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Having “The Talk” With Kids: When, Why, and How Not to Make it Awkward

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 2, 2022 9:00 pm

Having “The Talk” With Kids: When, Why, and How Not to Make it Awkward

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 2, 2022 9:00 pm

How to start being open with your kids about sexuality from an early age ? yr. Start asking simple questions about what your kids are experiencing in their lives and finding out how they feel about it- be cognizant of your reactions and be “chill as a cucumber”. Have them find contrast/similarities with their thoughts and God’s.

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We have G rated the Bible you know we teach in our primary grades. Genesis but we take out all the sinful stuff and we really need to go back when our kids are 10, 11, 12, hit middle school and we need to do Genesis. The rest of the story because how much sexuality is her Genesis Selma so much, but we just remove that from the stories welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life. This is family life today so I don't even know if I know the answer to this question and I should after 41 years of marriage.

But when was.

You remember the first time somebody taught you about sexuality. I don't think anyone did well, let me say I think it's peers I think was pornography. I think I was exposed to a lot of different things, but I don't think there was a conversation with mom and dad know, I know you're dead.

Now I get a vegan. However, even saying the word now what about you Marty.

Jordan really my best friends. Everything about that. I'm apprised 12 1112 years old is over his house.

Mom never talked about it. Dad wasn't there.

I always pretended I knew staff and I was like the answer is by member I was traumatized by what he told me like that can't be true.

That is the Lord ridiculous again so as I was walking out of his house.

I literally looked at his mom and said is that is true. She just shook her head as she heard the conversation and you know you think about now as parents in the world we live in. How do our kids find out about this. Okay listeners. I'm pretty passionate we have got to be intentional about this area because if we are not. The culture is teaching our kids every single day.

And if we don't instruct our kids biblically and truthfully and honestly the culture will feed them so many lies and so much misinformation and so we got to doctors in the studio today to women who really devote your lives in many ways to helping not just parents but anyone talk to their teens about sexuality welcome to the studio we got Dr. Latina Dr. Beth with us today will confirm like today thank you yeah you written a book called talking with teens about sexuality and Dr. Beth you are a college professor you're a clinical psychologist. I'm actually a licensed professional counselor, but I am also a college professor at Lubbock Christian University and so you do it this all time could you go to college could sit in your classroom every day. Yes, do you guys talk about this topic. Sure, I mean what each of my general psychology class. We actually have a course on it in our psychology program called gender and sexuality, but where else are the kids get to hear from. I mean, the fallacy is that I listen to you guys talk about Steve. I talked to you about it.

The truth is that if we go pull a young generation of much younger parents and say the same thing. Their answer is still the same I been working in this field for 30 years and nobody, as far as parents are concerned are teaching their children any differently than they were taught were abdicating our instruction to the Internet is what's happened. Kids are googling now. Yes there googling and they're not getting a biblical perspective and they also have decided that his parents we don't have any idea about it.

And let's again let me add to year and author uses written multiple books and co-authored multiple books but how did this coalition come to be well my children who are now adults. Both went to Lubbock Christian University and they were students of Dr. Beth and they would talk about Dr. Beth this and Dr. Beth that in our classes were fun and they learned so much and we had opportunity to meet. I think at some social function at Lubbock Christian, and we can hit it off, but since I live in Albuquerque and she lives in Lubbock are opportunities over these decades has been just sporadic to even see each other but one time she was talking about where she was going in her ministry and I was talking about what I was doing, you know, in terms of trajectory.

You know where we hope to end up and I said Beth, the stories that you tell about working, especially with abused children working with children with sexual issues. I said those things need be preserved because this wealth of information and insight because she has such great insides.

I said needs to be preserved and I said you have stories to tell the people need to know. I just had read a book by Sam Chan who is an author and it's about evangelism in the 21st century and he says that people learned to stories and that's the way their learning today and I said Beth we could write a book about because her passion is protecting children.

Bottom line I think what she really wants to do is protect children. I said why don't we write a book about protecting children from sexual predators, because you know all the signs you know all the ins and outs.

You know how the criminal mind works because I don't know if you know this. Dr. Beth is often a expert witness in court trials with children data and abuse of she knows forensically how to talk about and I said we could tell the stories just like Sam Chan says to do tell stories to engage the mind appearance. Who are you know generations behind us at least one generation behind us and let them see scenarios that they can identify with that their child is having this problem, or is been approached by someone or something else and I said I think that would be a very helpful book and so that's how we got started writing that first book. My response to that was, I don't have time for this and I said to be the brains.

I'll be the broad so here here's the question I you know we started with so you say early in the book. Most parents are one and done. Yes, they have a conversation is one little conversation and never talked about again so talk about that because there's a lot of parents listener like so how do I do talk.

That's what the site had to talk to you have the top, but you're saying it needs to be a lot more than one talk I will need to be much more than one talk it needs be much more than one weekend. In fact, if you want to start talking to your kids about sexuality. You know you're starting the conversations from the time they're born and you don't even realize because when you teach them body parts are starting the conversation when you won't identify private parts it with language that they can use correct terminology even even correct terminology and I'm not saying that correct terminology right now because we don't know the age of our listeners that when you can't even do that and you turn red. You know your kids Artie got the message about sexuality. In fact, every kid by age 5.

Needs to know what sexual safety is probably the first time I really recognize this need is I was called out to a congregation where young couples had been involved in a group get-togethers at night. Group meetings on Sunday nights and they would bring their kids and they would let all the kids play together without adult supervision. Well, there was a child in that group.

He was eight or nine at the time to act out sexually on the younger children. Children that were two and three years old in this congregation and I went out and worked with leaders in the congregation I worked with. There were a dozen families met with each of the families kind of met with the kids worked through kind of what sorts of issues might exist or could exist and help the leadership figure out how to deal with the family who had the child who was defending against other children and what came out of that is I went back six months later and I said to the individuals that had had their children affected by this.

I said what would you have liked to have seen it would've been helpful to you in the process and I was thinking about the process after the abuse occurred and they said we wish there had been a book or something that we could have used to have taught our children sexual safety so I went back to Lubbock at the time and created a coloring book called God make me which teaches sexual safety in a very nonthreatening way that Christian parents can teach their children before age 5. It talks about God make me and how special we Artie made the sun and the moon and the stars is very nonthreatening because by age 5.

Kids need to know that and see if we've had those conversations by age 5 are conversations get more in depth is the ghetto. So even in that coloring, but could you explain like what was in the coloring book that would help parents and children to know what was safe. The main thing the coloring book did is it kind of made it safe to talk about private parts and all that we did in the coloring book was identify private parts. As the parts of your body covered by swimming suit and then told kids of somebody touches in there that they need to always tell her parents and if telling the parents doesn't make it stop. Then you tell other trusted adults, a nurse, a schoolteacher police officer and that it's always okay to say no because most sexual abuse happens with people that are kids now is that not true 90% of offenders are people that we have invited into our inner circles. They will be trusted friends and family members. I mean I have sexual abuse my background and that's exactly what happened was all the parents were together all the kids were playing and things were happening because parents never checked in and they just didn't think about it that I think we really need to think about that as parents and so I mean partly sick and you're like one of those little girls here. You just said your mom that never talked about it. So would you talk to no one, that is pretty common, very common. I found in my first couple of years of being a professor at Lubbock Christian University that I had a lot of students we don't have a counseling center back then, but I have a lot of students who would walk into my office because I was a psychology professor and would reveal abuse and to be honest they were revealing abuse that occurred in churches primarily where it was ministers and youth ministers, and so they got far enough away from home that they finally talked although there's a good percentage that don't ever talk about now. What other kind of confusion is happening today in our culture and the kids are facing that we as parents like how could you coach parents today as kids are dealing with sexual confusion because there's a lot going on. I think one big issue that I think parents confuse and to be honest with you, this book was a learning adventure for me as an author, learning from Dr. Beth that there's a difference between gender and sex. My think a lot of confusion that's going on with kids these days as they don't define those two things specifically as they should. And when they'd start talking about being transgender does that mean that your homosexual or what's the difference between how you view yourself and how you act on your sexual impulses. Those are two completely different things. What's that look like, how we have those discussions. As parents, those conversations come to us every day if are looking for them as parents. What does that mean that may help us to look for them. Yes, that means your kids are having interactions with friends at school.

There's seeing things on TV. The information on their tablets. All those things honestly if a parent would take a notebook and just jot down all the things that they see or hear from their children, or see in their environment that has sexual meaning to it, or could explain relationships. That's where the education begins and what is not open to and so I didn't believe it scared and we don't know what to say we don't even know some of the terminology day because it's changing so much and so you're getting.

I feel like you're helping us your coaching assist parents giving us tools and language to know how we talk to what my question is how coach (even just have a conversation about you know let's say they're not five years old or more are getting older than you want to talk more about the the way sexuality works in marriage and relationship like I thing again. Most bars are afraid to do it like you said, there's the one and done, I have the talk Julio's letter. 11. There saying that Ralph talked had their one about your book your sin.

There needs to be a conversation that's ongoing probably daily. So what's it look like well I think the easiest way to access it for me is your kids even if there watching what you think is a G rated Disney show in this day and time. There's issues there about gender and sexuality all the time and you just open it up.

I mean if you're they are watching it and you see something the easiest thing to do is to say that main think that means you both done this year. Both John's Beth you're single, but you have fostered, how many children 15, 10 boys that you Dennis and I did a terrible job.

I know I'm the first to confess my children are in their 40s now and my husband took our son out to have the talk right came back in like 15 minutes and I said did you have the talk and he said well I had this book I was going to show Ryan and he said oh yeah, my buddy and I saw that book over somebody else's ass and we went through it and Dan asked him do you have any questions.

He said no and they said let's go get burgers that was that. And with my daughter. She was so traumatized by me mentioning menstruation that all she did was sit and why cannot you know this can happen to your body. It's normal.

It's can be okay you know and all this and I got through and she hasn't said a word and I said you have any questions and she just shook her head and house that you know I tried open up conversations with her, but she was like deer in the headlights you and don't even mention the enemy.

You know so so okay so putting the kids on the spot, asking them if they have questions is not to stay over there and had one. But see, it's not nearly as confrontational to use information lock a television show top video kids don't know how sexually suggestive a lot of the dancing is on tick-tock unit you can watch that and say okay I just wonder what you think about when you see this because this is what I think other people think about our cheer teams games are here you thinking Disney movies yes going on, and so I think the issue is we think we have to have a whole lot of knowledge. We doubt we have to know how to have a conversation with her kid, so you're saying asked the question what he think of this. Yes, and I'm gonna say in regards to sexuality. About 5% of it is us giving a response in 95% of it is asking questions. So if we think we have to know everything you know how lecture about it and know how talk about all the body parts and STDs and all that the kids get that biology and they forget it doesn't apply because that's the other thing happens a whole lot is. We give kids clinical biology information and that doesn't mean a thing to them when they're in a situation with the peer and about to have sex because that doesn't look like the biology book at all and so there are lots of ways to have the conversation, but it begins with questions. Think about how this interview would if you came in here and kinda gave me a five minute lecture have any questions. Well, okay, that's kind of what we want to do that sex education said to me like you guys quit making this so hard just just ask you know what I'm thinking of as a dad and I know a lot of our listeners are parents, they may be thinking the same way I've always thought and we wrote about it in a pairing book. No perfect occurrences like you need to be teaching spiritual truths along the way.

Deuteronomy 6 when you sit at the table when you laid down. It's this everyday conversation, but I think often we don't think about that sexuality with our kids where they go and talk about God along the way I want to use the Bible would have moments during every day and that's sort of the goal. We often keep the sexual conversations like what sort off-limits. You know I'm not going to go there and you're saying no, that's a daily conversation to use what you're watching. Use what you're reading. Don't run away from it that I would say to a dad or mom. Listen right now have the courage to ask a simple question like you just said best what you think about that take us a step further. Give us an example of a Disney movie kind of idea. I have to tell you haven't seen the Disney movie recently. I have read articles that cite my kids are older yeah okay yeah so the conversations I'm having now are about tick-tock. I use software on phones that sends me alerts about content that my kids might be viewing and things like that.

In fact, I have installed it with permission on phones of a couple kids I see in counseling who don't understand appropriate sexual content. So when I get a red flag. It's very easy to say okay this came through on Mark today let's look at it on your phone and they alerted because this was sexual content or violence or whatever see that showed to me and then they showed it to me and I can say can you tell me what might not be appropriate and in they may be able to and then my other question I always follow up with is I say what you think about that and then it's either what you think. I think about that or what you think God thinks about say that I taught the values and I am to go back to what you said about Deuteronomy passage McKay we have G rated the Bible. I have often said, I hope somebody has done this or will take me up on this.

You know, we teach in our primary grades. Genesis but we take out all the sin.

So all those people in Genesis apparently were perfect and we really need to go back when our kids are 10, 11, 12, hit middle school and we need to do Genesis. The rest of the story because how much sexuality is there in Genesis Selma so much, but we just remove that from the stories. I remember being in the car with our kids and I was listening to the Bible on tape day and I came to Genesis where it says and then went to lot and said bring the men out to us so that we can have sexual relations with them.

Our kids are like spy sad then and I turned it off, break your saying that an opportunity thing that's an opportunity and when you want to pick it in an age-appropriate way right but it is an opportunity don't go out of my way around the age appropriate time to party music and a five-year-old that would be probably the appropriate thing to turn it off.

I got hurt or not.

I would knock it off to yeah you know a lot of parents think that we do sex education when our kids are teenagers.

I'm gonna tell you were way too late. At 12 and 13. That's 910 1112 conversations now and obviously in our ministry family life is all about helping families do this and so we have a resource called passport to purities been around for decades, that is a tool for parents to use because we know this is not easy for us as parents is like your will give you a tool and often when someone hands me a tool like I can do that yes it all and so I tell listeners go to family life and get passport to purity and walk-through because basically we walk you through a conversation that you have with your kids, but what Beth and let Tanner sent don't let that be the end of the conversation. That's just one conversation of thousands probably right yes and that should be the beginning or the end to either one right because with parenting you should be talking about this across the lifespan. I mean, my younger kids that grew up in my head you know the coloring book existed when the it was age-appropriate for them for five I'm coming to Florida now and they say are you in Florida.

You know they hardly noticed teenagers going to Florida. Now they want to talk about the book amazed the site is one about sex again. Yeah, you know that's kind of their thing. And you know that they would even get to the point with her like we know that Bob we know the way know that I'm guessing they don't because you have these conversations and you and your church. Yes, your church on my mind yeah but I mean honestly say we did it even really well. I member my oldest son CJ's 35. He said that you had this conversation with me when us too young so I started with some number one like I want to be ahead of the game and so maybe now maybe I was too young. I think it was 2 1/2 know it was eight or nine is a but anyway looking back, I do remember that one of our friends and we have three sons all married.

No grandkids.

One of our friends of our son said one day in our kitchen.

Hey, I know the way to raise kids that are be virgins when they get married.

Talk about sex every day in the kitchen were like what he goes. Every time I was at your house.

There was some conversation that was sorta natural in this home about sexuality and you have three sons. They got married as virgins lease and they told us right but there were conversations that were just a normal part of life.

You know, for me it was still like I can preach about this. It's harder to talk about this. My kitchen, but it need to be done. I think it's because it affected me so much. The sexual abuse really happened call on me and I realize like we need to talk biblically how this is a good plan that God has and why he has put any restrictions on it is because of his love for us and then you both even talk of how often that we talk so much about what you shouldn't do. We don't talk about the great plan that God has for us and I think that's really an important part covered as well yeah I would just say is you listen to this program. The question is what you thought about tonight with the kids. I think it's one of those deals where again, I'm just thinking the way on where to be likewise good conversation. You know, next month I needed to give rather than maybe send out my wife to know my husband or if you're single parent or a blended family soon okay what's our plan on this and we need to start him some conversations and you guys just mana force. Just ask a question.

I think to do. If you have school-age kids there hearing this constantly, so if you haven't talked about before, maybe have a conversation as I know, stuff happening school.

He could be confused about your hearing on TV are seen on social media of sexuality and we haven't talked about it that much but I want this to be a place where you can ask questions maybe we need to ask you questions because there's a lot going on now.

It hasn't been going on in the past and terminology. Maybe you could help us.

Just open the door open the door. Those discussions, I think all of us as parents are understanding that were going to have to be more proactive and have more intentional conversations with our children about sexuality, probably at an age that feels premature for us. But the reality is, our kids are hearing about this at school on the playground in social media even cartoons today and so as parents we have to have a strategy. That's what David and Wilson have been talking about today with Beth Robinson on Latoya and Scott that you have written a book called talking with teens about sexuality. Critical conversations about social media, gender identity, same sex attraction, pornography, purity, dating all of the book is available for purchase.

You can go to our website. Family life to for more information or call us at one 800 FL today again the website is family life to title of the book is talking with teens about sexuality order online or call to order at one 800 FL today, one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today and some of your gonna want to add to your New Year's resolution list a getaway with your pre-team for a passport to purity weekend together a couple of days where you can get away and utilize this family life resource designed to help you engage with your pre-team around the themes we talked about today, there is information about passport to purity on our website.

The family life as well.

So check that out that we want to take just a minute and say a quick word of thank you to all of you who over the last few weeks have responded to our year-end matching gift opportunity we've heard from many of you in the weeks leading up to Christmas and in the last week of the year. Many of you who really were voting for family life you were saying this ministry is a ministry that needs to continue. It's a ministry that's helping our family.

It's a ministry that's making a difference in our lives and we want to see it not only continue, but expand. We just want to know how grateful we are for your support of family life to the your partnership with us here in this ministry and say thanks again for our rallying at year-end to support the ongoing work of this ministry and we hope you can join us again tomorrow when we talk about the revolution that's happening inside a teenagers body and brain at puberty, how as parents we need to be alert to that and be ready for it know how to help them navigate that David and Wilson continue with Beth Robinson and Lieut. Scott tomorrow. We hope you can be here for that as well on behalf of our host Steven and Wilson on bottle team will see you back next time for another edition of family life, family life, to a is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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