Sex+Porn

Last week my twelve year old was on the family computer, which is in the living room, and I was in the kitchen when I overheard someone on the video he was watching say the word “horny”. My ears immediately perked up and I listened for more context clues as to why my son was watching a video and the word horny was used. I very casually walked over to where I could see the computer and sure enough it was a stupid cat video and he didn’t seem alarmed at the fact that he had heard a sexual word.

I stored the information and decided that I would bring it up in a time that we could chat about it without the younger siblings around. The next morning Aaron was making breakfast for my son and I when I casually asked him, “So do you know what the word horny means?”. He looked at me as if I had spoken German and said he didn’t. I walked through the evening before and how I had heard someone use that word in the video he was watching.

In that moment Aaron was able to explain to him what the word meant and why it isn’t appropriate for a 12 year old boy to use, think about, or hear people talk about. It was a very casual conversation that happened over us all eating fried eggs on a piece of toast as we prepared for school and work for that day. There was no sit down meeting. There was no picture book. There was no awkward moments.

The reason for the casualness of this conversation is that we have been talking with our kids about sex for years. For this exact reason. I know that it can be super awkward to even say the word horny in front of your 12 year old son, but the alternative is that someone else says it in front of him, and then they get that persons view of what it means, and believe me you don’t want some weird 13 year old explaining to your kid sexual terminology that they learned from their big brother. In fact we even said that there’s nothing innately wrong with the word or what it means, it just isn’t appropriate for a 12 year old.

I’m always encouraging parents to start these conversations with their kids at a young age. An age where they listen to every single word that you say. I’ll admit the first time my son asked me about sex I avoided the conversation at all costs, but then a few months later we went straight in for the talk. The first conversations don’t have to walk through how each body part works and how you make a baby, but starting with just easy simple conversations about our bodies helps kids trust you and feel comfortable talking about these things with you.

We’ve done this through a series of books that I’ve talked about on here before, but I thought it was worth mentioning again since I have actually had a few people recently email and ask me for the title of the books. We have used God’s Design for Sex and we have actually only gone through the first two books and I just ordered the third one this week to start reading with our oldest.

These books have been such a help for us, and it’s not something we read once and put away on a shelf. We have visited them a hand full of times with each of our kids. And Moms, I’ve read these to all of my boys as well as Aaron reading it to them. If there’s anything I want them to know it’s that these are conversations that they can always have with me as well. When Dad’s out of town these topics aren’t off limits to ask Mom about.

After my Happy Hour with Monica Swanson where we discussed talking with our kids about sex and pornography I bought a book that she recommended that we have also gone through with our kids. It’s called GOOD PICTURES BAD PICTURES: Porn-proofing today’s young kids by Kristen A Jenson & Gail Poyner. I have seen the statistics that say things like, 7/10 youth have accidentely come across pornography online, that the largest consumer of internet porn are ages 12-17, and that the average age of exposure to internet porn is eleven. Eleven. My son has passed that. (side note here as well … our daughter’s are also at a real risk – do not think that this does not apply to her)

(Our church recently did a sexual sin series and here’s the message on pornography. I’ve also had a guest blogger talk about pornography hurting her marriage and her forgiveness in this. You can read that HERE & HERE)

Friends it’s out there and it is our job as parents to equip our kids in how to handle it when they are faced with it. We no longer get to think, believe, or say that my kid won’t be effected because that’s just not the reality of the world we live in. We can do things to help them not be exposed to it so much, but we can not prevent the exposure to our kids, unless of course you move to an underground cave with Kimmy Schmidt and then maybe you can prevent it. But that’s not reality either.