Parents are usually very nervous about talking with their children about God’s plan for sex. I have even been invited by some parents to have “the sex talk” with their children for them because they either don’t want to or don’t think it is their duty. They believe it is the role of the parish and school to speak about these difficult topics.
One dad told me, “Why do you think I send my kids to Catholic school? So they can teach them these things. I can’t do it!!” This is backward. Parents are the primary educators of their children. Catholic parishes and schools are meant to reinforce the catholic values and decorate the foundations already laid by the parents.
As a dad of three young children, I have not needed to have detailed discussions about God’s plan for sex. However, I am already laying a foundation through simple concepts like being a gift that will prepare them to receive the details later on.
I was blessed to attend Redfield College. A PARED (Parents for Education) school, which was founded on the principle that parents are the primary educators of their children, and the schools work in partnership with the parents to reinforce Catholic values.
But sadly, many Catholic schools are not teaching the Catholic faith in its fullness. They present a watered-down version of the Gospel and Jesus Christ that is unattractive and has no power to save them. And we wonder why so many teens are leaving the Church before they have finished high school.
Parents, I encourage you to take full responsibility for educating your children on the important virtue of chastity. It is not good enough to say that you didn’t bring it up with your teenager, because they never brought it up first. In my experience, I have heard from teens that these are the common reasons why they do not bring up this topic with their parents.
- They asked questions of a sexual nature when they were younger and were scolded by their parent for asking
- They asked a question, and the parent failed to give them an adequate answer. From this, they understood that mum and dad simply do not understand me, or can’t help me.
- Mum and Dad have never brought it up with me, so I assumed it was a topic we were not allowed to talk about at home. So when they do have questions, they assume mum and dad would not be open to talking about it, and they take their questions elsewhere.
Sadly, many parents assume that because their teenager is not asking questions about girls, boys, love or sex, they are not interested in it or are not struggling with it. This is a terribly ignorant response and is likely causing enormous damage.
So, here are a few tips for how to speak with your teenager about God’s plan for sex.
- Receive their questions with love
Never scold them for asking honest questions about their body or about how babies are made etc. If they ask an honest question, give an honest answer in an age-appropriate manner.
- Keep the Topic Open
It is your job to keep this topic open. There should be no such thing as “the talk” but a series of talks about sex, love, marriage, being a gift, selfless love etc. It should be an ongoing conversation that should continue into their adulthood.
There is no excuse for not knowing the answers. No one knows your child as you do. The more they ask, the more you should learn so that you are growing with them. Teenagers have questions that should motivate their parents to commit to ongoing learning for their sake
- Promote Chastity
Do not be afraid to promote the virtue of chastity and the necessary sacrifices associated with living it. It is the only way for a young person to experience true love. Teach them that chastity involves saying no, but only to make room for a greater yes to real love.
- Live Chastity
Live the virtue of chastity in your marriage. The best way to promote chastity is to live it!
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, enquire about booking Simon to speak at your parish or event on the topic of, Parenting Purity to Teens.