Sweaty palms. Nervous thoughts. Stammering words. As parents, many of us feel uneasy about talking to our kids about their changing bodies, about sex, and how it’s all a part of growing up. But it doesn’t have to be a struggle! This five-part video series Preparing Your Kids for the Teen Years will assist you as you prepare to talk to your preteen about what the Creator intended for sexuality and why.
In video one, host Jim Daly talks with family counselling expert Danny Huerta and author Jessie Minassian about how to paint sexuality as a beautiful part of God’s plan, which overshadows the counterfeit messages the culture portrays.
“[Talking about sex] is going to be awkward. . . . So let’s just be okay with that but still dive into the deep end. . . . When we paint a good and beautiful picture of how God designed our bodies to work and for men and women to come together, it’s going to overshadow what they’re seeing in the media and that counterfeit message that they’re being fed.”
// Articles on teaching kids about sex
Read the article series Healthy childhood sexual development
Read the article series Teaching children healthy sexuality
// Resource suggestions
The Launch Into the Teen Years kit created by Focus on the Family is a comprehensive curriculum that will help you confidently talk to your 9- to 12-year-old about boy-girl relationships, peer pressure, bullying, puberty, God’s design for sex and more. The kit includes a code to download six videos to watch with your child, a parents’ discussion guide and a child’s journal.
Special offer! Order your copy of the Launch Into the Teen Years kit today and get $20 off when you use the code LAUNCH20. Order your kit here
The Focus on the Family Guide to Talking With Your Kids About Sex will help you teach your kids about sex, self-control and self-respect at every stage of a child’s development.
In video two, Danny Huerta and Jessie Minassian recommend that parents start early - when kids are 4 or 5 years old – talking about the preciousness of the body and how God created us in His image. Sexuality encompasses our whole being – who we are – and not just anatomical parts. By age 7, 8 or 9, your kids are ready to learn about who they are in Christ, along with how their bodies will begin changing before long. In those critical preteen years, Mom and Dad must become the go-to people for questions and knowledge.
“[The conversation] begins very early – just about having kids learn about the preciousness of their body, preciousness of their design, their identity in Christ – that’s where it begins. Those are the foundations – how to handle friendships, how to learn patience, self-control – the elements around sexuality. It’s not all about one talk and one conversation around sexuality. Sexuality encompasses our very being, you know, who we are as people.”
// Articles and broadcasts on talking to kids about relationships
Read the article Why you need to talk to your kids about relationships now
Read the article Guiding your son to respond well to sexual attraction
Listen to the broadcast “Helping your daughter understand romantic relationships”
// Resource suggestions
Lies Girls Believe will help tween girls embrace their worth and identity in Christ, understand where true beauty lies, celebrate and embrace God’s special role for girls, and wisely manage their emerging interest in the opposite sex. Ages 8+
Choose Greatness is mentoring advice from Gary Chapman to help guide boys to make wise choices with regard to use of technology, respecting girls, being sexually responsible, avoiding drugs and alcohol and more. Ages 11+
Candid Conversations With Connie shares some sisterly advice from the much-loved Adventures in Odyssey character Connie Kendall to helps girls make good decisions about boys, peer pressure, cliques, social media and more. Ages 8+
In video three, Danny Huerta and Jessie Minassian address the moments when parents catch their daughters and sons acting or speaking in ways they haven’t been taught. Fact: Preteens pick up ideas, words and habits from media and other kids. So what now? Be present and ask loving questions. Don’t assume their behaviour is willful. Often there’s something below the surface driving them.
“Our job and our opportunity is to step into those moments with our kids, and to guide them and help them understand where these desires are coming from, but also being able to step in and say, ‘I’m worried about you. You’re making some decisions that are working completely against you and so I’m concerned about where this is taking you. What’s happening?’ . . . However you ask the question, go below the surface instead of getting stuck on the behaviour.”
// Articles and broadcasts on keeping your influence strong
Read the article Simple habits that help your kids love you and listen to you
Listen to the broadcast “Understanding your child’s love style”
Listen to the broadcast “Helping kids thrive in the middle school years”
// Resource suggestions
How We Love Our Kids will open your eyes to some surprising dynamics that influence how you parent. Learn what you need to adjust so your kids will feel a close connection to you at every age and stage.
Middle School: The Inside Story is a revealing look at the stresses kids face in the tween years, with practical advice for parents on how to remain their child’s closest ally in this new and sometimes daunting stage of life.
In video four, hosts Jim Daly and John Fuller discuss with Danny Huerta and Jessie Minassian how to bring humor, affection and truth to important conversations about God’s design for our bodies, our gender and sex.
On the need to be careful about teasing kids about the changes in their body at puberty:
“The relationship needs affection, it needs encouragement. So if dads are balancing it with a relationship where they are building in their sons, they’re noticing the good things about their sons, and also showing them affection, then it’s balanced well with being able to laugh. But if that’s the only comment they make about their son then it’s very damaging. It creates shame. It creates intimidation that I don’t measure up to what my dad wants me to become.”
// Articles on teaching kids about the changes of puberty
Read the article Your daughter and puberty
Read the article Guiding your son through puberty
Read the article Preparing your son for adolescence
// Resource suggestions
It’s Great to Be a Guy! speaks directly to boys ages 8 to 12, answering their questions about the physical changes of puberty, how to handle them, how to care for their changing body and more. Ages 8+
Mixing fun with great advice, The Ultimate Girls’ Body Book gives girls the info they need to start feeling comfortable about bras, periods, pimples and more. Ages 9+
In the fifth and final video of this series, Danny Huerta and Jessie Minassian implore moms and dads to embrace this coming season of adolescence. Set up special moments to talk to your preteens about identity, friendships, emotions, sexuality and more. These are your kids. No one else has the authority to speak into their lives like you do!
“No one else has the authority to speak into your kids’ lives the way that you do on this subject. Because you’ve been raising them from those little things, you get to speak into their lives on this. It’s okay if it feels a little bit awkward. It’s okay if you need a resource to come alongside you and help guide you through those talking points. That’s why we did this [curriculum], so you’ve got . . . something that can take you through those milestones and make sure you’ve covered all the bases – not just the one aspect of physical intimacy, but to make sure that you’re having a holistic and whole-hearted approach to this conversation.”
Tackle important conversations with help from the Launch Into the Teen Years kit! Prepared by Focus on the Family’s parenting experts, this video-based curriculum will help you cover all the bases with your 9- to 12-year-old and ease you both into the intimate discussions that need to take place. It’s a low-stress way to prepare your preteen for the changes of puberty and point them toward godly ways to navigate peer pressure, bullying, boy-girl relationships and God’s design for sex.
As Danny Huerta mentioned in video 2, many children are first exposed to pornography around the age of 8 years old. Get help with discussing pornography with your children here
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