If you’re reading this, chances are that NOW is the right time. Even in today’s society, talking about sex is not easy for parents. As sexualized as our society is, parents are still avoiding having this necessary and very important discussion. Many times, I’ll have a parent with an 8th grader coming in for counseling and say they don’t know if it’s time to talk to their daughter about sex. Even a teenager who has been safe-guarded by grounded parents, who has a positive, healthy foundation, and a core set of adults as a support group, still needs to have an open communication with her parents long before she becomes an 8th grader.
The SEX talk is not something that should be done over one conversation – one night – or even one weekend. It is a discussion that should occur over a period of several years. There is a critical stage in a young girl’s life when parents can most reach the tender heart of their daughter and create a strong foundation for her sexuality and how she relates to sex for the rest of her life. This starts as young as 7-8 yrs old.
Why So Early?
|The Copycat Phase||The Counseling Phase||The Coaching Phase|
|Ages 2-5 yrs old||Ages 6-11 yrs old||Ages 12-Adult|
The Tween Years are the MOST CRITICAL phase for sexual values to be formed!!! This is the window of opportunity for you as her mom or dad to instill qualities into your daughter’s beliefs & provide her tools that she’ll need to rely on to get her through her adolescent years.
If you wait until she’s 12 yrs old to tell her about her period, you’ll have missed the beauty of telling her that God created women to create life, and that’s WHY we value womanhood. If you wait until she’s 13 yrs old to tell her about modesty, you’ll have missed the beauty of telling her WHY her body is good and beautiful and worthy of protecting until marriage. If you wait until she’s 14 yrs old to tell her about sex, you’ll have missed the beauty of telling her WHY God created marriage to be a one man/one woman picture of his love for us.
It’s not that you won’t be able to form her values after she’s 13 yrs old, however, the world will have already issued her a fairly strong answer to the “WHY’s” in her heart if you haven’t. Restructuring her value system after 13 yrs old is a lot more difficult than building it from the ground up.
We live a very active life and I don’t have time to spend one-on-one time with my daughter.
It takes a lot of time to answer the question “WHY”, but’s it’s so important to invest this time. It can be the 20 min on her way to school every morning. It can be the last 20 min before she goes to bed. It can be the 20 min drive-thru run you take in route between school and athletic activities.
Parents who can’t take this time now, will likely see their daughters spending this time with her friends or other people who have given her that time as a tween. You will have lost the opportunity to build a safe connection for her to retreat to when difficult teen decisions will be made. She will know that you are not available “even for 3-4 hrs a month” and will seek out others that you may not approve of that are willing to give her that time.
I work with parents and have Mother/Daughter groups to help make this subject much more comfortable to be able to discuss and incorporate into their relationships with each other. It can be a fun and special topic that the 2 of you can share together in a special bond into her young adult years.
Written by Sandi Burchfield, MS, LMFT, MT-3215
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
About Sandi: Sandi has 3 girls and 1 boy, with over 15 yrs of experience working with at-risk teen girls and children. Her husband, Donnie and she were youth pastors at Hope International Church in Groveland, FL for 9 years, before becoming associate pastors there.