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  1. Thanks for writing. I bought The Talk and have been working through it with my daughter. I’m writing because I know that dealing the issue of the “m” word as you’d put it is a bigger male issue, it can happen with girls. I never read Judy Blume growing up but I did recently and that frequently happen in one story. The book had three stories. One was about a girl and one was with a boy. Blume wrote it in as being perfectly normal and harmless, but we know it isn’t. I’ll be keeping this to reference as an encouragement for my girls.

    1. Wow, thanks for the heads up on that book. I’ll certainly avoid it. And yes, as I finished this post, it occurred to me that there is an element to which this applies to girls. Thanks for pointing that out. I pray that you will know just what to say at the exact moment that God wants you to say it!

    2. What’s the title of the book please? I’ve read quite a few Judy Bloom and would probably recommend them to my girl when she is older. I’m thinking of Tales of a Fourth Grade nothing in particular. From memory most are OK?

        1. Forever is for older teens/ adults and does not have three stories, so I doubt that’s the book Rebekah was referring to. Kylie, Blume has written books for a whole range of ages, so I’d recommend visiting her site to get the categories for each title.

  2. We too, use the correct terminology for body parts. It demystifies it and makes it normal. There is nothing wrong with calling it what it is and I never wanted to make it seem that way for my kids. I grew up being ashamed of my body and nobody ever bothered to talk to me about things like this. I am the mother of one daughter and (soon-to-be) two sons and plan to use The Talk in our home school curriculum for our daughter this year. She’s got autism, and a keen insight into human anatomy and physiology. She’s fascinated by how the body works and what the parts are for (at 8, she can lecture you for five minutes on the parts and function of the human heart from a cardiovascular standpoint). I love that because it makes it SO much easier to talk to her when she has a question, like “How is the baby going to get out?” (Thankfully, so far, she’s much more interested in the physiology of childbirth and hasn’t asked how the baby got in there to begin with 🙂 )

    And Judy Bloom, huh? I’m going to have to look into that. We have a few of those books and I’m suddenly wishing I’d read them before giving them to her.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. Our son is nearing 6 and I just read this timely article 2 days ago… & today, the first time I’ve found him with his hands in his pants, I was able to address his desire for the good feeling with God’s desire for purity based on the outline you gave. I especially love that by sharing in this way, it’s not shame based, but lends itself to a life of godliness. 😀 Afterwards, I was able to share your article with my husband so we can be on the same page… We are both grateful for your wisdom!

    1. Of course, my wisdom is certainly only what God has given. I’m so glad that He has been faithful to help me through this! I’m also thrilled that it was useful to you! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Blume’s Tales of aFourth Grade Nothing series is fine, but her teen/YA novels are pretty dirty. (Most of these have people lying in bed on the cover)
    GREAT ARTICLE, and so unlike what I was expecting. It drives me nuts when Christian parents are scared to talk about these issues when they need to. Most Christian parents can barely do it when their kid hits puberty, but that is WAY too late in my opinion. You don’t have to go into extreme detail, but they do need to understand pure and biblical sexuality. Give yourself a pay on the back. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you for clearing up the Judy Blume thing! You are right, most Christian parents avoid this topic, much to their detriment. I wish I could say that I didn’t learn that through my own life experiences, but I certainly hope to change that for my kids. Thanks for your encouragement!

  5. Coming across this today is exactly what I needed. I’ve caught my 6 year old son humping things the past few days , and havereally been
    Searching for how to deal with it. Everything I came up with on the internet says it’s normal, to just tell them to do it privately, but it just isn’t the right thing and i know it, but I also don’t want him to be embarrassed our feel like there’s something wrong with that kind of pleasure, just that it’s for when he’s grown up.
    I am going to have this talk with him today. Thank you. This was exactly what I needed.

  6. THANK YOU for this perfect approach, and resources! My 10 yo daughter has been asking….the time was never appropriate. I promised we would chat soon, but I have had a REALLY difficult time finding resources that incorporate my values.
    So THANK YOU!!

  7. Thnx for this great perspective. Wondering if u have any resources for those whose purity has already been stolen thru abuse? We adopted a sibling group who have all experienced trauma in this area & who still occasionally act out w/each other (ages 10 & under). Of course we’ve used ur position, but it is already so skewed in their minds (& bodies).

    1. I really don’t have resources on that. I’m so sorry. I do think that handling sexual topics through God’s Word really helps when you are dealing with sin done against a child. In our family, (although a different situation) this has brought great healing. Praying for you!

  8. There’s an old book that mom read to my brother and I called ‘The Wonderful Way That Babies Are Made’. It tells about Gods wonderful creation in our bodies and how that a man and woman love each other and get married and make babies, all according to Gods design. It’s got two sections on each page, one for older kids and one for younger. It’s possibly out of print but I found it on eBay. It tells about how the husband and wife join together and the sperm and egg connect. It’s not graphic but explains the physiology. It’s a great resource. I’m excited about these new resources that you’ve shared too! I have 8 year old and 11 year old boys, I need lots of help!

  9. Well said! As a mom of 12 and 9 year old boys, I have had to have some of these talks. I’m always so surprised that my 12 year old seems more comfortable coming to me with questions rather than my husband.

  10. This is such and important topic and I appreciate that you not only seek the truth but that you are teaching it to your son. I have four sons and while they are still “sort of” young, this is a topic I have tried to cover as the time is right. I want them to have a pure heart, mind, and body for their future wives. It is a hard stand to talk to them about this feeling being for their wives as many even Christian authors write and talk about this being okay. Hubby and I have always felt that it is not and is not normal. We have to teach our sons (and daughters) to rise above the “normal” of the world and seek the Lord’s design for us. Thank you for standing up and standing strong!

  11. I LOVE the way you handled that! Thanks for sharing so candidly. We usually tremble when we’re injecting the Truth into the enemy’s plans! I taught all four of my children that “p goes into v” during preschool years, so I didn’t end up with horribly awkward conversations during puberty. 😉

  12. At his age this behavior is not sexual. It is a self-soothing mechanism (I learned this from Karyn Purvis). Kids that do this simply need to learn appropriate self-soothing mechanisms. I have taught my boys (5 and 7) that it is inappropriate behavior for public and home. And I have told them it’s not a polite thing to do and God doesn’t want you to do things that are not polite. Plus God wants you to keep that part of your body private. I have also taught them some other things you have mentioned (about looking at scantily-clad women and having thoughts that are pleasing to God and all the Bible verses to go along with all of it), but kept sex and sexual feelings out of it. I think at six telling your son that married people use their genitals to feel good is more than a child that young can handle. Of course boys will encounter these feelings earlier, but at six it is still too early to discuss sexual feelings. Your son wasn’t feeling sexual gratification (as you seem to imply) because he has not yet entered puberty. (Perhaps you just wanted to teach him early??) I asked my husband about this and he was quite adamant that boys that young touching themselves has nothing at all to do with sexual gratification. What did your husband think it this incident? How did he broach the subject with your son? Boys really need to be mentored about sex from their fathers, so I would really be interested in his take on the subject.

    1. I didn’t say that boys this young were aiming at sexual gratification. It’s not likely they are. But the point is that the touching will lend itself into that direction, usually a lot quicker than expected. I think it’s vital to teach the right way of thinking from the start. That way we give our boys all the tools they need to fight against the temptation of lust. As far as husbands go, If you are married, of course you need to discuss this together and handle it in unison. Not everyone is in that situation, which is why I wrote this piece to begin with- for moms.

  13. Okay, i’m just curious. I’m really not trying to attack, criticise, etcetera, i honestly just want to know; why is (m-word) not okay? I understand wanting to keep oneself pure for marriage, but why is self exploration not okay? You’re not giving yourself to another, you’re just seeing what’s going on with yourself… right?

    1. In my opinion, it’s not what you do with your hands that matters. It’s what you do with your heart and mind. If you are just making sure it’s still down there- ok fine. If you are cleaning yourself- fine. If you are having sexual or pleasureful thoughts- you are taking something away from your future spouse.

      1. Everyone has sexual thoughts at some point before they’re married. If we start counting each one like it’s a robbery from a possible future spouse, they’ll pile a very heavy load on their shoulders.

  14. I am so glad that a friend of mine sent this link to me. My son , who is now 7, has been struggling with this for several years now. I’ve always fumbled with how to approach this with him so I just tell him that even though it feels good he isn’t suppose to do it. I then asked him does it initially feel good to eat a lot of candy? But then don’t you get a bad tummy ache, and he said yes. However I still catch him doing it several times a month. I’m going to have to get that book to see if there’s anything else I’ve missed. I never punish him for it but I don’t know what else to do to help him see that it isn’t good.

  15. The conversation shared in this article seemed to do a good job teaching a child about the nature and character of God. God is good, created our bodies in a way that is good. The conversation also was good in that it pointed out that the way we relate with our body impacts our relationship with others. Right thinking leads to right acting, and the conversation affirms this truth, as it addressed a child’s heart, not just a child’s behavior. The goal is a heart that is right with God, that leads to right living, instead of sinful living. Thinking about what is sexual sin, sexual sin is sin against God, and is a sin against one’s own body. It harms us and our relationship with God. Seeking to please ourselves sexually is the opposite of God’s intent in marriage, where each spouse gives themselves to the other. Because of the self focus of sexual sin, it damages all relationships, relationship with everyone, not just one’s relationship with their future spouse. That makes me wonder about teaching a child: ” That feeling you feel is meant to be a feeling that is shared only with your wife. God wants you to save that feeling for her.” There is some truth to that, and perhaps it is appropriate. I am just wondering if it’s a truth to be shared initially, or later. Perhaps similar to another commenter’s concerns. A child may never grow up to get married. What then? Again, I understand that the conversation is expected to be continued, through the months and years. Thank you for your article and your prayerfulness and thoughtfulness that you displayed in what you wrote. These are very important topics, and I appreciate the opportunity to think on these issues and truths.

  16. “If they will get married some day, they will not have ultimate authority over their body; their wife will (1 Corinthians 7:4). They should not develop any habit that trains their mind to believe, “I have authority over my body.””

    This is a quote from the article I posted a link to above. This is more of a truthful response in my opinion.

    Thank you again for your thoughtful post. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the ideas presented in the article.

  17. Pure lips? I would handle the concept of purity carefully, which has led to a lot of obsession over sexuality alone in the church and a lot of guilt as a result. If kids touch themselves at some point during their teens or kiss a member of the opposite sex before marriage, they should not be left feeling like they’re sullied and unfit for a “pure” spouse or a really good marriage.

  18. Thank you for writing such a great post. Excellent article you have shared here. your work is simply amazing, your information and blog is role model for me, really enjoy reading your posts. This tips will really help my clients projects. Thank you so much for this useful article.

  19. Dear Kim,
    You aren’t being overly-righteous at all! Many people need to understand that issues like divorce and adultery start from young. It is very important to share these messages of purity with young children (boys especially, being that they are so targeted when it comes to receiving messages of sexual gratification). I am a christian as well, but even if I wasn’t, I still wouldn’t allow my children to dwell on such messages. I appreciated how gentle yet firm your response was. Most importantly, it was informative and dignified-so he got the point. Thanks for being so level-headed!

  20. Oh my goodness! This is one the best posts I have ever read! SO important. Thank you for talking about this uncomfortable subject. There is so much sexual perversion and there is easy access to anything at our fingertips!

    Seriously. Thank you!

    Thank you!

  21. I am glad to have found your article. I am a first time Mom and my son is almost 9 months and has been touching his diaper area for the past month or two and I have really been terrified of this issue starting so early in life. How do I encourage my son to not grab there every time his diaper comes off during this time when he just doesn’t understand yet?

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