Is sex talk necessary with your children? Source: blog.sacramento for kids
Uh oh! You are probably asking yourself how and when it came to this. To say “time flies” is probably the biggest understatement of the year, especially when it comes to your children! Were we not changing their diapers just yesterday?
As parents and guardians, we are of the notion that our babies will be babies forever. Even at my grown age, my mother still treats me like a baby sometimes! I guess when it comes to children, we want to protect them in every way we know how. We want to frame their minds so that their world is all cotton candy dreams, rainbows and unicorns for them, but we all know that is not possible.
Which is why I am assuming you are here. You have probably started noticing changes, perhaps an interest in physical intimacy that involves a crush, maybe or curious questions about biology and the like. Where do babies come from and all sorts of interesting questions? Or perhaps you want them to grow up knowledgeable of their anatomy, their needs and wants and ways to handle them.
Either way, we are happy you are here and have listed ways in which you can initiate the much-dreaded sex talk with your children.
1/ Discuss the importance of having this talk
Make sure you have done your research before the conversation. Source: News in Health.
If you are to have this conversation with your children, you should make sure you are well-educated to avoid confusion later in the future. Contrary to popular belief, having ‘the talk’ doesn’t mean discussing the act of having sex. Sex education involves anatomy, sexual activity, contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), pregnancy, consent and pornography, among many other things.
Each of these is equally important and could potentially save your child or guide them towards making the right decisions. And while talking about ‘sex’ might be a frightening experience for both you and your child and might even cause fear or anxiety, you must understand that these emotions are normal. It’s a big step, after all.
It should not, however, deter you from having a positive conversation with your little ones. Take your time, find a spot that’s comfortable for both you and your child. Find comfort within one another, and remember that you are doing this with your child’s best interests at heart.
2/ When should I start talking about sex with my child?
You are never too early or too late for sex talk. Source: Motherhood
Ouff, I know you don’t want to hear this, but as soon as possible, you can never be too early! Now before you scram off and call it a day (or night), hear us out.
Studies have shown that children and teenagers who have regular discussions about sex and relationships with their parents and caregivers are less likely to take risks with their sexual health and are more likely to make better choices.
So it is advised that you begin teaching your children the names of their body parts as soon as they begin to speak. You can teach them about respecting others and communicating their feelings when around other children, as these are the foundations for subsequent healthy sexuality and relationships.
Now you are probably wondering about the best way to keep the conversation age-appropriate for your five year old and trust me, I know how awkward it can be, but you have to remember that your choice of words is crucial. You can use more direct language as they grow older, such as naming body parts as they are, which teaches them not to be ashamed of their bodies.
If your child is in middle or high school and you have not started talking to them about it yet, do not stress. It is never too late to start a conversation, and there are many ways to do so. Do not try to ‘catch up’ all at once; it will be too much, and you definitely do not want that! Again, this is typically a delicate conversation, so take your time, create a more carefree environment, and have a series of small conversations over time until you are comfortable. The essential thing is to make it plain to your child that they are free to ask you questions or seek support from you without fear of being judged.
3/ How to answer questions about sex and relationships
Create a space where they can ask without feeling judged. Source: The Indian Express
If you have reached this point, I want you to pause and pat yourself on the back because you are doing a fantastic job! The sole fact that your child is comfortable enough to ask you these questions implies that they respect and trust you. Amazing right!
So, back to the topic, here are some tips you should remember when answering those questions.
- Don’t make assumptions about why they are asking you the questions they are asking. I have lost count of the number of times I got stuck in a similar situation with my mother where she would ask, “Why do you want to know? Have you started doing it? Where did you get that information? Who told you that? This girl shall kill me!” So word to the wise; don’t do that.
- Keep your responses short and basic, and clarify any new words that your child may not be familiar with.
- Keep the conversation going after you’ve given a response. You can ask questions like, “What additional questions regarding this do you have?”
- Check if they understand by asking for their opinion on the matter.
- You’re human; no one expects you to know everything, so don’t be shy to look it up if you are unsure about something. You can even search for it together and make this a learning experience for both of you.
4/ What can I do to keep my children safe and healthy?
It’s all about finding the perfect balance. Source: Real woman
Sometimes being a parent will often cause you to become overbearing without even intending to. You want to know “what’s going on, with who, about what and when”, and while that might be your way of showing you care, some might struggle to appreciate it. However, to raise healthy individuals, staying involved in your children’s lives and setting some boundaries are the greatest ways to do so. Be present when they need you, and don’t get offended when they need some space.
You’re in the right direction!
I know taking this step must be frightening and uncomfortable, to say the least, but the fact that you are here means a lot to your child. You are going out of your way to ensure that your children are well informed, and you should be proud of yourself! It might not go as you imagined; it might even be more awkward or stressful than anticipated, but remember, this is a gradual process. Easy does it. Try to work through the emotions, and I promise you the results will be satisfactory for you and your child!
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