Sex Ed: Model Dialogue Teachable Moment

When you seize a teachable moment, you move spontaneously from an event into a related teaching opportunity. The event may be a beer commercial during a ball game, bath time, toilet training, a neighbor who is obviously pregnant, babysitting lessons that lead an older child to watch while you are changing a diaper, a woman breastfeeding her baby, unusual genitals on a zoo animal (“Mommy, what is that? Is it sick?”), a neighborhood dog mounting and thrusting on a child’s leg, or an innocent report of a dirty joke going around that the child does not understand. At such teachable moments, you seize the opportunity to teach your child.

A father enters a room to find his four-year-old girl not wearing her pants or underwear and bent over looking at her vaginal opening with her fingers separating her labia. As she hears him, she sits upright and looks guilty. This is a situation that would be very easy to pass over, to ignore, or to let his wife deal with. But how could this be a teaching opportunity?

PARENT: Hi! What were you looking at?

CHILD: Nothing . . . (a look of guilt and embarrassment).

PARENT: Were you looking at your vagina? That’s okay. It really is a wonderful part of you to understand. Do you know why? Because God made that part of you just like he made the rest of you. Who made your vagina?

CHILD: God did!

PARENT: And do you know if boys have a vagina?

CHILD: No, they don’t. They have a penis.

PARENT: That is exactly right. Boys are blessed by God with a penis, but girls are blessed by God with a vagina.

Some content taken from HOW AND WHEN TO TELL YOUR KIDS ABOUT SEX, by Stan and Brenna Jones. Copyright © 1993, 2007, 2019. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. To purchase books in the GOD’S DESIGN FOR SEX book series, go to