Parents never want to envision their child having sex. In a perfect world, our babies would remain babies and we would be able to protect them from any and everything. Unfortunately, our babies grow up and are forced out into the everyday hustle and bustle of life, constantly meeting new people and gaining new experiences.
At some point every parent must have the dreaded conversation about where babies come from. Let’s face it; images of sex are everywhere you look, on TV, on social media and in public places. I truly don’t recall all the imagery of sex openly portrayed when I was coming up. Whereas, now a days watching TV with your child has become quite a workout, from trying to quickly cover their eyes, to shuffling them out of the room, to frantically searching for the remote to change the channel or diving for the cord to shut the TV completely off. Scenes of 2 men kissing, half naked women and glimpses of sex scenes make for a difficult movie night on even the most appropriate channels.
The simple request of asking your kids to not have sex before marriage and the scare tactic of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, are not exactly considered having the talk. According to Dr. Phil, 50% of all teenagers have had sex by the time they enter 10th grade. Surely, every parent’s angle on this topic will be different. Here are a few tips to make this conversation a little less awkward:
- Keep an open mind
- Try to make your child feel as comfortable as possible
- Always maintain an open line of communication with your child
- Let him/her know that the thoughts, feelings and increased curiosities about the opposite sex are normal as well as the changes in his/her body
- Discuss the responsibilities that go along with sex not just the possible consequences and how decisions he/she makes now can affect his/her future
- Pay attention to your child, look for certain changes in attitude and behavior
- Constantly remind your children of their worth
- Provide resources if necessary
The talk about the birds and the bees is inevitable. There’s no perfect time or correct age to have this conversation with your child. Surely, if your child can survive this talk, other talks will seem like a piece of cake. Having this talk will ensure our kids are well informed about sex and hopefully in return they will make responsible decisions.
Through Eboni’s eyes