Parents Learn About Having 'The Talk'
"I bought you at Costco. The UPS truck brought you over. I picked you up at Target?"
My sons, 3 and 5, giggle at those statements, slightly puzzled, before loudly proclaiming that they came out of my tummy. I reassure them they are right and that God gifted them to me. Thank goodness they have not yet asked every parent's most dreaded question about how they got in there in the first place.
In our home, as in many others, we go out and beyond trying to protect our children's innocence. But such is a very basic biology question, so why is it that most parents, ourselves included, are terrified of answering it? In our generation and those before us, we were not brought up discussing sex and God's beautiful plan for it — much less were we ready to teach it. So when we heard about the Birds and Bees coming to our church, we quickly enlisted.
The Bozeman (Mont.) Church hosted Mary Flo Ridley of the Birds and Bees on Oct. 12, 2019. Ridley delivered a packed, Christian-based presentation about how to talk to our kids about sex, purity and marriage. She delivered the message with a light heart and humor, which was very refreshing considering the topic and inevitable questions. Parents of all backgrounds came with pen and paper in hand, ready to take notes.
A delightful surprise was learning leaders from other denominations had joined us for the night, setting differences aside to walk in this parenthood walk with us. This exciting outreach opportunity was the cherry on the cake.
Melissa Stuber, one of the event organizers who had previously attended one of Ridley's events, wanted to share the same confidence and encouragement she felt when she first heard the presentation. "My hope was for each parent there to have access to the tools and resources to make these ongoing conversations easier and more productive. The Birds and Bees program is exactly what parents need to start this process," says Stuber.
It was gut-wrenching learning how much younger today's kids are learning about our culture's distorted view of intimacy with access to the internet so readily available and the media blasting messages all around us. The statistics were seriously alarming. What the Birds and Bees teaches in a nutshell is to not deliver "the talk" as a one-time event but rather have early, ongoing, age-appropriate conversations in a calm and welcoming demeanor. This encourages an open child-parent relationship where the parent becomes a trusted advisor. And if nothing else, practice the following phrase with a smile when caught off guard: "That is a very good question! I am so glad you asked" while picking yourself off the ground. This alone is pure genius!
We highly recommend the program to any parent who wants to be proactive but is intimidated and somewhat overwhelmed by the topic. Ridley was very insightful and happily shared with us off-brand yet valuable resources she has found.
When we walked out of the meeting that evening, we felt blessed, encouraged and more confident about our role in being the first ones to educate our littles about God's delightful plan for marriage and intimacy so they will not look for information elsewhere and perhaps fall into the wrong hands. With a sign of relief, my husband even said the task will be not as hard as he had originally thought it would be. We feel that we can be better parents because of it, and we're sure other parents who came felt empowered as well.