It’s a question I receive often: Do you know of any good resources for having The Talk with my kids? I don’t think too many parents look forward to having the birds and the bees talk with their kids, yet it is unavoidable. And what’s more, in a pornified world where the average first exposure to Internet pornography is age twelve and falling, it’s a discussion that just can’t be delayed indefinitely. Actually, it’s a talk you almost need to have before they’re ready—to teach them what’s true and good before they can be exposed to what’s base and inappropriate.
Thankfully there are a few helpful resources that have found their way into my mailbox over the past few years.
Growing up God’s Way by Dr. Chris Richards & Dr. Liz Jones
There are two editions of this brand new book, one aimed at boys and one at girls (suitably titled Growing Up God’s Way for Boys and Growing Up God’s Way for Girls). The books are very nicely done in both text and design. They are colorful and illustrated, and intended for children who are approaching puberty or just beginning to experience it (so somewhere between ages 10 and 14). The publisher says, “The artwork has been specially produced for the book and includes accurate biological drawings as well as cartoon illustrations to keep the young reader interested. Most importantly of all, the Bible is the constant reference point, so that what the Bible has to say about the matters dealt with is always front and center. The result is that this book conveys essential biblical ethical teaching as well as the facts about puberty.” If you are looking for a book to read with your child, or to have your child read on his or her own, you probably won’t do better than these ones. (Buy it at Amazon: For Girls; For Boys)
Time for The Talk by Steve Zollos
This book is geared specifically toward fathers who wish to speak to their sons and broadens the subject from sex and sexuality to wider topics related to manhood. The publisher says, “Time for The Talk will help fathers walk their sons through one of the most important conversations of their lives. ‘The Talk’ is much broader than just a talk about sexuality; it’s a conversation about manhood, about right decisions, about Christ. Time for The Talk will assist you in giving your son what he needs to steer through the moral and spiritual confusion of this world and make wise, godly, character-forming decisions.” In an interview, Zollos explains that his book is “not a script that you can read to your son. After all, this is about your relationship with your son. The Talk ultimately needs to come from you. Instead of a script I have provided perspective, and a framework of important information that needs to be shared with your son, your way, in a way that he can relate to.” You may also want to consider reading Everyday Talk (Amazon, Westminster Books) by Jay Younts, from the same publisher. Note that both books are only $1.99 for the Kindle editions. (Buy Time for The Talk at Amazon, Westminster Books)
This product from FamilyLife is more of a program than a single resource. It is designed to help parents speak to their teens or preteens about love, sex, and relationships, and is meant to form the foundation for a father-son or mother-daughter weekend getaway. The publisher’s description says, “FamilyLife has developed Passport2Purity (P2P) to assist you in building heart-to-heart communication with your preteen while laying a foundation of purity that will prepare them for the turbulent years ahead. Through the shared listening experience, object lessons and guided conversations of a P2P weekend getaway, you can set your son or daughter on a journey of moral integrity-and strengthen the bond between you.” First released in 2006 (I believe) it has now been updated to a third edition that accounts for modern realities like Internet pornography and sexting. You can download a sample here. (Buy it at Amazon)
(Note: James Dobson’s Preparing for Adolescence is a popular option and one my parents handed me many years ago; I have only glanced through it since then and did so while I wrote my book Sexual Detox to confirm what I remember—that Dobson takes a “everyone does it so don’t worry too much about it” approach to masturbation that I can’t sanction. It looks like it was last revised in 2006, so it may have changed since then.)