It’s family movie night, and suddenly the “family movie” turns into a horrific example of why you should pay attention to PG-13 labels. Sex is everywhere; so how do you address this topic with your child? Here are 5 tips on how to do so effectively.
1. The Approach: Be Calm and Relaxed
Talking about sex is just as nerve-wracking for your child as it is for you. Children aren't exactly wild animals, but I must admit that they sure seem capable of “smelling your fear.” Remind yourself that conversations over time will only get easier and that conversation is necessary in keeping them informed. Preparing the main points ahead of time will also make ‘the talk’ seem a bit more manageable.
2. The Conversation: Keep it Simple
Start off slow. Whether you are giving your child the ‘talk’ or just checking in, do not immediately bombard them with questions and facts. Take it one step at a time.
3. The Conversation: Keep it Accurate
Do your research prior to giving them any information. Unfortunately our state does not guarantee that they will receive medically accurate and comprehensive information throughout scholastic sex education. So until we can get H.3447 passed or a similar bill, then you must make sure you are “filling in the gaps.”
4. Don’t Shame
It is better to ask a silly question rather than making a silly mistake. Encourage all degrees of questions, and do not shame your child for any of them. By making your child feel ashamed, you are encouraging sex as a taboo topic within your home. Open minds fuel open relationships between parents and children.
5. Provide Additional Resources
So worst situation possible: the conversation is an awkward failure. How do you effectively support your child in this situation? Provide additional resources. Whether it’s another family member who could more comfortably create a conversation or online material, create another line of communication.