Your child, believe it or not, knows more about sex than you think. It is not just TV and internet that is responsible for this. When your child starts going to school, the role and importance of “friends” becomes more significant than before. And these little “friends” come with their own hearsay versions of what sex is and where babies come from. So, sooner or later, you will be bombarded with all kinds of questions from your child somewhere in his middle school years. They are young enough to be not embarrassed about asking these questions and old enough to get a more specific answer from you than “God makes babies”.
Why Should You Talk About Sex To Your School Going Children?
Well, we’d instead ask: Why shouldn’t you? It is not like your child is completely clueless about sex. Like we mentioned before, they have some understanding already. And if that is the case, is it not better they hear a more accurate version from you than hearsay from friends? Unless you talk about it openly and encourage them to ask questions openly, they will rely on friends and other sources for this information. And this can be dangerous because (a) the information might not be reliable and (b) you will never know what they know.
How To Talk About Sex With Your Child?
The first step is to be not embarrassed about it. The second step is to be very calm and relaxed when talking about it. No, you are not allowed to turn red. And we know this is easier said than done. This is why we have broken down “the talk” into simple easy to follow steps below:
Decide on how much to share: You might not want to share a lot of details in the beginning. For instance, while you can answer their questions and give simple explanations, it might be too early to talk about intercourse, STDs, menstruation, labor pain and so on. This might scare them as they might not be able to fully understand them
Keep it simple: They have not done their biology classes yet. So do not complicate your talk by explaining the whole reproductive processes (complete with sperms and fallopian tubes). They are not ready for this yet
Use the right words: Use proper and correct words to explain. That is, use words like penis and vagina in place of “pee-pee”, for instance. These are body parts which the child should not be bashful in naming. If we keep using code words or baby talk to describe genitals, the kids will grow up feeling that sex and sexuality are something to be embarrassed about and not discussed
Do not evade the questions:“Go ask your dad” or “I don’t have time for this” are usual escape mechanisms parents employ to avoid answering their questions. You need to remember that only you are feeling awkward about this. The child is not. He is asking you because he thinks you know the best. Do not let him down
Encourage to ask more questions: Do not reciprocate with a “who told you about this?” or “aren’t you ashamed to talk about this to me?”. Would you rather have your child talk to someone else about it? You have to position yourself as a parent who is approachable and answerable to the kids. If you make your child feel humiliated for asking you her doubts, then you cut a great communication channel you have between you and your kid in the bud
Tell him about privacy: You might have already talked to your child about private parts. You would have also taught your child about good touch and bad touch. If your child does not understand the concept of privacy, this is the time to introduce it. Teach him to knock the door before he enters your bedroom. Similarly, you knock your child’s door before entering his room
Help them think: When they ask a question, sit down and ask them “what do you think?”. This will not only help them broaden their thinking, but will also help you get a sneak peek into your child’s understanding of the matter. Moreover, when your child realizes you are really interested in his views, he becomes more open to sharing
Use story as a medium: If you are still uncomfortable talking about it, you can use stories as example. Talk about a dad and mom wanting a baby. Talk about how they made love and created a baby inside mom’s tummy. Talk about how the baby grew inside the tummy and and finally when big enough came out. And the family grew from 2 to 3. This is just an example. Depending on your child’s question, you can get creative and come up with simple stories that are relatable
Some Commonly Asked Questions On Sex And Plausible Answers
We try to list some of the frequently asked questions by the little ones and take a shot at answering them in a factually right, but not very detailed, answers. They are not the best answers for your child. They are just suggestions and indicators, which we hope will help you craft your own answer based on your comfort level and faith.
What is sex? “Sex is something two grownups (a man and woman) do to express their love for each other. They hug and kiss in a special way. This is also how a baby is made, but it need not happen all the time.”
Do you and daddy have sex? “Yes we do. But we do it in the privacy of our rooms. So you cannot see.” (because they are most likely to ask if they can see)
How are babies made? “I will tell you how you were made. Daddy gave mumma a seed and this seed combined with an egg inside mumma’s tummy. Then a small-you was formed inside mumma. This is why you look like both mumma and daddy. When you became big enough, you came out of mumma as a baby.”
I want to have a baby too. Can I? “No, you cannot. Only big people – grownups like mumma – can have a baby. You will become ready when you are much older.”
Can daddy have a baby too? “No. Only mummas of the world have that super-power. Daddys help of course. Daddys are required to make a baby. But babies can only be inside mumma’s body.”
Remember, sex is an important part of human life, not only in the physical sense, but also in the capacity how we think about ourselves, and what choices we make. You as parents need to do some groundwork so as to help your child develop a healthy understanding of sex. Make sure that your child understands the sexual feelings and associated relationships before they themselves become sexually active.