The Big Talk



It was twelve short years ago that the doctor placed a tiny little boy in my arms, his eyes still closed and his skin soft and pink.

Trent and I became fast friends, my little buddy by my side, and I wondered if any father had ever loved a son as much as I loved mine.

Two years later that scene was repeated, and I quickly discovered that love multiplies.

I began to wonder again, this time if any father had ever loved his two sons as much I love ours.

I’m remembering those early days lately, of holding and feeding our tiny boys, of talking to them about the dreams I had for them and about the life that I prayed the Lord would allow them to live.

I did most of the talking in those early days. They cooed and smiled and soon the babbling began. Full words followed and a new season was quickly ushered in. Conversing with little kids can be a lot of fun, can’t it? You tend to use small words to talk about big things.

This stands in contrast to adulthood when you tend to use big words to describe small things.

As a parent, you quickly realize that profound truths are communicated in the simplest of all settings. I can think of lots of great talks in a sandbox or on swings and later, over Legos and in a car pulling a camper up a steep mountain pass. PFAbook1.jpg

This coming Saturday, I’m anticipating another conversation – but it’s not about sports or the 4,000-piece Stars Wars Lego set. Instead, I’m going to broach the “big talk” with Trent. Jean and I have been deliberate about introducing sex education is small doses through the years on age-appropriate levels. But now the time seems right to sit down and cover a few of the more sensitive subjects.

I’ll be honest, I’m a little nervous about it! Not having a father present for most of my growing up years, I don’t have a point of personal reference. I’ve been reading up on some of the best available resources, including our founder, Dr. James Dobson’s Preparing for Adolescence, as well as Dennis Rainey’s and Jim Burns’ material.

Studies confirm that when parents and children maintain a healthy dialogue about sexual matters kids tend to engage in far less risky behavior as an adolescent. It’s not the easiest of seasons of life – but it sure is a critically important one.

I’m prepped and have a game plan in place – but still, please pray for me!

Do any of you care to offer some advice?  How did the experience go for you?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Shannon S More than 1 year ago

My mom had many of the sex talks with me growing up. It was extremely uncomfortable to me and just plain grossed me out. I really really don't want that when I go to have these talks with my children. But I's rather they learned from me. A difference between the talks with my mom and the context of the talks in this radio broadcast are that sex talks from my mom (and other family members to their kids and friends parents to friends) is that sex talk wasn't necessarily meant to just teach about the mechanics, it was taught as if "I know you're going to try sex when you're a teen so I want you to know how to do it safe". My mom always said and still does say that that is part of a gril's journey to becoming a woman. It makes me really sad. It was very damaging for me when I was younger and I have seen the damage done in my brother and sister. Sex to them is purely self serving and in some ways more of a dream to maybe "catch" someone to love them. Like the ever popular phrase, these days "test driving the car before you buy it". This mentality really bothers me. I think that is a lot of parents focus these days, during the sex talk "safe sex", because they figure their kids won't wait till marriage and don't really expect that for them. In my growing up years, this was unheard of and considered a fairy tale. I longed for the truth, but in the world I lived in, it just wasn't real. I am so glad I found Christ and that I now listen to Christian radio stations that give sound advice on parenting.

jminnesota More than 1 year ago

i agree dads should teach there sons how to be good men and treat women well and it should be a life going converstation not just a one day deal. as they get older and ask more questions its good for dads and moms to share there views and the bibles views on the topic. Dads are also important in there daugthers lives too just as much as there sons. same with moms they are important in there sons and daugthers lives both

Janette More than 1 year ago

We just maintained honesty in talking with our boys(no girls). It wasn't one talk, but answered their questions when asked, so it was more of an "ongoing" conversation. as they got older my husband would talk about all the things that make "you" a Godly Husband, .including how to treat women which he always modeled. I would say honesty is important but based on their age and giving information based on their age, They always came to us with questions because they knew we would be honest. We would correct misinformation as it came out, bring up things based on age. So, not "the talk" but ongoing information like out parents did for us. That's how we grow in God, bit by bit as He teaches us, so why not the same for sex?

jminnesota More than 1 year ago

I feel that its important for parents to talk with there kids about sex. sex is beautiful and god made sex to be beautiful when your married. he also wants us to teach our kids what sex is so that they understand. i rather that kids learn from parents then from schools. i feel the more kids learn what is real and what is not they will grow up and will hopefully wait til they are married before they have sex. kids that dont get sex education i feel are more likely to have sex as a teenager. they also learn that the human body is beautfiul and nothing to be ashamed of. they will grow up respecting eachother. instead of giving them playboy to look at sit down with them and share advice and let them know what sex really is like.

FRR More than 1 year ago

Encourage questions. Don't just give a lecture and say "any questions?" at the end. If he isn't asking questions, maybe encourage him to do so with a narrower focus. So explain something and ask if he has any questions about that particular topic. It makes things a little more managable, which is nice because this is an overwhelming topic. And make sure at the end, you let him know that if he thinks of anything else he'd like to ask or talk about, that he can always feel free to ask you and your wife about it. But don't just leave it hang there. He's bound to think it over, and while he may not have anything to say right away, he may have more to talk about the next day, after he's had time to process. So bring it up the next day. He may feel uncomfortable initiating the dialog, but if you bring it up that makes it easier on him. And then, keep talking about it. Keep talking about everything. He's getting to be the age where he's going to start withdrawing from you and confiding more in his friends. My mom was very invested in our lives during the middle and high school years, and there were many nights where we stayed up talking one-on-one about my life. I didn't keep much from her, and it really kept me out of a lot of trouble. Be available for Trent when he needs to talk to you. If he knows he's a high priority in your life, he'll be more willing to be open with you.Also, when you give the talk, make sure you have plenty of reasons why you *should* wait until you're married to have sex, not just why you *shouldn't.* Many of the "scare tactic" reasons (you could get a girl pregnant, you could get an std, etc.) are not good enough to dissuade people from having premarital sex. It also makes God seem like the bad guy, like he's trying to keep you from having the fun everyone else is having. We all know that's not true. And let him know that waiting is difficult, especially when it seems like nobdy else is.

And, as always, pray pray pray pray pray pray pray!

Beth More than 1 year ago

Answer what he asks, each time he asks...age appropriate, of course...Answer no more than what he asks and no less than what he asks.  Never say I'll tell you when you are older or act as if he is bad for wanting to know.  If he's asking now, he is old enough to know the age appropriate answer.  It may be uncomfortable at times, but just answer.  It's normal curiosity and it is was created by God for marriage.  In my experience, he will be much more comfortable bringing up the difficult topics and much more open in his teen years if it is handled this way.

Cori More than 1 year ago

My husband and I have a 12 yr old son and we were very honest whenever he had any questions. We would try to not get shocked, and answered him in a calm manner. I also bought a couple of books (Christian based) on becoming an adolescent and let him keep them in his room to read in private if he feels a bit akward about talking to us. We also have given him a list of Godly people he can turn to if he doesn't want to talk to us.

jill More than 1 year ago

I told my daughter and son point blank that sex was when a man's penis enter's a woman's vagina.  reaction.  ewwwww!  gross!!!  yes.  I also share with them that it is only to happen between a man and a woman who are married.  Marriage is a commitment, a covenant before God and cannot be broken.  I told them that I have been (and continue to pray) for their spouses.  My daughter is now 15... time to have that talk with a different point of view and angle.  lol!!!  purity before God, cause HE sees you ALL the time! 

MPY More than 1 year ago

One more thing: There is nothing ‘modest’ about the sex drive or the sex act. So, I think it may be abnormal not to feel at least a little nervous about broaching the subject with your kid.

Sex, and the sex drive, is not only not modest, it also is not particularly either intellectual or ‘non-sexual’. I think that what they say about men ‘thinking about sex so many times a day’ may be a little misleading: I wouldn’t exactly call it ‘thinking’.

One can talk very intellectually about the sense of humor, and about pain, and about a hundred other things. But, I think there must be at least one thing that cuts deepest in the human psyche---that otherwise we each would just be random piles of dust. It cuts that deep in your kid’s psyche too, so I think maybe you have to be open with him about that commonality. And that only in the fallen world is broaching it ever an unpleasant task: God did not make either the thing itself, or the recognition of its commonality, to be unpleasant. - Mark

Joy C. More than 1 year ago

I do not recall my parents "sitting me down" for a talk. I wish I had.  I recently used "Passport to Purity" (Rainey material) for a blessed weekend w/my daughter... It is ok for boys! I highly recommend it and you will be guided by Dennis and Barbara...Great experience...

MPY More than 1 year ago

I guess not growing up around farm animals makes it that much more of a 'sudden' subject. I grew up in a modern city, complete with an abscence of farm animals.

For whatever reason(s), my dad did not ever 'hide' from the subject, but made it part of normal, if occasional, conversation, even when I was only five.

But, he also occassionally made a few special points to make the nature of the matter very clear. This included that I must never enage in the 'main activity' unless I was married, which made perfect sense to me. Why anyone would ever engage is such thing as if it were no more important than trying on some clothes at the department store was beyond me.

But, growing up, I also had a certain 'edge' which had the effect of keeping me out of all trouble amongst modern girls: I was raised by a 'poor' farm mother whose idea of 'keeping properly bathed' left me rather unattractive to any modern girl who was within nose shoot of me.

So, while I have some advice (what I wrote about talking to your kid about it like talking to the family pet), I'm not sure exactly how valuable my advice is. Maybe you can become a non-modern farmer.

Elaine w. More than 1 year ago

please dont do what my mom did, she bought me a "play girl" mag. and told me to read it, and ask her if i had any questions!  i knew from church that i was to remain a virgin til marriage and i tried til i was date raped! i was a mess of bad ideas by the time i was married. i was divorced and remarried by the time my son was ready to talk about these issues! my son and i kept a very open communication line through out his developing years and he came to me with all sorts of questions and when he approached me, then i knew he was ready for more info! but i was always honest and the one thing he says he always remembered me saying  was: "every date is a possible mate!" so if you dont think she's one you would want to be with forever, don't sleep with her and if she is, have enough resapect for her to wait til you marry her!"good luck will be watching to see how your talk goes and what i should have done!

Wendy D. More than 1 year ago

My parents did not have the talk with me.  I learned about it from other kids and had many misconceptions.  My children are 8, 6 and 3.  So my husband I have talked about how we should discuss this when the time comes.  On this level I am teaching my children that God loves them, that they are worthy and their bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  We want to take care of God's temple. I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in talking with your son.  God Bless.

Amber More than 1 year ago

wow!  no comments yet?  it doesn't usually take this long.  lol.  i haven't had to experience this yet, so i have no advice to offer.

MPY More than 1 year ago

My dad was very nonchalant about talking about these things to his then-only-two children. He mostly brought up the subject in age-appropriate stages, as you are doing. But, one of the things I think is fairly important is to talk to your kid as if he is the family pet: the family pet doesn't really understand what you're talking about except by way of the tones you use to talk about it. I think that another very important thing is, if you do feel nervous while talking to him about it, then I think you should speak very openly to him about the fact that you are nervous. And, maybe he will ask you why you are nervous, and thereby he unwittingly would become your 'shrink' .

I think that one thing that you don't want to do is try to make him think that you are not nervous when, in fact, you are nervous. I think he has to see you for who and what you are, not as some kind of high-and-mighty Oracle Of Truth who he too much dreads to displease. Maybe you could learn a bit from that Caesar the Dog Whisperer guy, too.

- Mark