Let's Talk About Sex

Isa is eight years old, going on eighteen it seems. She's a ray of sunshine, but too smart for her own good. She has yet to learn that drama is a bad thing and struggles with being nosy and gossiping in the grade-school kind of way. She is brilliant when it comes to understanding the world around her and has enough curiosity to kill ten cats.

The one thing that I am dreading is "The Talk" with her. In conversation yesterday with my husband, I brought up the nagging idea that I need to have a date night with her to begin the discussion about sexuality.

Granted, we have had some minor conversations that most parents have with young children. Chats about private parts and what to do if someone tries to violate that privacy. Chats about modesty and not running around naked. Chats about hygiene and care for our bodies. But, I am dreading the next level of conversations.

Photo from Associated Press

Jose told me that I am "the counselor" so I should know how to speak to her about these things, but I am unsure of how to have those discussions with her. More than anything, I do not want to, because some part of me fears that I will ruin her innocence and childlike beauty.

Furthermore, I am uncertain of how to approach conversations yet keep a Christian perspective, allowing her to learn about sexuality as God created it to be. I want her to understand the beauty in sexuality and our physical bodies, without instilling shame. I want to allow her to see the amazing gift of sex from God, but without pursuit in curiosity. I want her to love people, despite their choices regarding who they have sex with or when they have sex, but want her to know that sin in sexuality exists. I want her to be comfortable with asking us questions, but I am unsure that I have the answers.

Most of all, I do not want to make "The Talk" into "the talk." I want it to be an ongoing and continuous conversation that progresses as it needs to according to her learning curve. I don't want her to struggle with sexuality in the way that so many people, myself included, do. I want to raise a healthy daughter - physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually, cognitively. And that, is hard.

So, for those people who have older children...how did you do it? Tips of things that were super helpful or warnings of what-not-to-do's?

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