Rather than holding your breath and hoping that you can dodge, “The Talk,” take the opportunity to talk to your child about sex in stride. Just as you have had a hand in teaching them how to ride a bike, how to tie their shoes, how to dust themselves off and keep going after they’ve taken a tumble…talk to them about what it means to share themselves in such an intimate way with another person:
• Be Honest About Your Feelings. Begin by letting them know that it’s an equally uncomfortable conversation for you, and while you may not have all of the answers that they might be looking for (remember, our children are living in a much different time than when we were coming up), you’re more than willing to help them find the answers to make the best decisions for them.
• Cover All Topics. Don’t be afraid to discuss all aspects of sex with your child, from abstinence to masturbation, to homosexuality, and everything in between.
• Help Them Be Healthier. Remember, if you don’t talk to your child about the various aspects of sex, then you miss out on the opportunity to influence how they will see, and eventually engage, in their sexual activities.
The notion that talking to your child(ren) about sex will suggest to them that you encourage or support a particular behavior is a farce, as your child will ultimately make the decision that they think is best for them when the time comes. The most that we can hope for as parents is that we have provided them with enough information so that their best decision is a well informed one, regardless of the nests or pots of honey they choose to sample from.