The Talk

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Philippians 4:8, NIV
As a multi-generational church here in Parker County, we recognize that North Side is made up of all kinds of families – old and young, big and small – experiencing life and issues in so many different seasons. Our desire is to lead, care, and support you and your family no matter the makeup. One of the ways we are seeking to best accomplish this challenge is through our FAITH@HOME strategy which is based on a biblical belief that God designed the family as the primary place for discipleship.

To support this belief and your family, we think we have a great tool in our Faith Path initiative to partner with you as you guide your child’s spiritual journey one step at a time. It is based on age-appropriate kits that have been created to help you leverage the best faith formation strategy for your student’s stage of development. In this THE TALK kit, you will find practical ideas and suggested resources to help you guide your child through upcoming changes. We urge you to start today by taking the following simple steps and look forward to watching your child and family grow in your biblical understanding, relationships, spiritual discussions, and life application.

Check out the provided video that explains this particular Faith Path step. This video comes directly from the original launch of Faith Path and is used in a partnership with LakePointe Church. You will hear from both experts and ordinary families as they describe the importance of preparing your child for adolescence and share practical suggestions from their experiences. You will also find a guide that offers practical tips and what we consider the best resources on the topic.

To help make the process easier, this kit offers a two-part audio titled The Talk. These audio files are available by request to Jim Garner. We’ve also provided a Frequently Asked Questions summary from parents of early adolescents.

We hope you find this kit helpful in the process of forming the faith of your child at home. It can be life-changing not only for your child, but your relationship with them and family as you walk through this kit and the Faith Path strategy together in the years to come. Feel free to visit with our staff below to learn more or to determine if your child/children are ready for other Faith Path steps.

Assist Your Child During Times of Change

The best way to prepare your child for the changes and challenges of adolescence is to set the stage. Mom with daughter, dad with son or a single parent with either sex should spend time giving their preadolescent child a basic understanding of what’s coming before the cataclysmic transition begins. Help your child prepare for coming changes in a proactive and positive way. Remember, IT IS NOT ONE MAJOR TALK, IT IS A SERIES OF TALKS TO ESTABLISH A DIALOGUE. Here’s a quick guide to the when, what and how of that time together:

When: Often parents are concerned that they will overwhelm their preteen or encourage premature curiosity if they jump the gun in preparing them for adolescence. A greater concern, however, is the likelihood that someone else will beat you to it. Children are typically ready before their parents are. PreTeen bodies are going through puberty earlier that previous generations.

What: You should plan to address the many areas of change your son or daughter will encounter during the transition to adulthood, especially bodily changes, decision-making and the changing relationship to you.
  • Body: Lay out all the ways their body will begin to change physically: muscle development, hair growth, breast development, and monthly cycle’s need to be discussed. It’s important to frame the physical changes ahead as much more than a plea for sexual abstinence. Make sure you discuss with your PreTeen that these changes are normal and designed by God.
  • Decision-making: Increasingly, your child will need to make and assume responsibility for his or her own decisions. As you maintain your overall family values in media choices, cell phone usage, individual responsibilities (chores, homework, etc.), drugs and alcohol, you also need to direct your son or daughter in how to make wise decisions in areas of health and integrity. The first nine chapters of Proverbs can help guide an early teen on choosing wisdom over folly. 
  • Relationship to you: Consider explaining to your PreTeen that over the next decade your role will progressively change from a teacher to that of a coach. You will begin to guide him or her in the transition toward independence. It is also a great time to intentionally foster relationships with other Godly adults who can influence your child’s life. Assure them that you want to keep talking with them about anything they want to ask.

How: Here are a few ideas to get you started.
  • Go one a series of special dates (dinner, activities, etc). Remember it’s not one talk but a series of talks.
  • Listen to the audio titled The Talk (available by request)
  • Create an environment for open communication for your child to share, talk and discuss with you.
  • Listen! Allow your child to share thoughts and questions without being judgmental or quick to give a lecture.
  • Have fun. Your child is much more likely to listen and be open with you if you have established a good relationship through fun.

Early Adolescence FAQ

Q: How early should I talk to my child about sex, relationships, and purity?
A: Every child is different, but with the intrusion of smart phones and other technology, the age your child is introduced to sexual content is getting younger. We suggest having the talk as early as possible (3rd or 4th grade). But especially if you notice any of the following…
  •  Your adolescent child shows interest in having a girl/boy friend
  •  Your child has any sort of online access including a home computer, mobile phone, or any other electronic devices that have access to the internet.
Q: How can I talk to my child about modesty?
A: For guys, they need to understand that they have a responsibility to begin to learn how important what they look at is. This includes pornography, staring at young ladies, or any media that uses sex as an enticer. Guys need to also understand they their bodies are made by God and should be treated with respect.
For girls, help them learn that their bodies are beautiful and holy creations and must be treasured. Clothing should be judged with this in mind. Each girl should be confident that God made them perfect just the way they are.
For both, is not the responsibility of another for you to control your thoughts, emotions and actions. You are responsible for your thoughts and your behaviors.
Q: How do I help my child set good boundaries for internet/online access?
A: Set a time to discuss the following questions with him/her:
  • What is a healthy/appropriate amount of time per day to spend online?
  •  What guidelines will keep our identity and personal information private?
  •  What kinds of pictures are/aren’t appropriate to post? 
Q: How do I protect and help my child in the temptations they face with technology and media?
A: Even if you believe your child is not yet tempted (spoiler alert: THEY ARE.), take the following proactive steps…
  • Do not allow your child to have a computer or television in his/her room.
  • If your child has a mobile device or phone, have them turn it off and plug it in the kitchen at a certain time each night.
  • Remember, you own the phone, and you can look at it whenever you want to. Check it regularly.
  • Be careful of the shows/television that you watch in the company of your child to avoid sending mixed messages.
  • Check services such as for content details on any movies, music and television shows they want to watch.
  • Set controls/accountability on all computers, phones and other electronic devices in your home using services such as the following…
    • use the iPhone downtime settings
Q: How can I introduce my child to the influence of other Godly adults to reinforce what we are teaching at home?
A: When a child enters the adolescent years, it becomes important to help him or her glean from the example and influence of other Godly adults, some of whom may become important voices into your child’s life as they grow older. A few suggestions…
  • Start with extended family including grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Invite Godly relatives to take an interest in your child’s activities by attending his/her concerts, games, award assemblies, etc. Ask them to invite your child to breakfast or ice cream once in a while to connect and speak into his/her life.
  • When you eat meals with Christian friends invite your adolescent son/daughter to sit at the adult table rather than with the kids. Simply including him/her in these conversations can help establish a bond with other Godly adults.
  • Introduce yourself to the student pastor and/or a small group leader and ask who he/she considers Godly leaders and volunteers in the student ministry program. You might consider offering to volunteer in the student ministry in order to get to know other adult leaders who might be willing to take a special interest in your child. For more ideas on inviting the influence of other adults into your child’s life - read Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof.


How will you be intentional this next year?
  • Pray daily for and with my child.
  • Consistently spend time in God’s Word with my child.
  • Bless my child daily.
  • Schedule and have regular family times.
  • Create a habit of worship with my child.
  • Serve together as a family.
  • Schedule a special time to discuss the upcoming changes.

The next step on the Faith Path is Purity, recommended at age twelve. We will offer a Purity kit to guide you.

Preparing for Adolescence by Dr. James Dobson
So You’re About to be a Teenager by Dennis & Barbara Rainey
Age of Opportunity: A Biblical Guide to Parenting Teens by Paul David Tripp
Five Conversations You Must Have series by Vicki Courtney
The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality by Luke Gilkerson

© 2012 Inkling Innovations & Lydia Randall

North Side Staff Contacts

Jason Medlin, PreTeen Pastor
Jim Garner, Family & Missions Pastor