Stolen Innocence!

My oldest came home from school the other day and let us know that she knew what sex was. She then proceeded to make a gesture with her hands. With that she informed us that the boy sitting next to her in class had clued her in on the whole thing.

Well, I wasn’t sure she really knew. She’s said she knows many times throughout the years and each time I ask for a definition she hasn’t been anywhere close. But last night I got the feeling I needed to pursue this.

So, I asked Tori to explain the whole thing to me again. In the process she verified that she did indeed know what sex was. I was devastated but held it together.

See, we have been praying and planning on when this moment would come. I was ready to tell her before she went in to fourth grade, but the timing never worked out and I was glad I didn’t.  Then I thought, okay the summer before fifth grade, but again, I never had that assurance from the Lord that it was time.

Well, when Tori entered womanhood in March and was afraid to go to school and be in a room with boys because she was afraid of getting pregnant, I knew it was time.

Kyle and I have already begun preparing for a discussion this summer as soon as we got home from church camp. I have purchased a ring for her, which is a promise from us to her that we will be praying her through this growing up process, and that we will be here for her no matter what. We wanted to paint a beautiful and godly picture of sex to our daughter and let her know that it’s a gift from God that should be treated right.

We waited too long.

She begged me not to say anything to her teacher because it was no big deal and at first I agreed with her. The reason it wasn’t a huge deal was because Tori has been very well prepared. We have had many conversations about boys and what’s appropriate and honoring your body, etc. Not to mention all the conversations that come with entering womanhood.

But then I slept on it and it hit me.

NO! It is a big deal. Some young punk kid just stole my daughter’s innocence. Not only will Tori’s first and lasting memory of sex be an obscene gesture made by a school boy, but he stole that moment from her father and I.  The more I thought about it, the more upset I got.

I went back and told Tori we needed to say something. This led to two other discussions: one about sexual harassment and another on the fact that when you stand up for what is right, you may end up standing alone. All I could think about was the poor girl whose parents’ maybe had not prepared her as well, and maybe she had no clue about the changes taking place in her body. What an enigma to be thrown when you are ready, let alone when you aren’t. Kids just don’t know. They are guessing about everything.

Can you imagine that poor girl?

I had to say something.  And I made sure Tori not only understood why but that she was okay with it before I did. I don’t expect that much will happen, but at least her teacher and principal are aware.

We will still move forward with our plans as there is a lot more to discuss about the birds and the bees, and I don’t want to leave it where it is right now. But friends, if you want to be the first to have this conversation with your child, do not wait.

When I sat down to write this post, I did it all in one sitting and then saved it to let it all marinate. In that process I had several conversations with friends about what happened and needless to say I was saddened by some of the responses.

Most people told me to just get used to it because the world is going to introduce my kids to more than I will ever know. And who had that beautiful picture of sex painted for them anyway?

This breaks my heart.
“If we don’t teach our kids to follow Christ, the world will teach them not too.”
When you think about all our kids are bombarded with on TV and the radio, not to mention the things they hear at school, our voice must be heard above the noise.
This means we have to talk to our kids.
We have to take every teachable moment to reinforce the good news of the gospel in their lives. This means talking about things that are uncomfortable and it may mean being the one to introduce your kids to concepts that may remove certain innocences in their lives.
Our children will learn about the ways of the world. We can only decide who will be the one to tell them.
As parents we can play offense and provide Godly explanations for all they will encounter or we can play defense from the very start.

Through it all God has reminded me of the following:

  1. God is sovereign. He knew this is when and how it would happen, and it was part of His plan even when it wasn’t part of mine.
  2. God is in control. I am not. My girls are daughters of a king first and foremost and they have been entrusted to my care.
  3. Pray more! I can never cover them in prayer enough!
  4. I can never have too many conversations with my kids. Take every moment to speak words of life into their hearts.
  5. As a mother I must model that there is power in the word NO! Whether it’s saying no to a boy, saying no to friends, or saying, “No, that is not right,” my girls will know how to say no and my prayer is that they will not be afraid to stand alone in doing so.  As a father, Kyle must honor their no, no matter how trivial. If the girls feel like they are heard when they say no or even stop, and that the circumstances change, they are more likely to use it. If their no goes unheard by dad even in the silly things like wrestling, they are more apt to feel like it’s futile to even try.

Have you had the sex talk with your kids? How did it go? Any tips or advice for the rest of us? Is there anything you would or would not do again.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Kim Jones

    Like your first poster, I have always been very open with my children. I answer any and all questions they have and talk to them if I have any concerns. Lots of my friends waited until someone else told their children. My kids go to public school. Let me assure you that, unless your children are being kept under a rock (my cousins went to private Catholic school) your children will hear it from someone. Please always let it be you. That includes everything, not just sex. Tell them about their bodies, love, real life, injustice, money, kindness…share yourself completely at age appropriate times. That is when they ask. It’s great for you to read a few book to yourself and then have real talks with your kids as they ask.

    • Shelly Tiffin

      I agree completely!

  • Hannah

    My kids first sex talk was at about 1 year old. I followed my mother’s model. Complete and total honesty always. It worked for me as a kid and has worked for my own kiddos so far. Sex is always an appropriate discussion in our Christian home. Afterall, sex with my husband brought me each of my children. Clearly my kids know my husband and I are having sex. We have kids! Pretending it does not exist is dangerous IMHO. Sex is not a fairytale. Kids need clear understanding from a very early age in the society we live in. I do not see anything to wait and discuss later. I want my kids to always be armed with the truth, God’s truth. If God saw fit to design sex and use it as a way to bring forth babies, my kids are not too young to know about it. Sex is a gift from God and the best way to treat it right is honesty. Sex should be a word that is part of the Christian family experience. The last thing I want my kids to believe is that how to get pregnant is a mystery. No, we have all the illustrated books, open discussions, and no question is off limits. I want to remain the place my kids seek knowledge. My kids can ask me anything and I mean ANYTHING! I homeschool, even still my kids hear and see things in our culture everyday. If that ever sparks questions for them I am the safe place for them to come. A time or two I have had to focus through the whirring of my brain. LOL! It can be tough to answer a question that is shocking you. But it is totally worth it and bonds the trust in your relationship with your kids. I rec. God’s Design for Sex. It is a 4 part book series about Sex from a Christian perspective. It does not mince words and starts at preschool on up. Each book progresses in detail and ages. I count it a privilege to be the place my kids turn for info. Developing that protocol in our family has not always been easy but it is very rewarding for us all. Best of all I have a pretty good idea what is going on with my kiddos. When the scene is set for discussions to flow freely a child has little reason not to share.

    • Shelly Tiffin

      I will definitely have to look into that series. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Ame’

    yet another reason to homeschool

  • Lisa Keva

    Yes, we’ve had the talk with our children. And, we didn’t it sooner rather than later for the reasons you listed. It’s very sad indeed to realize we must take a preemptive strick!!!

  • Bethanie Cooke

    This was an amazing eye opening post shelly. I have older boys and I waited to long and then waited to long with my Taylor but all I can do is rely on prayer, talk with them and be involved to guide them. What a miracle to save yourself for your spouse in this day and age when it used to be the only way acceptable. But I’m very thankful for people such as you and kyle by living the closest life your familh can according to Jesus Christ! Thank you for this post again.