This post is Part 2 of the blog series: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex. Learn more about the series.
What should your child know before they start their formal education? In the event a child has been in preschool or daycare, they have likely seen another child’s genitals while having a diaper changed or going to the bathroom.They may have seen animals mating, picked up a seed off the ground, or seen a parent naked while changing or bathing.Children understand there are physical differences between boys and girls and can identify a pregnant woman’s belly but are curious about how or why these things happen.
All life begins at fertilization. New, unique human DNA is formed unlike any other on the planet. This new person is even distinct from their mother or father as they develop from a single-cell within their mother. At the moment a sperm penetrates the egg, zinc fluorescence lights up, identifying the start of this new life.
When sharing about God’s creation, avoid using long or vague theological terms. Keep it simple:
“God created humans in the beginning to know God and enjoy Him forever. Humans were told to take care of the earth and one another. He knew it was not good for a man or woman to be alone so He made them to fit together in order to glorify God, help each other, and create more humans.“
When explaining marriage:
“God gave us marriage to show how Jesus cares for God’s people.Husbands are supposed to love their wives like Jesus loves us, and wives are supposed to love their husbands and help them lead their families.”
To describe body parts and sex, utilize an illustration like the seed of a plant or a chicken’s egg. Do not mix illustrations but look for opportunities to describe the process of reproduction. Start by asking a question:
“How does a tree become a tree? All living things, plants and animals, come from a seed. Although seeds come in different shapes and sizes, humans have seeds too. A man’s seed is called sperm, and when it comes together with a woman’s egg it makes a new human being!”
Allow for questions to direct conversation towards more discussion about body parts and how a man’s sperm comes together with a woman’s egg. Then explain:
“A man has a penis which is where the sperm comes from. When a husband and wife have sex, the husband puts his penis into his wife’s vagina. The husband releases the sperm, and it joins with the woman’s egg.”
By the time your child is 2 years old, they will have been to the doctor and taken baths where they recognize they are naked. Take these opportunities to explain:
“A child should only ever be naked when they’re at the doctor with their parents, taking a bath, or changing clothes. No one should see or touch you when you’re naked. If someone does, you should tell us because it is your body and not theirs. It’s not a secret if they do that. When you’re married, husbands and wives are naked together because they love and trust each other.”
Describe how God makes families as either a lead into talking about sex or a next conversation after you have talked about sex by saying:
“God makes families through marriage when a husband has sex with his wife, they can create a child together. Sometimes, men who aren’t married to women have sex and create a child together. This sometimes leads to a child not having a mom or dad to care for them. When we don’t follow God’s plans, things can be hard, but God makes a way for them to be cared for through adoption. So while some children look like their parents, other children look like their birth parents but are cared for by their adoptive parents. Adoptive parents love and care for a child just like they would if the child were born to them.”