How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex
by Lenore Buth
Trying to figure out how to have “The Talk” with your kids? What do you tell them when? How do you know what they already know? When do you let go? When is it too much for them to handle? In How to Talk Confidently with Your Child about Sex, Lenore Buth walks parents through many tips. Throughout she points to Jesus as the source of our confidence, and encourages parents to point to him constantly.
This is the last of the Learning About Sex series from Concordia Publishing House. I’ve reviewed several books in the series (which you can read about here, here, here, here, or here). In short, the series has been good but a little uneven.
This book falls into the “strong” category. Buth does a fantastic job pointing to Christ as the source of both the parent’s and the child’s identity. She offers several sample conversations, how to initiate them, and how to graciously answer questions that might make a parent uncomfortable. I greatly appreciated her grace-filled responses to questions a child might have about sin.
Buth encourages parents to tackle big issues with their children. “Aren’t they too young?” Buth does talk about not overloading children, but they generally know a lot more than parents want them to – and a lot less. She speaks frankly about pornography and abortion as well, which I appreciated.
The book breaks down into chapters that cover various developmental milestones for children and how best to approach someone in each category: Preschool, Ages 6-9, Adolescence, Teen Years, and Young Adults. Her goal throughout is to help parents raise children to be Christian adults. It’s not just how to have “the talk.” To that end, the last chapter is all about letting go and letting children make their own choices. I love this.
Buth doesn’t advocate sheltering children so they can’t handle the world; she wants us to equip children so that they can face temptations with confidence in Christ. This refreshing approach encourages me quite a bit.
I did find some of the example conversations a little stilted, but I think that’s probably simply a symptom of what it is: a conversation written for a book. However, most parents should be able to read those examples and find good grist for their own conversations.
If you’ve got kids, I’d recommend this book heartily. It will encourage and equip parents in a gospel-oriented way.