When should I start talking to my kids about sex?

Written by The pureHOPE Team
Published on April 22, 2022

“When should I start talking to my kids about sex?” 

We always answer that question with another question—When does the world start talking to your kids about sex?  

Today is the best time to start talking. God’s truth is never off-limits. We see a great, permission-giving example of this when the Israelites enter the Promised Land. “There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them” (Joshua 8:35 NIV).  

Joshua shared the whole of God’s truth with the little ones present. We get to be storytellers! 

Rooted in biblical wisdom

We know firsthand that parenting is hard work, but we also know that with tools and strategies rooted in biblical wisdom, all of us can gracefully point our children to Jesus and his redemption. 

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 that we can turn to Jesus, again and again, as we continue on this journey with our kids. 

Engaging children at every age

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

In each of our 4 parts, we will discuss age-appropriate ways to engage children as they grow in understanding God’s better story about sex. 

Each part will also be 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.  

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

Birth to early childhood


Remember you are your child’s protector. Exercise discernment. Listen to your gut.

Teach body privacy and proper names for body parts.

Discourage secrets and secret friends.

Watch for red flags of abuse: sudden changes in behavior, withdrawal, irrational fears.

Activate parental controls on all network-connected devices, and limit screen time for your child’s growing brain.


Affirm that they are created purposefully and intentionally.

Hold your child often to equip them with a sense of security.

Teach the biological differences between male and female.

Discuss directly why the genitals are private parts and should not be touched by others.

Begin to gently correct and instruct if they touch/encroach inappropriately on others.

• Show your child how to create and respect physical boundaries.

Give permission to say “no!” to hugs, kisses, tickling, etc. . .

Look them in the eyes to equip them to be comfortable with being present and engaging people.


Show affection and build trust.

• Communicate God’s love.

Show your child how to create and respect physical boundaries.

Help them understand healthy ways of giving and receiving attention.

Examine your own media consumption habits, and closely monitor your child’s habits.

Where do you feel like you lack confidence in this area? Check out the full Pocket-Guide to Talking About Sex for Parents for more resources in this area.

Consider a few extra resources:


Live perfectly imperfect

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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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