Jon Stolpe Stretched

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The Birds and The Bees – Talking to Your Kids About Sex

I was blessed as a kid with parents who spoke clearly and appropriately about sex.  The summer before I went into sixth grade, I remember my dad taking me camping to Lake Atsion.  It was here that we spent time camping and cooking.  And it was here that my dad gave me “the talk” about sex.  I’m sure it was somewhat awkward for both of us, but this was clearly an important conversation.

From what I’ve heard, most kids don’t learn about the birds and the bees from this type of candid discussion from their parents.  Most kids learn from their peers, from pornographic magazines and websites, and from experimentation.

Leanne and I decided early on in our parenting that we didn’t want our kids learn first about sex from others.  Several years ago at a Family Life Marriage Conference, we picked up a four book series called “God’s Design for Sex.”  Each book is written for a different age group to give parents the tools to talk to their kids about sex with age appropriate material.  Leanne read through these books with Hannah already, and I’ve been reading the books with our son.  As Isaac is in the first weeks of sixth grade, we are finishing up the third book in the series.  There’s been a little awkwardness as we’ve talked about things like periods, AIDS, and about some of the “mechanics” of sex.  (I’m an engineer, I couldn’t help it.)  But our conversation has also been good.

I’m thankful for the example of my parents, for helpful tools like these books, and for the chance to teach our kids about a subject that matters.

How did you learn about sex?  How have you handled this subject with your own kids?

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September 15, 2011 - Posted by | book review, family, life, marriage, parenting

20 Comments »

  1. Sounds like a great approach. When my son started asking questions, then I started answering them.

    Comment by wordsfallfrommyeyes | September 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. When I was in 6th grade, my dad took my brother and I through a whole weekend Bible study on sex, purity, dating, etc. It was awesome!

    It has made me who I am today…

    Comment by Brandon | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • I can definitely relate. My dad’s “talk” and example had a huge impact on me. I followed my dad’s example. My wife is the only person I’ve kissed (just like my dad). I waited until marriage for sex (just like my dad). I pray that I can be a Godly example for my kids as they continue to grow.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the great references. This will come in handy as my kid gets older.

    Comment by ramblinknight | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • One thing that I failed to mention is that the book series starts pretty young. I believe book one is written to be read with 3-5 year olds. Book 2 is written for 5-8 year olds. Book 3 is written for 8-11 year olds. And Book 4 is written for 11-14 year olds. It provides great age appropriate conversational stepping stones to this subject.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  4. Thank you for sharing your parenting experiences and these tools. I’ve started looking for good materials on the subject. These days the time for “the talk” seems to be getting earlier and earlier. My son is still pretty young, 2nd grade, but I know it won’t be long before it’s time to start explaining certain things to him. My parents did okay, mostly they sheltered me, but I want to walk for years with my kids on this journey of purity. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Beck | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • As I mentioned in my reply to Ryan’s comment. The book series is written to start with book 1 for ages 3 through 5. The series really does provide great age appropriate stepping stones to help parents and kids through this topic.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  5. Thanks I will be sure to look these books up. Another good one is by Stephen Arterburn, Preparing your son for Every Man’s battle.

    Comment by Crystal | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks for the resource, Crystal! I’ve heard of this book, and it may be the natural next step as Isaac and I finish up this book series this fall.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  6. WOW…this is akward….hmmmm….lol….j/k…

    I have already started talking to emily (5) about everything that pertains to God, Jesus, the cross about that means….Holloween and santa clause, the easter bunny….i’v explained everything…..she gets it….enought to get in a little trouble at school. LOL…but that’s ok…we talked to her about that too!

    Sex talk will be no different….i just didn’t know what age…since she will be 6 in January…i might start there…or maybe when she starts 1st grade…i have to talk it over with my wife…

    Comment by Arny Sanchez | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Arny, If you get a chance read my comment stream above. Book 1 of this series is written for ages 3-5, so my guess is you’re probably ready for books one and maybe book 2 already. Time flies when your parenting!

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  7. Thanks for sharing with us and with your kids. My parents never really talked to us about sex or our sexuality. Made for some unnecessary challenges for my sibs and I. Our oldest is only 5, but we’re planning on talking openly about things.

    Comment by Steve High | September 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Steve! Great to see you here! Are you heading up to GCC for homecoming next weekend? Oh, I digress.

      Great to hear that you’re planning to talk openly with your kids about this subject. I can see where it was challenging for our parents, but you have the opportunity to set the tone and change the direction for your immediate family and for generations to come through conversations like this.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  8. Wow, Jon. You make me sound like super Dad. I’m glad you still think all of that was positive. I know I’ve wavered and stumbled in communicating and modeling for you and your brothers, but I’m proud of all of you and hope your assessment of growing up in more positive than negative.

    Comment by Norman Stolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Dad, You are Super Dad in my mind. I know you didn’t and don’t always get it right. But I’ve learned quite clearly that you absolutely love me. I think along with the good things you’ve exemplified, you’ve also taught us that failure happens. We don’t always get it right. But that there is Grace and forgiveness (and consequences) despite our shortcomings. Thanks for a great example!

      To the other readers, one of the funny things about the whole sex thing is that my dad was responsible for teaching about sex, purity, dating, and relationships to my youth group. I think it was more awkward sitting in a room full of friends and peers and listening to your dad talk about sex than you could ever imagine. (I’m still thankful for the example.)

      Also, it was quite amusing to talk to our kids last night at the dinner table as we discussed my blog post. Isaac turned especially red at the thought of his Grandpa and Grandma talking with me about sex when I was a boy.

      Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  9. Dad, You are Super Dad in my mind. I know you didn’t and don’t always get it right. But I’ve learned quite clearly that you absolutely love me. I think along with the good things you’ve exemplified, you’ve also taught us that failure happens. We don’t always get it right. But that there is Grace and forgiveness (and consequences) despite our shortcomings. Thanks for a great example!

    To the other readers, one of the funny things about the whole sex thing is that my dad was responsible for teaching about sex, purity, dating, and relationships to my youth group. I think it was more awkward sitting in a room full of friends and peers and listening to your dad talk about sex than you could ever imagine. (I’m still thankful for the example.)

    Also, it was quite amusing to talk to our kids last night at the dinner table as we discussed my blog post. Isaac turned especially red at the thought of his Grandpa and Grandma talking with me about sex when I was a boy.

    Comment by jonstolpe | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  10. […] 2.  The Birds and The Bees – Talking to Your Kids About Sex […]

    Pingback by Jon Stolpe Stretched | October 3, 2011 | Reply

  11. […] 2.  The Birds and The Bees – Talking to Your Kids About Sex […]

    Pingback by September 2011 Top Posts « Jon Stolpe Stretched | October 3, 2011 | Reply

  12. I learned about it on the school bus and at school. We have done much better with our kids.

    Comment by LarryTheDeuce | December 19, 2011 | Reply


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