Talking to your elementary aged child about sex

Written by The pureHOPE Team
Published on April 29, 2022

 “Because of the society we live in, the consequences of avoiding these conversations far outweigh the consequences of giving too much information too soon.” —Dr. Margaret Stager, Case Western Reserve University 

Sex can be an uncomfortable conversation to have with kids, but with media at their fingertips, most kids are exposed to sex at a young age. 

We need to have age appropriate, intentional conversations with our kids early so that we will be their trusted guide, and they will come to us with questions. Our role as parents in a sexualized, digital age is to protect our kids when we can, but more importantly, to equip them with an understanding of God’s story of sex that is compelling and hopeful. 

Most importantly, our role is to invite them into a relationship and to model our own (imperfect) pursuit of purity. 

The good news is, all that really means is turning to Jesus, again and again, as we continue on this journey with our kids. 

This is part 2 of a 4-part mini-series that will be a field manual and reference as you open up conversations about sex through every season of your parenting. 

In each of our 4 parts, we discuss age-appropriate ways to engage children as they grow in understanding God’s better story about sex. Each part is broken down into three sections: protect, equip, and model

This is how we want you as parents to think about your role in teaching and guiding your child in these conversations about sex. 

Here are some ideas to address with your elementary aged child as they grow in understanding God’s story of sex.

Elementary-aged children 

Protect 

Filter the amount and types of influences you let into your home—install filtering and monitoring software if you haven’t   already. Continue to guard digital time and screen interactions.

Discuss Internet safety and boundaries with parents of your child’s friends.

Warn about seductions and tricks from both strangers and familiar relations, in person and online.

Equip

Begin to introduce how human sexuality is a part of God’s plan.

Continue to teach your son or daughter basics of physical  boundaries and healthy touch.

Reinforce their right to say “no” in situations that make them uncomfortable.

Begin the discussion about good images vs. bad images, respectful language vs. objectifying language.

Model

Model positive body image—children will catch on to your confidence.

Guide them to express and experience feelings appropriately  (ex: pulling someone’s hair isn’t a kind way to convey interest).

Communicate that you’re a safe place for questions.

Demonstrate integrity and respect for others in your own life.

Consistently enforce technology boundaries for yourself and your home. Model excellent social media use and digital stewardship.

Let your children see the importance you place on deep and meaningful friendships.

At its root, conversation means to “turn with” or “dwell with.” It’s not about crafting the perfect moment to have a one-time, high-pressure sex talk. It’s about creating open, ongoing dialogue in the context of a safe, loving relationship.

This is the beginning of a life-giving, lifelong conversation. 

Check out the full Pocket-Guide to Talking About Sex for Parents for more resources in this area.


Consider a few extra resources:

 

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The pureHOPE Team

pureHOPE exists to proclaim God’s Truth about gender, purity, and sex. Like many people, you may have grown up thinking the Christian worldview of sex was more of a check list or a rulebook. But actually, God is a creative and profound Author, telling a compelling story through His design and purpose for sexuality. Learn more at purehope.net or follow us on social media @findpurehope.

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