How To Talk To Your Child About Sex

A teenager eating in the kitchen with his parents( — Talking to your children about sex can often be a very uncomfortable conversation – for the both of you. In addition to you having to come to terms with the idea of your child ultimately transitioning into a sexually active young adult, you ultimately bear the responsibility of ensuring that they are prepared for this rite of passage.

First Thing: Accept Your Discomfort

But how can you be expected to do so if you haven’t resolved your own issues about sex? Do you remember the extreme discomfort of the “sex-talk” that your parents had with you? And, did your first learning about sex pretty much consist of overhearing the grossly exaggerated tales of your older brother’s friends in high school?

The sad truth is, that for many of us, the extent of our sex education was the brief anatomy lesson we had in health class, coupled by a girl’s parents’ warning that, “Boys only want one thing – don’t give it to them!” or, a boy’s parents’ warning that “You better not bring any babies into this house!”

Is it then any wonder that when we have children of our own, we teach them to be equally uncomfortable with their bodies and their sexuality? We give their genitals pet names like “kitty cat, cupcake, or peter,” and cut them the “side-eye” at their mere mention of their vagina or penis. The idea that they would consult with us about the kinds of contraception they should use as adolescents is a conversation that is just too much for most parents to handle, and we all but forget to teach them that there is a stark difference between sex and intimacy.