Preparing Your Child for the Teen Years

Have you had “The Talk” with your child? You know, the one about sex?

If so, how did it go?

If not, why not? Maybe you feel nervous because you don’t know what to say.

I don’t blame you. The talk I had with one of my boys didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I’d planned a weekend long father/son getaway. We had a good time, and I did my best to explain everything in a way he’d understand.

Driving home, I asked him, “Any questions?”

“No. I got it.”

“OK, good,” I said. But about fifteen minutes later, I thought, He sure is quiet. So I told him, “Give me one statement that summarizes what we talked about.”

He stared out the windshield and said, “Gross.”

That wasn’t exactly the response I’d been hoping for.

Fortunately, that wasn’t the last time we talked about God’s design for sex. I’ve maintained ongoing conversations with both of my boys throughout their teen years. One thing I’ve learned is that talking about sex with your children can feel plain awkward, even weird.

And yet … we need to do it. It’s up to us, mom and dad, to paint a beautiful picture for our children of God’s design for their bodies and their sexuality. Even if you’re not sure how to do that right now, you can learn.

On our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Preparing Your Child for the Teen Years,” we’re discussing how to have conversations with your children about sex. This program isn’t graphic, but it’s probably not suitable for younger children, so please use your discretion and occupy your kids elsewhere, or listen later online, on Apple Podcasts, via Google Podcasts, or take us with you on our free phone app.

We’re talking with Danny Huerta, our vice president of parenting, and author Jessie Minassian. They’ve been counseling teens for years and have helped many make wise choices about faith, relationships, and sexuality.

Our conversation is based on a new video series from Focus on the Family called Launch into the Teen Years. This comprehensive resource includes six downloadable videos, a journal, and a parents’ guide. It’ll equip you with everything you need to have discussions with your child about topics like their changing body, the risks associated with social media, boy-girl relationships, peer pressure, and the importance of maintaining sexual purity.

We’d love to offer Launch into the Teen Years to you for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.

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Jim Daly

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