REVIEW: While at first glance at the title, parents of younger children will pass over this book as something for later in their child’s life. Parents of older students might brush this book off as yet another “sex talk with your kids” book. They might even excuse it as, “I already covered that” that one time, so I don’t need it.
More Than Just the Talk is written for all parents with kids at all stages of life and sexual maturity. Parenting speaker and author, Jonathan McKee writes a book that truly lives up to the title. He takes on the media’s loud voices and the church’s quiet voice as he writes a book that is informative, helpful and frank. This is more than a book about sex; it is also a book about learning to interact and not overreact when it comes to talking to our children.
The Loud Voices
When it comes to responding to the loud voices of our culture- music, television, movies, video games and the Internet- parents must do more than just hope for the best. Parents need to take an active role and pay attention to what our world is saying about many things, especially on the topic of sex. Parents must learn to interact and not overreact with their children as they begin to discover and research the messages that are saturating the minds and hearts of their children.
The Quiet Voices
Christian parents have been quiet for way too long. Parents must stop thinking that their kids aren’t thinking about sex and the messages the world is giving them. “Silence only breeds ignorance.” Parents need to start talking about sex in the way God talks about it, as something good. Parents should have open and honest conversations with their children about sex in plain and simple terms. Talking with children about the Biblical truth about sex is more than a one-time talk but rather an ongoing conversation.
Opening the Doorways of Communication
Open the Doorways of Communication Parents need to create and foster a comfortable environment in their homes of continued communication through these simple tips: 1.) Don’t overreact 2.) Don’t make sex naughty 3.) Keep your eyes open for natural springboards. 4.) Ask, listen, repeat.
The Most Enjoyable Sex
The most enjoyable sex is the sex that has been waited for, for marriage. The three compelling reasons why waiting is wise: 1.) The Biblical Answer: God created sex for us to enjoy in marriage for life. 2.) The Scientific Answer: Monogamy is more enjoyable and satisfying. 3.) The Logical Answer: God’s design makes sense.
The biggest question children and teens ask is “How far can I go?” Parents can answer this question for their children by explaining a few things. Sex is a process and more than just the act of intercourse. It is essential for children to understand how their body and mind works. Our bodies were not created to stop, so parents can explain that they shouldn’t “start the process” unless you are married.
Girls are more than a sex object, despite what our culture is telling them. The issue is the world has oversexualized young girls and women, forcing them to become too sexy too soon. Parents ought to teach their daughters that they are valuable by: 1.) Teaching them to recognize lies. 2.) Help them recognize true value. 3.) Encourage them to dress modestly. 4.) Teach them they are beautiful.
Boys are more than just a sex drive in a body. Parents of boys need to teach their sons how to grow into men of God through teaching them: 1.) The humility to spot lies of our world and it’s messages. 2.) A foundation of truth that is found in God’s Word 3.) Knowing when to flee before mistakes happen.
Fleeing is getting harder and harder for children growing up in a culture that surrounds them with messages of sexuality. Parents can work to teach their daughters to flee through: 1.) Teaching them how guys think. 2.) Teaching them how to dress modestly. 3.) Teaching them how to beware. Parents can also work hard to teach their sons to learn to flee through: 1.) Teaching him not to turn his head. 2) Teaching him to browse the internet publically. 3) Teaching him to not get alone with a girl. 4.) Teaching him to confess and talk about temptation.
The Lure of Porn
Pornography is everywhere and children of both genders are having their first exposures earlier and earlier. Here are three Parenting Practices Preventing the Permeation of Porn in the lives of their children: 1) Don’t underestimate the power of porn. 2.) Look for opportunities to dialogue about porn. 3.) Place safeguards. What if however you discover your child is viewing porn? 1.) Sleep on your response. 2.) Seek to understand. 3.) Propose a plan for purity.
Providing Answers about Masturbation
Masturbation is a growing issue among children and teens as they grow and mature at different stages. Young children and toddlers might find that touching themselves feels good. It is helpful during this stage to have age appropriate talks about body parts and appropriate touch. During puberty may be a time for experimentation. It is a good time talk to children as part of a more mature ongoing conversation about sex and maturity. During the middle school years into the teen years, parents need to talk proactively about it instead of reactively. While the Bible does not address this issue directly, it does address the topic of lust. Parents should have open and Bible-centered discussions with their child at all ages, remembering to interact instead of overreact.
Surviving a Blotted Past
Children will make mistakes and have to deal with the pain of those mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes and pain may not be of their own doing but of others who have violated or abused. Parents can help their children overcome the hurts and the past by: 1.) Not freaking out. Children need parents to be a safe place where they can come. 2.) Not dwelling on the past. Christ offers forgiveness, and parents should as well. 3.) Teaching how to accept forgiveness. 4.) Letting children know that past mistakes don’t justify future choices. 5.) Most importantly, help your child make a plan for the future.
The book concludes with a very helpful and well-done final chapter “answering difficult questions about sex and intimacy”. Jonathan McKee does a great job of walking parents through many of the questions they might get asked and provides help on how to answer them. Parents will certainly find this a great conclusion to this already well-written and outstanding book.
McKee also writes a second book called Sex Matters for teens that is well worth the purchase as well, especially for parents who are reading More Than Just the Talk. The above is a very quick overview of the book. Please pick up the full book, as it a great resource for parents or any adult who has children and teens in their life. You can find both books and many of his other titles at your local book store, online at places like Amazon, or directly from his parenting website: http://thesource4parents.com .