Fletch and I love producing our podcasts, but the real treat is the connection we have with all of you. This morning we received an email from a reader that touched us and reminded us again why we are passionate about HomeschoolingIRL.
My husband and I are basically jaded enough that not much will surprise us. We have worked hard to maintain a family environment where our children feel safe to talk to us about anything, without fear of repercussion. Or so we thought.
Yesterday I listened to the latest podcast from Homeschooling IRL, on talking to your kids about sex. The main gist of it was that we needed to be talking to our kids about it sooner and beyond just the biology of it.
Our oldest is a young tween and has known for a long time the mechanics of sex because he is a question-asker and we have a policy that if you ask a straight question, you get a straight answer. We have already started talking about how sex is designed by God and is a gift between a husband and a wife. He understands that sometimes people choose to not follow God’s plan and that’s why we know people who have children outside of marriage.
After listening to the podcast I felt like I needed to start a deeper discussion with him. Like NOW. I casually sat him down and just quickly reminded him that he can trust me and can ask me any question, about anything, and I won’t get mad or upset. He responded by saying that sometimes he’s just a little embarrassed. I suggested that maybe he could text me his questions and he quickly agreed that was a good idea and that was the end of the conversation.
About 15 minutes later, he was in his bedroom and I was on the couch in the living room working and my phone bleeped. It was a text from my son.
And the questions started. And didn’t stop for about 30 minutes.
I realized that this conversation was happening not a minute too soon.
We have been intentional about talking with him about what is appropriate viewing – our bodies are private and we shouldn’t be seeing other people’s naked bodies. We’ve talked about appropriate language. We’ve talked about honoring God with our thoughts. But yesterday I had to start getting a lot more specific, more specific than I ever thought I’d need to with someone his age.
At the end of our text conversation, he asked if he could come out and give me a hug and I said of course. We hugged on the couch and prayed together and he went back to his room to finish reading his book.
I sat on the couch, with my stomach in knots, thinking, Holy Cow! I never want to go through that again! But, yet, I also know it is the first of many, many more conversations with him and all of our other children. I thank God that my son and I were able to talk openly and honestly about a very difficult subject.
Thank you, Fletch and Kendra, for bringing this out into the open. My prayer this morning is that this is the beginning of a stronger family for me, that isn’t afraid or embarrassed to talk about the hard stuff.
If you want some practical help with the sticky conversations, don't forget to check out Barrett Johnson's excellent and helpful book, The Talks: A Parent's Guide to Critical Conversations About Sex, Dating, and Other Unmentionables. You can also find our podcast, How Do I Talk to my Kids About Sex? right here.