Kids grow up — it’s a fact of life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, what with college and starting a career and grandkids and all. But along the way, there are going to be rough spots and the biggest of these, for parents, at least, may very well be puberty. One way to handle the issue is to ignore it, of course, leaving your child’s education up to the schools and the schoolyard, but that’s generally not considered ideal. Talking to one’s children about sex, however, has got to be pretty high up there on the list of Things Parents Don’t Want To Do.
Health educators Alicia Mangiaracina and La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson have shared some advice for parents in the hopes of not only making it easier but also, in some cases, making it happen at all. First off, and perhaps most importantly, “The Talk” should not really be a single lecture but rather an ongoing conversation.
Sex is everywhere these days, so take advantage of it to begin conversations. “If your son or daughter is listening to a song you don’t like,” the pair advises, “explain your concerns, whether the song is sexually explicit, disrespects women or glorifies sex. Ask them what they think and share your opinion.” They also recommend being honest — if you’re not comfortable discussing the subject, let your child know so that they know it’s the subject matter that is making the discussion stressful rather than them.
I can’t say that I’m looking forward to these sorts of conversations, but I know they’re coming soon, what with my oldest getting all flustered at the mention of a girl he knows at school. So anyone have any additional tips?