" involves listening - to your child's questions, struggles, and concerns. The more you listen, the more likely they are to keep talking and come to you with their questions.
  10. Don't be afraid to ask for help. - If you're struggling with how to engage in these conversations with your son or daughter, don't be afraid to ask for help. Talk to a parent of with older children who's been down this road, speak with your local pastor or youth pastor, or find a family friend who can offer some advice in this area.

Check back tomorrow for ways to bring up the topic of sex with your teen or pre-teen!


Sex, Teens, Parents, & The Talk...

This past Sunday at The Connection Church, we kicked off a new series called Red Hot. We're looking at the Song of Solomon and spending the next few weeks talking about heating up your love life. We're also talking about the topics of sex, dating, & relationships with our teenagers here at TCC. This past week we kicked off a series called I Heart U that challenges our students to choose God's plan for our relationships rather than simply blindly following our culture.

After spending 13 years in Student Ministry, I know it can be tough for parents of teens and pre-teens to talk with their kids about sex, dating, and relationships. For a lot of parents, the most dreaded part of parenting is having "the talk." If that's you as a parent, know that you're not alone. In fact, a lot of parents struggle with talking to their teenagers about sex. But even though it's difficult, it still needs to be done - because your son or daughter IS talking about sex. They are getting messages daily about sex & dating - from their peers, from things overheard in locker rooms and school hallways, from tv, movies, music, and billboards. Our culture is sex-saturated.

So parents here's a word of wisdom from someone who's spent their entire adult life working with students: Talk to your kids about sex & dating...because they need to hear God's plan & the truth from someone who loves them & cares about them. Who better for that job than YOU? And if that's a tough topic to talk about, it's ok. You're not alone in that. But talk about it anyway...And be sure to check back here throughout this week as I'll be posting some pointers for parents when it comes to having "the talk" that just might make it a little easier.