Many parents dread the day when they have to talk about sex with their kids. It’s normal to be nervous and fret over having a conversation with your kids with regards to sex. Some parents change the topic or try to make excuses so that they can avoid talking about it. If you are shy, talking about sex with anyone you are close to is never an easy task; therefore, talking with your kids about sex is ten times more nerve-wracking.
There are some easier ways to handle every question or conversation that is related to sex so you don’t have to spend your nights worrying about the next question that your child may present you with.
Answer Questions as Honestly as Your Can
It’s never a good idea to be blunt or crude when your child asks you something about sex. It is important to speak to them in a truthful way that they can understand within their age group. If your child is 2 or 3 years old and asks you about their private parts, tell them the official name. For example, right now my son is 15 months old and my husband and I call his penis his ‘squiggly.’ When he is a bit older we will tell him the actual name of his private part, penis.
If I am asked when he is 6, ‘Mummy, what is sex?’, I will say, ‘sex is an activity that involves two people. It is how two people express how they feel about one another.’ Personally, I want my son to respect his body and to grow up knowing that sex is best when love is involved, so I won’t get into any other details. But I have still given him the truth for his age range.
Practice Active Listening
Hear out your child’s, tween’s or teenagers questions and concerns with regards to sex. Let them know you are actively listening. Too many parents ‘get busy’ all of a sudden because they get nervous or don’t want to deal with the topic. Sit down, offer your child eye contact, support and listen to any questions they may have. If you are unprepared and don’t want to answer some of the questions, then tell them that you will think about it and tell them at a later time. Then follow up. The more your child, tween or teenager feels like they are listened to, the more they will know they can turn to you if they have a problem or worry related to sex or not.
Use Age Appropriate Language
Remember to use age appropriate language. Age is a massive factor here. A toddler ages 2 to 3 can understand words like ‘penis and vagina’, but they aren’t ready to know how a baby is created and born. Kids ages 6 or 7 can understand the literal explanation of how a baby is born. ‘When you are ready to be born, the uterus pushes you out of Mummy’s vagina.’ Around 9 or 10, kids know that sex is important whether they learned it from the media or their peers. Research age appropriate terms and speak to them.
Take a Deep Breath
As parents, we want to protect our children, and having to talk about sex with our kids at an early age seems to ‘rip off’ the protective covering. Talking about sex with your child may make you feel like you are exposing them to the ‘real world’ too soon, when, in fact, the more your child knows, the more tools they will have for the future.