My wife and I don’t have the “sex talk” with our kids.
Sunday night when I went to say goodnight to one of my younger kids, I noticed the book The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop in her bed with her.
“Hey, I love this book!” I said, seizing the opportunity, “Can I read it to you?”
For the next five minutes we read the beautiful parable of a princess who learns the value of her kiss and of saving herself as a gift for the one she’ll marry.
What a great set-up to talk with my precious daughter about how valuable she is and how her “kiss” (her body) is worth saving for the man she’ll one day marry. I shared a brief sentence or two to that effect, father to daughter. It was an easy lay-up and I was sinking this shot for sure.
“What do you think?” I asked.
“Eh, kind of boring,” she replied.
Not the response I was hoping for. I felt my insides tense up. Questions raced through my mind:
Boring? Did I say too much? Did I not say enough? Is she too young for this book? Too old? Is it possible she’s already kissed a boy?
This is why my wife and I don’t do a “sex talk” in our house.
For any parent, that big conversation with their kids about their bodies, romance, sex, and sexual desire is notoriously uncomfortable.
And a parent’s anxiety is only heightened by the challenge of having the talk at just the right age and in just the right way so they get it.
So in our family, we don’t have “the talk.” Sex is too important to entrust to one talk.
We don’t think twice about shepherding our kids through school, friendships, money, manners, and sports for crying out loud. Is sex any less important than these? Is it any less challenging for them to navigate well?
Our aim is that talking about sex in age-appropriate ways will be a regular part of our relationships with our kids throughout the years.
A one-time, birds and bees talk just can’t match that.
The Princess and the Kiss is great. But apparently boring this past Sunday. And that’s fine. She, her mom, and I have had other talks about her body and her value. And we’ll have many, many more in the months and years to come.
I’d love to hear from you: How did your parents shepherd you in the area of sex and sexuality? If you have kids, what else do you do to help your kids navigate through our sex-obsessed culture? Leave a comment below.
For princes and princesses,
In 2014, Regeneration is offering seminars for parents who want to better help their kids navigate through this sex-obsessed culture. For more information about bringing a seminar to your church, email michelle@RegenerationMinistries.org.
After I read your blog I checked out the book you mentioned, Princess and the Kiss. I hadn’t heard of it before. I ended up purchasing it thru ChristianBooks.com already received it in the mail. My daughter is older (15 years) but I can’t wait to give it to her and HOPEFULLY have a dialogue about it (moody age, I tell you). Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
The Princess and the Kiss is geared toward younger readers. I should have indicated that in my post.
My main point is that it’s important to be involved in the ongoing shepherding of our kids, including in the area of sex. Despite how difficult older kids especially can be to talk with, studies show that as strong as peer pressure can be, a kids’ parents hold substantial sway in their lives. So be encouraged!