Equipping parents to have difficult conversationsWritten by Focus on the Family Canada
What's inside this article
As our children grow up, they face new challenges and difficult questions, and they need guidance from their parents, especially on issues that are embarrassing, uncomfortable or awkward. But when they don't get that from us – or they feel like they can't talk to us – they start to look elsewhere, and the mire of confusion only gets worse.
That's why we want to equip you to have important conversations with your child before they're faced with difficulties and temptations. And where a child has already made poor choices, we want to help equip you to have grace-filled conversations so your child is assured of your unconditional love.
The following resources are designed to help empower you to talk to your child, tween or teen about issues that are often difficult and awkward – but ones that are crucial to talk about in order to guide them along a path of discernment where they can learn how to make healthy choices.
Talking with your child about healthy sexuality
We live in an information-saturated world where a quick search is only a click away and misleading advice is common. That's why we want to equip you with the tools you need to start a conversation about healthy sexuality at every stage of development.
Our free PDF download The Talk includes 20 pages of helpful, practical information on what to share about healthy sexual development with your child and when, how to convey a positive, Biblical perspective on sexuality, how to remain your kids' first source of information, and how to safeguard your kids from sexual abuse.
In the two-part broadcast entitled "Returning to a Godly Perspective on Sex and Romance," pastor and author Levi Lusko not only addresses the very real issues Christian teens and young adults are facing in today's hypersexualized culture, but he also describes his own struggles with pornography and how we can protect ourselves from overt temptation and compromise by understanding God's design for sexuality.
Discussing tough issues like bullying, depression and suicide
In the spring of 2017, Netflix released a TV show that was quickly awash in controversy. 13 Reasons Why that took an unfortunately graphic look at topics such as suicide, bullying and rape. While this show is not recommended by Focus on the Family Canada and is rife with potentially harmful content (for our children and ourselves), it did teach us that our children have a desperate longing to understand these issues and are watching these shows to try and find answers.
A Parent's Guide to 13 Reasons Why will inform you on the issues addressed in this TV show (bullying and cyberbullying, cutting and self-injury, sexting, rape and sexual assault, and suicide) in order to help you be proactive in talking to your child about these issues, and how to help your child if they or their friend have experienced this first-hand.
You can also listen to six episodes of a Focus on the Family podcast that unpacks these issues from the perspective of Christian counsellors.
A Parent's Guide to 13 Reasons Why Podcasts
This series of interviews with counsellors on staff at Focus on the Family U.S. sheds new light on the issues addressed in 13 Reasons Why.
Navigating technology and online safety
One of the biggest ways the world is different for our children today is technology. From social media and smart phones to video games and hidden apps, there are a lot of ways for our children to misstep with today's technology. But it can be difficult to know how to help our children understand this world when we barely know it ourselves.
A Parent's Guide to Today's Technology provides a detailed breakdown of how technology affects brain development, understanding video game ratings and content, what you need to know about the different social media apps, how to find hidden apps on your child's phone, and how to prepare for, prevent and deal with cyberbullying.
In the documentary Over 18, produced by an organization called Hope for the Sold, Joe tells his story. At just nine years old, he was already addicted to online pornography – a sobering reality for parents, but one that can embolden them to be proactive. If you haven't heard of the film, click the link below to find out more or to look into screening it at your church (for viewers ages 16 or older).
Starting a conversation about porn with your child
This article provides parents with information about modern pornography, what our children are able to view, scripts on how to introduce this topic at different ages and what four problems adolescents.
Equipping your child to resist pornography
This article not only provides parents with practical information to help children who have been exposed to pornography, but also equips them to recognize the emotional states that can lead to giving into the temptation to look.
Get these free resources today!
Fill out the form below and we'll send you an email with links to all three free PDFs: The Talk, A Parent's Guide to 13 Reasons Why and A Parent's Guide to Today's Technology.
Need more help?
If you would like to speak with someone on our team and receive prayer support – or even get in touch with our counselling team for a free, one-time phone consultation – please call us at 1.800.661.9800, email [email protected]. Whatever you and your family are dealing with, we want you to know you don’t have to face it alone. We’re here to help.
© 2018 Focus on the Family (Canada) Association. All rights reserved.
If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources below.Our recommended resources
Free advice on marriage, parenting and Christian living delivered straight to your inbox