“Mum, Dad, where do babies come from?’ “Mum, dad, what does sex mean?’ – the questions most parents are afraid to hear! But they will inevitably come in some shape or form. Here are 5 top tips on how to talk to your kids about this amazing and important topic!
- Sex education begins at birth. Look for opportunities to talk naturally about it as it comes up in the every day.
Remember, sex education is not about ‘sex education’…it’s a whole person approach. It’s really about understanding who we are and how we are created. It answers questions like “I am good, I am worthy, I am amazing.”
The journey of talking about this should be a natural transition, like walking down stairs to take the next step – it shouldn’t be a once off or an ‘all of a sudden’ conversation. Sexuality and relationships are part of everyday life. You are already educating your kids, whether you realise it or not!
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it. There is a myth that went around when I was a teenager that was if you talked about sex you would sparked early or unnecessary curiosity – NOT true!
The truth is that any conversation about this stuff actually helps. There is multiple research out there to prove that parental opinion is one of the most important influences on sexual decision-making for teenagers. They might not act like they care about what you say – but they actually do!
- Age appropriate language. The best way to know if they are ready is this: if they ask you a question and you give them the ‘least amount of information necessary’ and they don’t ask any more questions – you can know they are satisfied. If they ask another question or seek clarity, they are ready for more details. Don’t feel like you a) have to avoid the question or b) have to give the whole answer to them in minute detail. Give them the ‘basic jist’ and if they have more questions, answer them openly and comfortably.
- Trust your spouse. THEY know most what it’s like to be a child of the opposite sex at that age. That means mums of sons sometimes we have to get out of the way and let dad mentor the son! Same applies for dads of daughters; trust your wife understands all those hormones that are driving you mad.
- Promote intimacy and romance in your own relationship. We all know actions speak louder than words. If kids don’t see their parents and other role models valuing the awesomeness of sexual intimacy in a loving, committed relationship, why should they bother waiting for it? Sex is awesome – and it’s worth waiting for!