Sex is natural. Human beings, as well as many other species on this planet, are born with the anatomy to reproduce. It’s what we do. Then, once we reach a certain age in our existence, mother nature sprinkles upon us, hormones. Young females are starting their periods and sprouting a chest. Young males are experiencing their first, and most certainly not the last, erection. This is the often the spot on the timeline of parenting that is dreaded the most. How do we explain to our children/teens about what is happening inevitably to their bodies? But that’s just it, it is inevitable. As role models to our younger generation, shouldn’t we let them in on what all of this means? Sex is not the enemy. Kids will continue to grow and they will eventually learn this information somewhere as well as act on it. But there are healthy and affective ways to have conversations with our youth about sex.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Think back to when your body first started going through puberty. As the youngest and only female of my siblings, I wasn’t as educated as I would have liked to have been. My mom had fairly short conversations with me about the basics of puberty, but for most part, I had to learn as I went. Now I can’t speak for my brothers and what their “sex talk” consisted of, but of course mine included the typical “don’t have sex until you’re married”, “boys only want one thing”, “you don’t want to end up pregnant at 15”, probably the most common of all sex talks with females. But that stuff is all in one ear and out the other these days. Media now plays a huge role in what/how we learn things today. Now, I’m not saying ALL media is bad, but some of it can be very misleading. Especially with sex. As someone who respects and believes sex is a vital part of life, I would definitely not want my children to learn everything about it from what they see on the internet.
Lead by Example
To have a healthy relationship with our kids, we first need to attempt to understand them as individuals, as well as understanding ourselves. How do you view sex? Are you comfortable talking about it openly with friends/family? Or maybe you don’t kiss and tell. Your personal experiences with sex will be reflected in how you decide to treat the subject in front of your kids and they will be looking to you for guidance. Keep in mind, your children WILL grow up. We can’t keep them in the dark about sex forever. Teaching them to respect themselves and others is important, but teaching them that sex is one of the most natural things they will experience is just as. It is important to provide them with a safe environment to freely express themselves. We don’t want to rid them of their individuality nor sexuality. Avoid trying protect them from every bump in the road. Life is very much trial and error, and it’s unpreventable. Gain a relationship with them to where you can mentor them to learn from mistakes, apply that knowledge, and move on. We want our kids to grow up to be the best version of themselves and to possibly be a teacher to others along the way.
Information is Power
So with all of that being said, let’s not hide the fact that sex is great and undoubtedly enjoyable. But it is also very important to explain consensual sex. Your child should be aware of the safety precautions to take before this desire sets in and up to the point of engaging. Now, let’s not dismiss the importance of safe sex. In general, I think it’s safe to say that if we got anything out of health class in school it was to use to protection, especially when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies and/or STD’s. Your kids will come out of those classes knowing how babies are born. However, how will they be taught the foundation of why it is perfectly normal to want to have sex? One drawn out conversation with your child about the “birds and the bees” just isn’t going to cut it with them. They will more than likely feel as if you said what you needed to say and that’s it. “The talk” is one of the most important step in a younger person’s life; so treat it as such. They will learn from the relationships you have as well. Look at this a learning experience for you, so that you can relay the information they will be seeking for in the future. Honesty and communication is key in every relationship we have. Show them that sex is an incredible and essential part of life. Hell, they may even thank you for it some day.