Two years ago, I took my then nine-year old daughter along with me to a Christian girls rally. The audience consisting mainly of 14 to 18 year olds was all abuzz as the hostess introduced “Dr. Intimacy”. They wanted to know who I was and what I was going to talk to them about. I’m sure if this event had been held at school and the community liaison of Planned Parent Hood was announced the girls would’ve known pretty much what to expect. However, the very notion of talking about sex in any Christian function seems almost sinister to most.
After running down a quick introduction I asked the audience a series of questions such as, “What is intimacy?” Many gladly volunteered answers. But when I asked, “What is sex?” everyone froze. No one wanted to answer my question. An audience that I assume by observance of their behavior consisted of very few virgins, was unwilling to render an answer. I refused to move on until I got an answer and so much to everyone’s surprise, my nine-year old daughter raised her hand. With no other volunteers after two minutes of waiting why wouldn’t I give her a chance to answer? She opened up her mouth and said very plainly without smiling, blinking or stuttering, “It’s when the penis goes into the vagina.”
The entire audience responded with laughter and amazement. Why was this nine-year old girl willing and able to explain what a room full of teenagers was not? She was able to explain because I taught her. I have seven children and I began teaching all of my children about sex when they reached the age of two. It never ceases to amaze me as I travel across the country to speak to people on issues of sexuality and intimacy, how ignorant most parents are to the dire need of candidly discussing sex with their children!
I’ll never forget the frantic phone call of a friend of mine. He had been called to his five-year old’s school because the boy had been accosted by two female students in his kindergarten class, who pulled his pants down and began performing oral sex on him right there in the class! It sounds hard to believe I know, but most children begin sexual exploration around the age of two. Sexual exploration is when they get curious and begin to test out “what it does when I do this”. It is also the typical age at which they want to know whether or not other people “have one too”. It won’t take a child long to figure out in the midst of their innocent exploration that it feels good when they rub this or pull on that. Many people have discussed with me children masturbating as early as two. I performed it regularly beginning at age five.
Parents, the right time to talk to your children about sex is NOW! The greatest thing that you can do as a parent to help avert sexual misbehavior, and the ill consequences thereof, in the lives of your children is to be very proactive. Don’t just react to what they do, influence what they do. Our children are bombarded with the deviant sexual influences of society from birth. No matter how wholesome you try to keep the environment in your home, unless you plan on moving to a deserted island, there is nothing that you can do to protect them from this. The most important challenge is helping them overcome their curiosity about sex by having candid discussions and lessons. You can start by showing them illustrations of naked bodies and allowing them ask as many questions as they want to. Give them honest but age appropriate answers using the proper names for the anatomy.
Always remember this about parenting and life and general: The first time a person hears something will be the most substantial time and will set the foundation for their beliefs on that topic forever. If the first time your children hear about sex is in a perverted way on the school playground, that is what will shape their beliefs about sex. If it is at home with Mom and the Bible, talking about the beauty of intimacy in marriage and the sacredness of their bodies to be reserved for that time, that is what will shape their beliefs. It is such a terrible and irreversible mistake when parents neglect to discuss sexuality with their children. What I find is that most parents wait until they think their children may be interested or involved in sex, but once that sleeping giant of sexuality is awakened it is hard to return it to hibernation. Don’t wait until it is too late. Equip them now to successfully stand against the pressures of a society that is encouraging sexual immorality on every hand. Help prevent them from becoming another bad teenage statistic and prepare them for enjoyable intimacy with a spouse in the future.
What are your thoughts on this? If you have children, at what age did you first discuss sex with them? Have you been “waiting for the right time”?
In the Power of Love,
Prolific Author and Speaker Specializing in Sex, Intimacy and Relationships from a Holistic Perspective – Spirit, Soul & Body
Copyright © 2011 by Laneen A. Haniah “Dr. Intimacy”. All rights reserved. Please see full copyright notice on front page for more info.