For many parents, talking about the birds and the bees with their little ones, is something that they try to put off for as long as possible. But it is important to remember that learning about sex and sexuality is a normal and vital part of your child’s development.
If you don’t talk to your kids about the birds and the bees, they will only ask someone else – surely it’s better that any questions about sex are answered by you? The best strategy is to answer your child’s questions in an honest, open and age-appropriate way.
To help your out, we have put together some handy tips for talking to your child about the birds and the bees. To find out more, keep reading below:
1. Do not panic
If your child asks you a question about sex, don’t panic. The fact your child has asked you a question means that they are happy to talk to you, which is something you want to encourage, not push away.
If your child asks you a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest and tell them that you will find out. You can find the answers to the questions you need about sexual health and STD symptoms online and in medical centres.
2. Give them positive messages
Make sure to give your children positive messages about sex, and don’t just reinforce the negative ones. Think about the positive messages you want to send to your child.
Do you want your children to love and appreciate their own bodies, be respectful in terms of sex, express love in suitable ways, and know the importance of intimacy? Think about what you want to teach your child about sex.
3. Talk to them regularly about sex
As your children grow and develop, they will probably have more questions about sex. So make sure to talk regularly to them about it and answer any new questions that they might have.
If, at a certain age, your child stops talking to you about sex. Buy them a book that explains and answers various questions about sex and sexual intimacy.
4. Build your child’s confidence
Make sure to reassure your child that they are normal and that everyone develops at different times. Just because your daughter’s friends have started their periods, it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with her because she hasn’t. Make sure to reassure her of this.
Boost your child’s self-esteem by teaching them that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and that one body shape is not superior to another. If your child is self-conscious about their body, find ways to improve their confidence.
5. Teach your children about your values
Always be clear with your children about your sexual values. Explain to them what is appropriate sexual behaviour and what is not. For example, explain that forcing or pressuring someone into having sex is wrong, explain to them why it is wrong and why they should never do it.
It is also important to explain to your children that everyone has different sexual values and that that is okay. Teach your children that understanding for people with different sexual values is important.
As long as you are open and honest with your kids about sex, talking about it is not that difficult.