I’ll never forget when my 7 year old asked “So if it takes an egg from a mum and a sperm from a dad and they have to come together to make a baby..how does that happen?” Believe it or not I had been facilitating sex education programs for at least 5 years at that stage and answering 1000s of questions from parents and children easily….but when it’s your daughter asking…. I still hesitated!!
Here are some general suggestions (Part-2) about challenging questions around sex education.
Take the opportunity to talk about what you see or hear on the TV or in movies, music, social media and any other form of media. I know that this might sound rather strange but I will be forever grateful for reality TV. It has started so many conversations with my children around the topic of sexuality, consent and relationships from “Married at First Sight” to “The Bachelor”, tampon adds, erectile dysfuction adds and the endless songs about sex.
So instead of turning off the radio (depending on the age of your child of course) why not encourage dialogue? Questions like, Do you know what that is about? Validate your child’s questions and feelings and do not avoid them.
If your children are anything like mine, they pick up on my feelings so if you appear overly anxious or angry, they might feel the same way. If you say things like..that’s disgusting or never ask me that question again…this gives a child the impression that you do not want or intend to talk about it.
Remember that you can’t just have ‘the talk’ once, talking and teaching about sexuality is a lifelong process.
What we think and what we say effects their knowledge, attitudes and values…and it is the same when it comes to talking to your children about sex.
So when your child asks you “what is a condom? How will you answer them?