Talking to your child about sex

What do you say when your six year old asks you ‘where do babies come from?’ You fake work and try to get out of the talk, but you cannot ignore your child’s curiosity. It’s imperative that parents spend some time with your children and talk about sex.

Talking about sex with your kids can strike fear in any parent’s life. But having those talks with your children is an important part of parenting, and of communicating your attitudes and value to them.
So how do you start the process and what should you do to prepare, whether your inquisitive child is seven or seventeen?

Many parents have a hard time articulating to their children both the clinical details and the values associated with sex. Overcoming the anxiety about these kinds of issues is the place to start, and here are some ideas about getting focused and organized to visit with your children about sex.

Overall Relationship
While mom’s or dad’s often think about "the talk" as an experience in itself, the truth is that the quality of our relationships with our kids is the best determiner about how well we communicate about sex or anything else. Spending quality time with your kids and developing honest, trusting and open relationship reflects overall your relationship with your children.

Understand Your Own Attitudes and Values. Talking about sex with your children can be tough because our attitudes about sex are not regular. In a country like India, Sex is considered a taboo, and not to be discussed by parents. You need to break the age old mould an have open discussion. But before you initiate a discussion about sex, take some time and identify your values. Parents are advised to write down 5-6 points that they want to discuss. This is a pretty good way of summarising the sex-topics and clarifying few questions that may arise. Some messages like ‘sex is step towards trusting and committing to your partner’ and ‘you need to take full responsibility for your actions’. These messages will give the right message of values followed and believed by the parents.

Put it in a Relationship Context. Do not talk of sex as a separate act. Always talk of sex in context of a relationship. It’s an important message doesn’t isolate sex in itself. Help your children understand that sex follows commitment in a relationship. Avoid episodes like ‘sex in the city’ which disassociate sex from relationships.

Give Age Appropriate Information to your children It’s important that parents give clear information to their children whatever their age. Giving clinical information about sexual arousal shouldn't be part of a discussion with a five year old.

Talk with Your Daughter About Sex. Fathers need to talk to their daughters about sex. I know it’s usually a girl to girl talk given mostly by the moms. But daughters need to hear their fathers' attitudes about sex and intimacy.

Relax. When having the conversation please relax. Your hyperventilating will not solve much. Dads usually are on edge for this kind of talk. In case you feel uncomfortable, prepare yourself and then take a few deep breaths. Remember that this is just a normal part of being a parent.

Talk about taking Responsibility and Consequences of actions before any discussion of sex should involve a discussion about responsibility When you tell your son or daughter about sex, remind them that every action has consequences. This is not to scare them; rather it is to help them understand the end result of their choices.

Encourage Questions. Keeping the lines of communication open is critical in this process. Some of what you say may elicit clarifying questions. Child’s exposure to sexual information at school, from friends or in the media may generate some questions.



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