What is the best timing for sex ed?
Why So Young?
Why talk to children about sexual pleasure at a relatively young age? Because your best chance of influencing their beliefs will come from being the one who will form the “bedrock” of their thinking about sexuality. We have already offered this as one of our major principles: First messages are the most potent. It is far more powerful to form a child’s view of sexuality from scratch than it is to correct the distortions the child will pick up in the world. Why wait until your child learns some distorted view of sexual pleasure on the school playground or from a pornographic video at some neighbor’s house? Why risk your child misunderstanding your views because all she hears from you is silence? Parents must lay the foundation. We should have the first say, when our influence is greatest and our children’s trust of us is highest.
Principle 3: First Messages Are the Most Potent.
Think of it this way: You wouldn’t want your child to learn the wrong teachings about God for years and years, and then try to correct those erroneous lessons after-the-fact. Then why do we let our kids learn about sexuality from everyone except us for years and years, and then try to correct all the wrong they have learned with an in-depth conversation when they are thirteen? It will be much more powerful, much more effective, to provide your children with a solid and age-appropriate foundation from the start.
Remember also that if you do not talk to your kids about sex, your silence is not just an absence of information. Your silence in fact teaches your kids that Dad and Mom do not want to talk about sex, are uncomfortable talking about sex, and probably are not a good source of information about sex. By seizing the opportunity to teach them about sex, you communicate the opposite: that you, the parents, are trustworthy resources for learning the truth about this most private and potent aspect of life. The children’s books in the God’s Design for Sex series are meant to provide “starter conversations” between you and your child. Reading them with your child opens up the topic, gets the words and ideas out on the table, and gives you a base from which to start.