Conquering Common Misconceptions
There is no good reason for parents not to talk to kids about sex. Kids need guidance. Their parents help them make decisions about sex and other issues. Parents are still the biggest influence in kids lives when it comes to moral issues like sex. Every parent has a different reason for not talking to kids about sex. Here are just a few of those misconceptions and why they don't add up.
Kids learn about sex in school, so what reason is there for parents to teach them? School sex education classes teach kids about the physical aspects of sex. Parents are there to talk to their kids about the moral and social aspects of sex. The physical part of sex is a very small part of sex talk. The important part is how decisions concerning sex will effect kid's lives.
Kids don't want parents butting in to their sex life. How do I talk to them without being intrusive? Parents don't have to talk about sex as inquisitors. In other words, ask less questions and give more answers. Parents can look for opportunities to bring sex up in normal conversation and in reference to the behavior of others. Keep it factual and state your opinions on the subject.
Isn't talking to kids about sex like giving them permission to have it? This is a concern of a lot of good parents but it's unfounded in truth. Actually, the more parents talk about sex, the more informed kids become. Kids also have a natural urge to rebel. They are less likely to rebel using sex, when parents are open in discussing it.
Talk about sex with kids may bring up my own experiences. What if I don't feel comfortable sharing my sex life with my kids? Don't worry, kids have no desire to know what parents do behind closed doors. What they are looking for is advice on their sex life, not information about yours. Just remember the first time you realized your parents had sex to get you. They feel the same way about you.
My kids aren't asking me about sex, so I don't need to talk to them, right? Oh so wrong! It is your job as parents to see that kids are prepared for the adult world. This includes straight talk about sex. Include sex talk as part of the regular family banter. We're not talking graphic details here, but opinions and factual answers to likely questions. Don't make sex a forbidden subject just because it's a bit uncomfortable. That just makes it all the more alluring.
My kids friends have brainwashed them and they won't listen to me anyway. How do I get through? Parents need to remain in charge over outside influences. It's possible that kids will pretend not to be listening when parents talk. That's all a part of the rebellion phase and may partially be due to their discomfort on the subject of sex. Parents can't let these barriers stop them from doing their job. Talk to kids about sex in places like the car where they are a captive audience. They may not absorb it all but they can't stomp off either.
I can't relate to the issues kids face now. How do I find out what's really happening? Kids do face more serious peer pressure than parents did, but there are similarities that can be drawn as well. Talk to kids openly and honestly about everything from a young age. Kids will be more likely to share with parents who keep an open mind and allow them to make some decisions for themselves along the way.
I don't have the time or education necessary for the talk. What if I screw it up and scar them for life? Kids love their parents and understand that parents are human. As long as parents are open and honest about their opinions on sex or any other subject, kids will accept talk openly in return. Don't forget, parents are not the only people kids learn from. If parents give wrong information, sincerely believing it's accuracy, kids will correct them. It's OK not to know everything as long as parents remain sincere.
How do I correct wrong information about sex learned elsewhere? This is a tricky one but parents can talk to kids about the information they received. Don't tell them it's wrong. Instead, say something like, "Really? I thought something different. Let's look it up so we both have the right information.". This keeps kids from getting defensive and saves the parents from embarrassment if they are wrong. Yes, parents can be wrong about sex and other information. This is a great opportunity to teach kids it's OK to be wrong too.
By Jaipi Sixbear