How to talk to kids about sex (and other big topics)

As children grow older, there is much more to know. We want them to be well informed so that they can make good decisions for themselves and be confident in navigating teens and adult years.

However, some important topics can be difficult to talk to with children. Perhaps because our parents weren’t open to us, or because things have changed a lot since we were young, or because we feel the subject matter is very personal.

We sometimes find ourselves tied up with our tongue.

I’m thinking about topics like sex, drugs, screen time, to name a few. All these topics have many issues that need to be addressed, such as consent, addiction, and advertising. They can feel very big and don’t know where to start.

Below are five tips to start a conversation that scares us.

1. Start early

Children should first hear from their parents about the big things, as the first encounters with these topics leave the strongest impression. So we need to beat their peers and the media to it and get in early!

Entering early will give the children enough information Before They need to. It gives them time to ask questions and internalize the information before applying it.

Young children are usually more likely to accept the teachings of their parents than tweens and teenagers, so it’s a good idea to start early.

2. Drip feed information

The trick to avoid overwhelming them is to talk to the kids little by little and often, make sure they already know, and add a little more. Keeping the conversation open and continuous in this way allows children to ask questions more comfortably and come to us with problems.

3. Seize a natural opportunity to speak

There may be unexpected opportunities to teach children something of value. For example, I noticed that my son was in a group of boys gently ribbing one of his peers about a girl he liked.

It gave me the opportunity to talk to my son about what it is to fall in love with someone. In teaching, we call these “moments when we can teach.” They feel natural and are in context, which makes learning more appropriate for our children.

4. Use Information + value formula

It’s scary to tell children what we don’t want them to do and what we don’t want them to do yet. I’m afraid that talking about these things may be mistaken for giving them permission or encouraging them.

Therefore, every time we talk to our children, we need to include our values ​​on the topic.

However, when doing this, you need to be careful not to give a lecture. This will terminate the communication immediately.

For example, when providing information about contraception to children, you can include the belief that both partners have equal responsibility for respecting each other and taking credible precautions.

Combining information with our values ​​(and the law, if applicable) ensures that children have the information they need and the social and moral context in which they understand it.

5. Use both correct and common words

Children need to have the full range of vocabulary needed to talk about important topics. For example, knowing the correct name for a body part makes it easy to communicate with a medical professional.

Slang can help you interact more comfortably and effectively with your peers and partners.

In conclusion

Having these conversations with our children means informing ourselves and sometimes being bold. Using the tips above will make it easier for us and our children.

It also fosters openness with children so they can get the information and support they need to make good decisions on their own.

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For more information on Julie, see her blog. Unravel motherhood

How to talk to kids about sex (and other big topics)

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