Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity is one of the finest gift imparted to humans. It’s how we act on these curiosities that lead to good or bad things. This curiosity is at its peak when we are young and hence we constantly seek answers for everything. Everything around us never fails to fascinate us and the first person we go to for answers are parents. Hence, parents are the first school any child attends and it’s a huge responsibility on parents.
The way we treat our child’s curiosity has an everlasting effect on them. One such dreaded topic that kids approach their parents about is “Birds and bees” metaphor or sex as we adults call it. Sex, no matter how modern our society gets, will be a very sensitive topic to talk to your children about. So here are six things to help you out while talking to your children about sex.
Don’t pile them with everything at once
The one thing we have to understand is that kids don’t think the way adults do. They don’t always need elaborate explanations about things. So only focus on the things your kid is asking you at the moment. So if they ask you about ‘how girls are different than boy’; don’t go giving them an explanation about the anatomy and biology of a male and female body. Just give them a basic idea and let them come to you if they have to ask something more. If you tell them a lot of things in one go it may overwhelm the child and he may fear to ask you next time.
Be clear about what you want to talk about
This is something which goes wrong most of the times. Both the parents should be clear about what are they going to talk about when their children ask them about sex or other related topics. This way he/she won’t be getting different answers for the same question. Adults can figure that out but it would just confuse the kid. They may start seeking answers elsewhere which are never a good thing. Also be clear about the values you want to instill in the kid as parents. If you tell the kid it’s not okay to kiss in public but you do that when they are around, that may create a sense of distrust in the child.
Address topics as they come naturally
You shouldn’t unnecessarily start worrying about the sex talk as soon as your kid starts making friends. Kids are curious about almost everything and that would always work in your favor. If you are not ready you can always distract them with something curious and take the time to prepare if the questions come again. Also like told before only keep your talk limited to the questions asked. Don’t overflow them with information and scare them away. As the topics come keep handling them, but also keep teaching them about important points like appropriate touch etc.
Don’t rely on others to teach your child
Some parents just try to avoid the sex talk completely thinking the school would eventually teach their kids or they can search for the answers themselves. This can be really harmful in the long run. If your kids learn through the wrong resources or aren’t patient to wait for the school to teach them they could get in the wrong company. They may also do something that you may regret all your life. So always be there for your children when these topics come up in his/her head. You will always be the best person to answer your child’s doubts.
It’s just not about sex
Please understand that a sex talk is never just about sex. It has a lot of other things that you need to tell your children. Also, your children will ask you different questions related to the same topic and you’ll have to help them understand that. It could be about menstruation, sanitary pads, girls wear bras but boys don’t and thousands like these. So always be open to your children so they don’t fear to talk to you about their sexual curiosities.
Let the children feel comfortable talking about this
I was brought up in a family of teachers and still this topic was highly uncomfortable to bring up in the house. But as we grew up my father understood that this needed to be handled and helped me and my brother open up to these topics. Don’t scare your children away when they come to with such questions. Don’t shout or shun them. If you do that they would never be able to ask you or tell you what’s in their heart. They won’t be able to share their feelings with you which in the long run will also hurt your relationship with them. So make them feel comfortable in being curious.
I am no parent yet but I am still reading and preparing myself for ‘the talk’ someday. Please let me know if you have anything to add to this.