It’s time you face it: The internet has you beat when it comes to conversations with your kids about romance, dating, and sex.
I’m not suggesting you throw your hands up and walk away, but every good parent needs to know what they’re up against, and well, when it comes to sex, the internet is really tough competition.
- Your kids will never catch the Internet at a bad time.
- YouTube doesn’t get too busy to meet them after a hard day.
- Netflix will never be too tired to talk.
- Urban dictionary won’t ever respond to your kids’ questions with, “Ask your mother.”
- Your kids will never hear Google say, “We’ll talk about this when you’re older,” or “Where did you hear that word!?” or “Why do you want to know about that?”
- The internet will never be shocked or embarrassed by your kids’ search history.
- The internet will never embarrass your kids for what they ask or read or view.
- Your kids will never stump the Internet. They’ll never have a question the Internet can’t or won’t answer.
Bottom line, the digital age in which our kids are growing up and the sexually confusing and enticing ideas and images coming at them from every direction means we parents need to step up our game. We need to have regular conversations (not lectures, conversations!) with our sons and daughters about beauty, desire, sex, gender, romance, relationships, and beauty.
No matter how poorly you believe you’ll do, no matter how ill-equipped you believe you are, no matter how qualified or unqualified you think you are, I guarantee you you’ll do a better job than the Internet.
Here’s the reality: For all the Internet’s availability, willingness, shamelessness, permissiveness, and confidence (albeit misplaced confidence) about sex, the internet can never really replace you because…
The internet will never…
- Really listen to your kids.
- Attune to the expressions on your kids’ faces or the tone in their voices.
- Embrace your kids when they’re hearts and bodies are feeling dirty or ashamed.
- Give them grace and love when they have fallen short.
- Show them that their failures don’t define them. How? By driving them to practice, making them their favorite dessert, laughing with them, sitting with them while they cry, or letting them borrow the car, or any of a million other things you do because you’re their mom or dad, and they’re your kid…no matter what.
- Embody Jesus to them. You can be like the father of the prodigal son, the Internet can’t.
Dads and moms, the internet is tough competition, but it doesn’t hold a candle to you. Don’t let it take your place when it comes to walking and talking with (and lots of listening to!) your kids about sex.
And if you haven’t picked up a copy of my new book, Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World: A Field Guide for Parents, please do! I think you’ll be glad you did. (And your kids are worth it!)
Question: Which one of the things above that the internet cannot do for your kids stands out to you the most today? Are there other things that belong on that list that I’ve missed?
P.S. If you’d like to host a workshop for your church, school, homeschool group, etc. about how parents can tread boldly for their kids in today’s digitally-connected, porn-saturated culture, let me know.
Want to hear more this week? Check out the latest Becoming Whole podcast; Parenting Pioneers