Homemaking/ Parenting

Parents, Don’t Teach Your Kids About Sex at a Young Age

We are living in a generation saturated with sex. More skin is visible now than ever before and it is unavoidable. Flesh and provocative headlines are freely visible right at child eye level at your grocery store checkout. Advertising anything from toothbrushes to cars is done by adding sex appeal. With this kind of exposure, it's no wonder that Christian parents have felt the need to address sexuality with their children at ever decreasing ages. Take a look at why we think you should STILL wait.

We are living in a generation saturated with sex. More skin is visible now than ever before and it is unavoidable. Flesh and provocative headlines are freely visible right at child eye level at your grocery store checkout. Advertising anything from toothbrushes to cars is done by adding sex appeal. With this kind of exposure, it’s no wonder that Christian parents have felt the need to address sexuality with their children at ever decreasing ages.

Why should the world have the only input on this sacred topic? I agree. Christian parents are responsible for educating their children about sexual issues, and the world must be tuned out wherever possible. Public schools begin sexual “education” in the third or fourth grade and continue until graduation. We should not allow our children to be dunked headfirst into that vat of slime. If your child is exposed to sex through public education or other means while they are young, then you will have no choice but to address it (and remove your child from that environment!). Culture and Christian blogs all over the web are strongly pushing parents into having “the talk” early, to take ownership of being the one to educate your children, not to let fear stop you. However, there are advantages to delaying a child’s sex education even if it is the right kind of education. Here are some thoughts:

Let children enjoy their innocence/childhood

Children who lose their innocence too soon have a harder time growing up. Knowing too much as a kid can create burdens that make childhood difficult to pass through. Children who have not even begun to develop physically simply don’t need to know as much as those who have. While American culture provides enough garbage to destroy anyone’s innocence, we should strive to protect the innocence of our children by shielding them from those sources. Let kids be kids!

Don’t strip your child of all their innocence by giving them a cucumber and condom lesson at age eight.

You can’t treat children like small adults

Society says, teach kids about sex at a young age. The more they know, the more prepared they are. The more prepared they are, the better decisions they’ll make. The truth is that knowledge and information can do serious damage to children who are not ready. Supporters of full-frontal sex education (at whatever age your child asks about sex) don’t understand that knowledge is power only when that person is capable of a rational and informed decision. Children are not capable of such decisions and treating them as adults in this way is not helping them.

Kay Hymowitz, author of Ready or Not: What Happens When We Treat Children as Small Adults argues that we have overestimated the mental capabilities of children. Information does not protect children from evil unless it is coupled with wisdom, and wisdom is sorely lacking in kids.

We are living in a generation saturated with sex. More skin is visible now than ever before and it is unavoidable. Flesh and provocative headlines are freely visible right at child eye level at your grocery store checkout. Advertising anything from toothbrushes to cars is done by adding sex appeal. With this kind of exposure, it's no wonder that Christian parents have felt the need to address sexuality with their children at ever decreasing ages. Take a look at why we think you should STILL wait.

Sex can also ruin lives. Let’s not forget this. The impact of pornography, adultery, and fornication can destroy you. Proverbs says that the man who commits adultery will not have is shame wiped away. The young man who follows the strange woman knows not that “the dead are there”. Children don’t need to understand that sex is fun and healthy (inside a marriage), as much as they need to know that they could ruin their lives if they don’t have someone guiding them.

When your seven-year-old gets near the road while retrieving a ball, do you stop and explain that driving and walking on the road is fun and healthy as long as they look both ways and wear a seatbelt? I suspect that the average parent will provide a lecture about being run over instead. When someone cannot understand the harmful consequences of an action not yet taken, fear is an appropriate motivator to inhibit that behavior.

How does the Bible approach sex education?

Proverbs, the book of wisdom, provides (among other things) a balanced sex education to the young man, whom Solomon called “my son”. In this book, we see that Solomon spends far more time providing warnings of danger than he spends educating about biology or how wonderful and healthy sex can be. Let’s look at Proverbs 5:

He spends the first 14 verses giving out warnings about chasing the wrong kind of relationship, with the wrong person. The next 5 verses explain that he will be blessed if he marries one woman (the right woman) and stays faithful. Then lastly, he ends with 4 more verses that repeat his earlier warnings!

Parent, are you providing this kind of education to your child? Do you start with a warning, explain the benefits of sex in marriage, and then end with a warning? That is what young people need, and that is why the book of proverbs was written.

What is more important? Getting your children married to the right person, and avoiding heartache and destruction? Or is it that they would feel comfortable about their bodies, and have all the knowledge they need to be a good sexual partner? If they get the first one right, they will have decades of a blessed marriage to figure out the second.

 

Your turn! What are your thoughts on waiting to teach your kids about sex? Let’s chat in the comments below!

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Jennifer s.
    September 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you for writing this post. I have been so saddened to see Christians pushing sex education at such a young age. I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling, but you have said what was in my heart.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 4, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      I’ve felt this way for so long and finally just had to say something, even if it goes against the current culture. I’m glad I’m not alone, as I’m sure you are!

  • Reply
    Naomi K.
    September 28, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for addressing this! I’ve said before, that it’s hard to for teens to get into trouble and do things too soon, if they don’t even know what to do. And parents, please be the mean old-fashioned parent who won’t let their kid read whatever books they want, or have whatever friends they want, or have unlimited internet access. God gave children parents because He knew they would have trouble making a lot of decisions on their own. Thanks for the good preaching, Ana. 😉

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm

      Amen, Naomi! We need to go back to the old fashioned parenting and be mean! Strictness keeps our children from trouble and is actually the more loving things to do.

  • Reply
    Diana
    November 9, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Stumbled on your blog Ana. Appreciate this post and the point you’re trying to make but for a different reason, I think some sex education is necessary to keep a child safe. And by “some”, I mean letting them know what is acceptable and unacceptable touching as well as what they can and cannot allow strangers to do to them. Sex predators are all over the place (schools, neighbourhoods and even online); a child too naive to know something is wrong may end up a victim.

    I am working currently on issues of child sexual abuse and this can happen to children as young as toddlers. Of course, we cannot teach a 3 yr old about these dangers but we may be able to teach a 5 yr old? I guess what I am saying is that blanketing sex education as a no-no may result in leaving out education that can keep your child safe. But perhaps you meant the ‘sex education’ differently.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      November 19, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Definitely referring to sex as in how it works between husband and wife, not in abuse education. Kids should be taught that no one should be touching them. I don’t believe that to fall into the sex education category. 🙂

  • Reply
    Riley Risner
    August 31, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    Just a heads up — not talking about it will not prevent them from knowing about it. I learned about sex in first grade by kids on the school bus. I then learned about pornography when I googled “XXX” in 3rd grade after seeing it somewhere. By the time I an adult talked to me about sex, I had already known everything about it and ignored them — including their warnings that I shouldn’t have sex until marriage. After all, my first experience ever hearing about sex was in the context of how cool and grown up it is. If I had been warned about sex right after first being told about it, maybe I wouldn’t have rushed into having sex.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 4, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Thanks Riley. Here’s a section from the introduction of the article:

      If your child is exposed to sex through public education or other means while they are young, then you will have no choice but to address it…

      There are advantages of delaying your child’s exposure to sex especially in the pre-pubescent ages, which was the point of the article.

  • Reply
    Arin
    October 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I was not taught about sex, and I was very confused and misinformed growing up. I very strongly disagree with your article. I will teach my child about sex because I don’t want him to grow up feeling confused and ashamed like I did.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      October 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Arin, You may not have read the article. The point wasn’t that you shouldn’t teach your children about sex. The opposite was said in fact. I shared some biblical ideas about the advantages of delaying the subject that many people ignore. Ultimately every parent needs to decide what to do in their specific situation.

      • Reply
        Arin
        October 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm

        I did read the article, you talked about using fear as a teaching tactic. Fear and ignorance reinforce shame while compassion and knowledge empower children to make informed choices. Avoiding these discussions make these topics taboo and they become stigmatized. Teaching children about their bodies is crucial and part of teaching them about their bodies is teaching them about their sexual organs. My son is only 5 and we have already had conversations about sexual organs and menstruation. He is still full of innocence and wonder. Innocence and ignorance are not synonymous.

        • Reply
          Anastasia Safee
          October 5, 2017 at 3:50 pm

          Thanks for the comments Arin. I don’t advocate ignorance or shame in the article. Children need to be educated about sex and parents are responsible to make those decisions.

          Failing to warn our children about dangers in the world is a mistake. Do you think that warning a child about a hot stove would make them feel fear and shame?

          Please understand that this article has more to do with HOW to educate your children and nothing to do with advocating ignorance or shame.

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