I think as parents we all feel protective about our kids and the decisions that they are making about relationships. We so often want to jump in and tell them what to do or point out what is wrong. But how often does this approach actually work?
At some point, most of our kids will begin to think about the opposite sex, and desire for there to be something more than just friendship.
While each child is different, and when and how this happens will look different, there are opportunities to begin speaking into your child's life about this now. Whether they are elementary age and learning to be friends with the kids on the playground or a teenager that has been dating for a while, or somewhere in between, you as a parent have a huge influence.
It is important that we communicate that God has created us for relationships in everything that we say to our kids. From sexual, romantic relationships of marriage to relationships with friends and family. Not everyone will get married but the bottom line is God does not want us to be alone so it is worth discussing what healthy boundaries in any relationship look like. Talk to your kids about what friendship means to them and to you. Show them by allowing them to be around you when you are with your friends. Show them what a loving marriage relationship looks like by allowing them to see you hug and kiss your spouse, if you are a single parent do not be afraid to allow your kids to see other married couples do this either.
Your kids are watching your relationships with your friends, your coworkers, your spouse, and your relationship with the Lord. They are building a foundation for what this should look like in their own lives. Read and answer the conversation starters below. Answer for yourself then ask your kids and have some great conversations this week.
With our younger kids, it is good to talk about how they experience and understand relationships. Helping them to see that there are different kinds and different emotions that go along with them.
With older kids we can begin to be more direct not only about their friends but about relationships as well.
Encouragement: You have nothing to lose by being direct and honest with your kids about sex, love, and relationships, especially if you keep the conversation going long-term and create an environment of openness. Your kids need the wisdom you have. If you are willing to be proactive about how you approach talks with your kids, you have a phenomenal opportunity to take advantage of the influence you hold with your kids and shape their understanding of sexuality and relationships to be God-honoring and fulfilling.
As with all conversations we have with our kids about love, sex, and relationships we want to avoid just demanding them to obey. We want to give our kids the tools to make great Biblically based decisions about their lives. Here are a couple more great resources from our friends at Axis, giving parents a place to start these conversations about relationships with our kids.
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