Almost every time one of my teenagers leaves the house I shout as loud as I can from across the house . . . “What is the only safe sex?” They respond just as loud (while rolling their eyes I’m sure) “NO SEX!” I do this because it is a message they need to hear all the time. I do this because the social media world they live in is flooding their eyes and ears with sex all of the time. Do I think this reminder works? Probably not. Does it make me feel better? Yes.
I started talking to my kids at a very early age about babies, sex, body parts, and all of the awful terms and slang words that accompany the topic. Third grade is the best time to start the introduction. If your 3rd grader rides a school bus with 5th graders, they are already being educated (and poorly) about sex.
I have an 18-year-old son and a 15-year-old daughter. I have different conversations from different perspectives with each of my children, but there are a few basics that are very important for them both to know.
They are both beautifully and wonderfully made.
Sex is freaking awesome when it is with the right person (your spouse) and in the right relationship (marriage). Do I think they buy into this? I pray they do. Here’s how I see it. My kids aren’t always going to make straight As in school, but I still set the bar there. I still encourage them to work hard towards their goals and to believe in themselves. When they don’t reach their goals or royally fail in class, I still love and support them. The same concept applies to sex. I want what is the best for them, and I want to encourage them to make the best decisions about their sexuality. I will always love and support them even when they don’t.
90% of the time their friends are lying about how much they have done sexually.
Teens lie about their sexual experiences to make themselves sound cool or feel important. Teens also lie about sex when they go too far sexually because carrying around that shame and regret is a heavy burden.
I DO NOT want to be a Grandma anytime soon!
I clearly illustrate this point by explaining in explicit awkward detail the “real” effects that can occur when having sex. I do not hold back on what STDs are really like and how they can live with you forever. This is not the gift you want to give to your future husband or wife. I cover all the bases on what birth control is and how to use it. Then, I remind them they will never need birth control because they are never going to have sex.
When you are open and honest with your kids about sex, be prepared for open and honest right back at you. I have had to urban dictionary a few new creative terms. I have also had to mask my shock and disbelief about how much they know about sex. I refuse to be an ostrich, and I refuse to let them just figure it out on their own. I had to own some of my past as well when talking about choices I made when younger, but I feel like I am doing my job. I am preparing my kids to face sexual encounters with honest, true advice.
I want my son to know if he takes a girl’s virginity he has stolen the one gift she will never be able to give her future husband. I want my daughter to know that every guy just wants in her pants and will do and say anything to get in them. These are not fun parenting milestones. It is scary territory, but I will put on the armor, and I will yell out the door every time they leave the house so they know they are worthy and they are in control.