Teachable Moments

How to Get into Conversations about Sex with your Kids

The Promise

Ask your son/daughter if they would like a pledge/promise ring.  Use the occasion to give the ring to your child with a degree of ceremony.  The promise ring is worn on the wedding finger and is a physical symbol of the person’s commitment to wait until marriage.  It can be given to their spouse on their wedding day. (Similar to the wedding ring that a parent wears is a symbol of their commitment to their spouse received on their wedding day).  You can ask your child to sign a pledge certificate that you make up, and witness it, and perhaps even frame it.

The Drive in

You have your child’s undivided attention if you are alone in the car for any length of time.  You can get into a conversation by using billboards as teachable moment..  For example, you see a billboard for “HOOTERS” on the side of the highway.  You can ask your child, “Do you really think people go there for the food?  How do you think sexual images are being used to sell products?”  This could lead into a further conversation on how sex is used in the media.  You can be honest and open with your child to admit how it affects you now or when you were your child’s age. 

The Mall

The mall is a great place to people watch, especially if you’re trying to make the point of what not to wear if you don’t want people to gawk at your body for all the wrong reasons.  Girls are often unaware of the way they dress and the effect it has on the male’s brain.  It’s important for girls to understand how men are visually stimulated. Young and old men alike may be looking and thinking about the body under the clothes if the girl isn’t careful with the way she dresses.  The wrong kind of attention isn’t a good thing. 

Show me the Money

Teens are often unaware of the cost of living.  Ask your teen to estimate the cost of the average monthly bills for your household (house payments, phone, cable, electric, water, etc.).  The actual monthly total is probably more than they imagined for just the basic needs for the family.  Help your teen to realize how important it is that the husband and wife work together to take care of your family’s needs by sharing the responsibility.  It would be so much more difficult if one parent were trying to provide everything on their own. Estimate the cost for caring for a child if an unexpected pregnancy occurs because a teen is sexually active outside of marriage.  When you are caring for a child, their needs are more important than your wants.

Dirty Diapers

Help your teen learn the principle of cause and effect by asking your teen to change the nastiest diaper you can find (nurseries or babysitting).  Help your teen to realize that after volunteering in the nursery or babysitting you can give the baby back to the parents, go home and live your life.  Not so in real life if you decide to become sexually active and a pregnancy occurs.  Dirty diapers seem endless for the first couple of years of a child’s life.  Having sex can create a baby and if you’re not ready to change diapers at all times of the day and night then you’re probably not ready to have sex.

Beautiful Endings

Teens need to know that sex is a beautiful thing.  We don’t want teens to get the idea that sex is bad.  Sex is a very good thing in marriage. Teens need to hear from their parents how sex in marriage is better and has benefits. The world is not showing them this.  Research shows that sex in marriage is  the best sex!  Always make positive statements about sex in marriage.  Reinforce the message that sex is a wonderful part of married life.  Give them something to look forward to in their own marriage by presenting the beauty and wonder of what sex can be in marriage.