Teaching Kids About Slang Words for Sex & Sexuality

May 02, 2023

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In this episode of the Foundation Worldview Podcast, host Elizabeth Urbanowicz discusses whether and when to teach children about slang words related to sex and sexuality. As parents, should we be the ones who introduce these terms? Elizabeth shares her insights on age-appropriate discussions and the importance of building a positive biblical theology of sex and sexuality before our children are exposed to deviations from God's good design.

Transcript

Note: The following is an auto-transcript of the podcast recording.

Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of the Foundation Worldview Podcast where we seek to answer your questions so that you can equip the kids that God has placed in your care to carefully evaluate every idea they encounter and understand the truth of the biblical worldview. I'm your host, Elizabeth Urbanowicz, and I'm thrilled that you've joined me for another episode today. Today's question says, "should I teach my children slaying words about sex and sexuality before they hear them from others?" Great question and a very interesting one.

Now, before we dive down into that question, would just ask that if you have found this content beneficial, please consider liking and subscribing so that you don't miss any future episodes, and also ask that you would consider writing a review and sharing this content with those in your sphere of influence so that we can equip more adults to get kids to carefully evaluate every idea that they encounter.

Now, this question is a really interesting one because I'm sure as adults, we all know that there is a variety of slaying terms for sexuality, for body parts, for different sexual acts, and these are terms that we're probably not too excited about our children potentially being exposed to. And so my answer to this question is, should we be the ones who are directly teaching our children these terms? I would say it really depends on a variety of factors.

The first factor I would say that we need to consider is age. We're not going to be teaching a three-year-old slang terms for different sexual acts. Those of you who are familiar with Foundation Worldview content know that in different webinars and podcasts that we've done, we really recommend that by the age of three, you start talking with your children about God's good design for sex and sexuality so that you can really lay that positive biblical framework.

At that age, we're not going to be introducing our children to curse words. We're not going to be introducing them to slang words for different body parts and sexual acts where as they're getting older, it might be an appropriate time for us to introduce some of these terms that they are going to encounter. It also depends on the context. If our children are homeschooled and they're mainly interacting with children while we are around, we're going to be aware of a lot more of the things that they're exposed to where if we're sending our children off to public or private school, we're going to have a lot less control over what they're exposed to.

I know myself, growing up in the nineties, I went to public school and it was when I was in kindergarten that I was exposed to a lot of different slang terms for body parts, for different sexual acts. Fortunately, my mom had already had conversations with me and my siblings about God's good design for sex. So it wasn't that I was introduced to deviant forms of that or terms for that when I was in school, but in that context with I grew up in a public school in a more rough area, a more urban area of New York, and so I was exposed to a lot as a five and a six year old and then on up. And so it was very wise for my mom to talk with me about some of those slang terms ahead of time where if your children are in other context, you know, might not have to do that so early.

So how would I recommend that we determine this and then do this? The first thing that I would recommend as I've recommended in many other places before many other podcasts and webinars is the first thing we need to do is we need to build up that positive biblical theology of God's good design for sex and sexuality. We have to do that, and we have to do that before our children are exposed to deviations from that good design.

If the first thing our children are exposed to are deviations, whether it's slang terms, whether it's just explanations by a friend of what sex is, whether it's homosexuality or transgenderism, if our kids are first exposed to these deviations from God's good design, what we have to do then is we have to backpedal to explain why these things are not good. But then their view of sex and sexuality is probably going to be very negative because their first exposure was something where we had to explain why that's not part of God's good design.

If we want them to understand that their bodies, their sexuality are good gifts from God and that there's a proper context in which that good gift is expressed, we have to make sure that we have these conversations before they're exposed to some deviation, and you as the parents have no idea when they're going to be exposed to that.

It could be at the library where they just encounter a book. I've had friends that happens, their kids are at the library and they pull a book off the shelf and there's something in it that they weren't expecting that they were going to be exposed to. You could be at the airport and see families that have two mommies or two daddies. This year when I was coming back from my brother's house in Chicago, I was flying back from Chicago to where I live now, and I ran across six same-sex couples with kids when I was in the airport. Those are things that our kids know. We have to make sure that we're building that positive biblical theology for God's good design for sex and sexuality.

Two resources I highly recommend that I very frequently recommend. First is The Birds and the Bees Course. It just is a very short video series walking you through how do you have these conversations with your kids because these kind of conversations can be uncomfortable, especially if we never had these conversations in a positive way with our parents. So highly recommend The Birds in the Beast course. Second thing I recommend is Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality. It's a book that just does a great job of walking you through where are we as a culture? What kind of things do we need to do with our kids?

So once we've built up this positive biblical theology, then when we're thinking about slang terms for body parts, slang terms for sex, or different acts of sex, what we want to make sure that our children know is that because of sin, because we are fallen image bearers, we do not always use God's good gifts correctly. In fact, frequently we as humans take God's good gifts and we them and we abuse them into where they're actually not good forms of a gift that God designed to be good.

So we need to explain to them that there are many people in our world who do not know God. They're not reconciled in their relationship to God, and they don't understand God's good design. They have been fooled into believing that something that is just the opposite of God's good design is what's good for them, even though it's not. And we need to make sure that our kids know that these people are not the enemy, that the ideas that they are believing, those ideas are false ideas, and those ideas are ideas of the enemy. But when we encounter people who don't understand who God is and don't understand his good design, our job is to love such people while also making sure that we're not believing the same lies that they believe. And this is where it's going to be really important, that our kids are grounded in scripture, that they know God's word backward and forward.

In one book that I just so highly recommend, it's called Strange New World by Carl Truman, and just goes through the history of how we got to a place in our culture where it's completely normal for somebody to say, I'm a woman trapped in a man's body. And 90% of the culture is like, "oh yeah, we get that." He outlines how we got there. And then the last chapter he goes through, what are things that Christians need to do to make sure that we are grounding ourselves in the truth? And one of the things that he recommends that we do is that we actually sing Psalms, that we sing the Psalms, the Psalms of Jesus to ground ourselves in the truth. And there are a few different denominations within the US that actually do exclusively Psalms singing, and they only sing Psalms in their corporate worship times. And I've actually, I don't go to a church that does that, but I've really enjoyed on Spotify listening to some of these psalms. And I think a great psalm that we can go through with our kids and have them memorize, and we can even go through it with them in song is Psalm 1, because it's talking about the wisdom of delighting in God's word and how that is different from those who deny God's word.

So I'm actually, I'll be a little vulnerable with you here, but I'm going to sing the first stanza of that Psalm 1, and then would encourage you to check it out on Spotify. We can put some links in the show notes and consider having your kids memorize this so that as they're thinking through, okay, what is God's good design for sex and sexuality and what are deviations from this, they can really be rooted in the wisdom of delighting in God's word. So the first stands up of Psalm 1 put to music. It goes, "bless who does not walk as wicked men advice nor stand wear sinners meet, nor sit where scoffers pose as wise. Instead, he is the one who makes the Lord's more his light. And in that law he meditates by day and in thy night." I know I don't have a super great voice there, but I hope you can see how by putting that psalm into song, it's so easy to remember.

And we want our kids to understand, okay, we want to be meditating on God's word. We don't want to be sitting where scoffers pose as wise. So when we encounter these deviant forms of sex and sexuality or these terms that don't view sex and sexuality as a good gift, we want to love these people, but we also want to recognize this is not God's good design.

And just in a simple way of explaining this to kids would just be to say, "some people don't understand God's good design. Some people actually scoff, okay, they make fun of God's good design and they don't understand that it's a good design. And so they use words for parts of our body that God designed to be really special, and they use words that make it seem like those parts of our body are dirty or that they're just parts of our body to be used, that they're not parts of our body to be taken care of. And you know what? Other people, they take God's good gift of sex and they use different words to describe sex that make it seem like it's just a joke or that make it seem like it's just something that's funny or that it's something that's dirty. But what do we know about God's good design? How did God design sex? He designed it as a good gift. And who did God give this good gift to? He gave it to a husband and to a wife. And when a husband and a wife are married and they love Jesus and they love one another, sex is a really good gift. But some people don't understand that."

And then you can go into, depending on their age and the context, you can go into a few words and say, you know what? These are words you might hear, but these are words I don't want coming out of your mouth. And when you hear these words, I don't want them just to be floating around in your minds.

Now, that's a really hard thing to happen when we hear these type of words. And so we need to make sure that our kids understand that we can't just say, oh, that's a bad word. I'm not going to use that word, or that's a dirty word. I'm not going to use that word, or that's an unkind word. I'm not going to use that word, that they actually have to replace that word with truth, because we see this all throughout the New Testament that there's things that we're supposed to take off, but then God doesn't just leave it there. He doesn't say to take off all of these sinful things. Then he says, what we're supposed to put on.

I saw this recently in my own life that I was just walking through a difficult situation and a loss in my life, and I was having trouble getting over it. And so I actually met up with a couple who, when I was at the focus on the Family Leadership Institute, they were professors there and their counselors, their husband and wife and I met up with them, and they had just some great advice for me that the husband said, Elizabeth, as we've heard your story and listened to this conversation, we've heard you say probably five or six times "if only, if only, if only," that you're thinking, if only this had happened, I wouldn't be in the situation, or if only this had happened, things would've turned out differently. He's like, if only is not what happened. He's like, so you need to stop doing that, but you can't just tell yourself, okay, I'm going to stop with the, if only he's like, you have to put on something else. He's like, that's the biblical model that we put off sin and we put off these untrue things, and then we put on the truth. We put on the good things that God has called us to.

So he said, in this situation, every time if only comes to your mind, I need you to say something active. You need to say, "yeah, that would've been nice, but that's not what happened. God's sovereign and I'm going to trust him." And for me, that was so helpful because before I was just trying to put off all of these things without putting on anything. So in this situation with our kids, when we're telling them things that they're to put off that these slang terms or these views of sex and sexuality that don't view it as God's good design, we have to give them some kind of phrase that they can say in their minds instead so they can remind themselves of truth.

So an example of this phrase could be like every time they hear somebody use a word for a body part that's just negative and demeaning, they could say something like, "God created our bodies and our bodies are good." Or every time they hear somebody use a derogatory term for sex or sexuality, they could say, "God created sex for a husband and a wife, and God's design is so good." So just give them a phrase or two that they can say, practice saying it together. And then say, every time you hear one of these phrases and you say that sentence in your mind, afterwards, will you come and let me know? Because you know what? I'm going to do the same thing.

And every time you're watching a show and somebody makes a joke about sex, just making it seem like it's something to laugh at, where it's just this physical act that has no other repercussions, can say the same sentence to yourself, "God created sex as a good gift for a husband and a wife, and God's design is so good." And you can tell that to your child. "The other day after you went to bed, mommy and daddy were watching a show and somebody made a joke about sex and they didn't understand God's good design. So what I said in my mind, I said, 'God created sex for a husband and a wife, and God's design is so good'." So we want to make sure that we're equipping our kids, not just with what they're supposed to take off, but what they can actually actively put on.

Well, that's a wrap for this episode. But as always, my prayer as we leave this time together is that God would richly bless you as you continue to faithfully disciple the children that He's placed in your care. I'll see you next time.

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