Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

How to Talk To Kids About Sex

This post is a continuation of yesterday’s post. It’s in response to a comment, knowing that people don’t always read comments I felt that this was important enough to get it’s own post.

After reading yesterday’s post Jewaira asked, “But what if you have missed that "pre-teen" stage and find it awkward to talk to your kids about the subject? How do you bring it up?”
My own parents didn't do it with me until I was 15. The best way to bring it up is just be direct. I know some parents find it awkward but ask yourself how did YOU find out about sex and don't you want better for YOUR child?

Take a day when your household is not too hectic or go for a walk or a drive. Once you and your child are alone take a deep breath and bring it up. You might want to say something like. "Hey this is kind of embarrassing for me so work with me on this. I need to talk to you about sex." Your kid will be embarrassed too and may laugh. But that's okay it's a nervous reaction. Let them know that you respect them enough as a person to feel that you guys can have an adult conversation between the both of you. Ask them what do THEY know about sex. You'd be surprise how much facts and myths they know.
Set them straight on the myths and then introduce some stats on teen pregnancies, STD's and AIDs. You don't need to get too graphic or technical. Tell them that all of that stuff can be prevented with a condom. Let them know abstinence is best but that you're a realistic parent and know that for some people it's not an option they want to pursue. Tell them sex is a big responsibility and not to allow themselves to be pressured into doing it until they are ready. Don't talk down to them, kids know when they're being patronized. Look at it as if you were having the same convo with your best friend. Keep it real and relaxed.

What you have to do is assure them that they can come to you or that there are ways to avoid being a statistic and about the availability of birth control and that if they ever feel the need that you would prefer they come to you and you'll make sure they get the birth control they need. Tell them you're not judging them that you yourself were their age once and that sex is a natural part of their lives at that age. Purchase a box of condoms put it somewhere where they can get to it without having to come to you that way they have a sense of privacy.

Tell them that you have no desire to be "all in their business" but that you just want to keep them healthy and baby free. Let them ask you questions and answer them honestly no matter how embarrassing. If they freeze up on you continue your talk and just let them know that when they are ready to talk you are ready to listen and answer questions.

My mother told me something that has stuck with me ever since and made all the difference. She told me that she loved me unconditionally and trusted me and that I should do the same with her b/c she was the one person on this earth that would never judge me or turn their back on me just because I did something she didn’t agree with. She went on to further state that sometimes you tell your friends secrets and when you have a falling out they will blab your secrets all over the place out of anger. “I’d never do that b/c I love you and would never want anyone to think badly of you. We may not always agree on things but I’d never betray you b/c it'd be the same as betraying myself."
I thought about what she said and in time realized she was right. The result is I tell my mom everything even stuff that makes her blush...lol But I know that I can come to her to vent, or for advice and she doesn't judge she listens and what I tell her stays with her.


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