The preteen sex talk can be intimidating but is necessary…now more than ever. Parents and kidmin workers must be prepared to communicate about biblical sexuality. Read on to learn how to help preteens navigate tough, modern-day issues.
Parents often avoid the “birds and bees” conversation with their kids for many reasons. The preteen sex talk can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing. But for today’s preteens, sexuality is front and center in their lives. Media and social media are saturated with sex, and kids’ personal experiences raise all kinds of questions.
Issues that wouldn’t have made their way into hushed conversation a couple generations ago are now all over the headlines. And they’re cropping up in children’s ministry too. Topics such as children dealing with transgender issues, confusion about sexual preference, and homosexual parents are commonplace.
So what if a beyond-the-birds-and-bees conversations lands in your ministry? How do you handle it when a preteen is struggling with a complex sexual issue?
We’ve assembled expert advice about having a modern-day preteen sex talk. Share this information with parents and guardians. And let families know you walk alongside them as they deal with challenging topics.
The Preteen Sex Talk
You overhear several preteens talking about sex. You’re shocked by the subject matter and their sophistication about it. But you’re even more shocked to hear the latitude by which they’re defining sexual activity. Kids are openly talking about oral sex, who did what with whom, and so on. What do you do?
Advice for the Teacher
Don’t walk away or pretend you don’t hear, advise experts. Enter the conversation, even if you don’t feel equipped to get into a whole preteen sex talk. It’s important to let kids know you hear them and understand what they’re talking about.
“Take the group aside,” says Sue Bryan, co-senior children’s pastor for The Rock Church and World Outreach Center in San Bernardino, California, “and graciously discuss things. Remind them of Philippians 4:6-8 about how our conversation should be as Christians. Is it pure? Does it build up others? Then discuss the difference between how a Christian is to feel about sex before marriage versus how the world views these things.”