Q: What is the most appropriate age to have "the talk" with my daughter?
A: First, and most importantly, recognize that it is never just one talk. Teaching your daughters--and sons too, for that matter--about moral and Biblical truths about sex and such MUST be a continuous conversation. For a lot of parents, talking about such things with your children can be quite intimidating and overwhelming.
Go straight to the Word. Using scripture as your guide gives you just the right thing to say and a multitude of opportunities to discuss so much more.
At my house, we've had those initial break-the-ice convos about menstrual cycles and how a baby is made. So when they were around 10-11, my children and I worked through the book of Proverbs. We read a chapter a day, taking time to discuss every couple of verses. Our conversation has been very open and age-appropriate. I am a firm believer in answering only what they ask. Yes, we need to educate, but we don't need to over-educate. It is a delicate balance when you're talking about preservation of childhood innocence. However, I don't want them getting the 411 via magazines in the grocery checkout or in the school bathroom between classes.
God's Word will never fail you. Use it as your guide always. And when it comes to those tough conversations, LITERALLY use it as your guide. Sex and relationship discussions, especially when discussed using the Bible, more often than not, lead to discussions about SO many other facets of living out your faith. It isn't enough for them (or anyone for that matter) to hear us say "believe THIS." They need to know why, ask questions, and dig deeper. We all do!
Talking to our children about sex and relationships needs to be interwoven naturally in our daily lives. This world is sure enough throwing more "knowledge" at them than we can shake a stick, flag, gun, or gender role at! This means addressing why you choose not to wear words across the buttocks of your pants for example, wearing appropriate colored bras under certain clothing to stay modest, and why you will NOT be purchasing thongs for your daughter in middle school. You get the point . . . .
We have to wake up and realize that being overwhelmed and unsure of how to even approach some of these topics needs to be conquered! If you're nervous or hesitant . . . get over it. This is a big deal! It is our responsibility to our children and their future spouses to stay ahead of what the world is teaching.
Use the Word . . . make time to have those conversations . . . and develop those relationships. They won't just come you one day to discuss the burning desires or fears of their hearts if there's been no foundation. Start now. They need you.