Three ways to approach talking about the birds and the bees with your children.My approach to the the "sex talk" is simple. Talk to your children naturally and sincerely. Preparing your children for the world of sex is an opportunity to talk to them honestly. Here are three tips to having "the talk" with your child.
1. Be a role model. Before you open your mouth to utter the first words, you have already made the biggest impact as a role model. In families where the parents are in a loving and intimate relationship with each other, children absorb the acceptance and respectful attitude towards sex. Yet, it is difficult to pass over the importance of intimacy to a child whose mother is single and has not had a boyfriend for years. It might be difficult to convince her child about the necessity of monogamy if partners come and go frequently.
2. Conscious Value Clarification. Even if everything is perfect in this respect, it is useful to share your personal ideas and values regarding sex. Ask yourself what sex mean for you. Is it for creating life? Keeping a couple together? Providing joy? Relief from tension? Earning money or favors? There is plenty of motivation to have sex. Yet, which reason do you want to share with your child?
3. Have an honest talk. Talking about sex can begin very early on, when children begin to ask how babies are made. The best answer is simple and honest. The wording has to be tailored to your child's age. The reply you receive can vary. Over explaining and lecturing your child can ruin the trustful atmosphere you have built. Also Read: 5 Parenting Lessons We Can Learn From Celebrity Dads
If you create an open environment to speak about sensitive topics, as the years go by more sophisticated concepts and doubts will surface. Make sure your child asks about them from you and not someone else whose concepts might be in direct conflict with yours.
The way you answer reveals your value system. Do you approve of premarital sex? Do you approve of sex without love? What are the criteria for your child to have sex? Does your criteria consist of age, love, responsibility, maturity and ability to raise a possible child? What are your options if your child does not comply?
Sooner or later you will end up on the topic of safe sex. What does it mean for you? Is it restricted in order to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and infections and unwanted pregnancy? I bet it is equally important not to collect emotional scars, such as guilt, shame or anxiety.
You do not necessarily have to agree with your teen. However, you still can advocate your strong opinion. You might tell your child you do not agree with their decision. However, if they discard your advice and end up experimenting with sex you could insist that your child use protection.
How should you explain it? It should be in a calm assertive way and with "I" messages. If you stay respectful, this teaches the teen that you can behave respectfully in the event there is a disagreement.
How to maintain the conversation from the first question to the last grandchild born? Be a confidant for your child as well as acknowledge and accept their feelings. If you do not judge, put down or blame, your child will turn to you for advice.
Written by Zita Fekete for YourTango.com.
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