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Just a little while back, we had a great discussion about "the sex talk" here in VP. The OP asked what VPers thought should be included in a child's sex education, and lots of you weighed in! Today's post is all about how to initiate those conversations if you haven't already, and tips for getting through it if you're uncomfortable.
This post is written by Amy Lang, of Birds and Bees and Kids.
A three time Mom’s Choice Award® winner for her book, journal and DVD, Amy Lang, MA created the modern parent’s birds and bees talk. She teaches in the Seattle area and nationally. She offers lectures and consultations for parents, teachers and childcare providers. Visit BirdsAndBeesAndKids.com for video tips, book suggestions and to sign up for her newsletter.
Starting the Sex Talks at Any Age
It’s time to get the birds and bees talks started! Here are some tips for starting the conversations with kids of just about any age.
But first, some very general guidelines:
First rule - Get a book! Find a list here at Birds + Bee + Kids
Second rule - Read it yourself first! You don’t want to be surprised by the content.
Third rule - Relax! The calmer, more centered and relaxed you are the better.
Preschoolers (they are the easiest!)
Get a book, toss it in with the regular reading and start in. How hard is that?
Say: “I got this really fun book all about bodies and how babies are made! Let’s read it.” And then read it. Allllll of it. Even the part where the penis (gasp!) goes in the vagina (gasp!).
They won’t bat an eyelash when they learn about intercourse - it’s just information to them. They don’t know there is anything bad, shameful or embarrassing about sex. Kids learn this from us!
Remind them that sex isn’t for kids and it’s for later in life. Also tell them it isn’t their job to tell other kids about how babies are made, it’s the kid’s parents’ job.
School Age (not quite as easy as preschoolers, sadly.)
Get a book. If they are 5 - 8 years old, you can go the preschooler route. 9 - 12 use the tactic and script below. They need a separate puberty-only book too. Give them the same line about filling in their friends - not their job.
Say: “Hey! I’m thinking you are old enough now and ready for us to start talking about sex and all that. Do you know what “sex” means? I’m sure you’ve heard that word before.”
“I got this great book all about sex, baby making and bodies. If you want, we can look at it together, or you can read it on your own.”
“It’s totally normal to feel a little uncomfortable talking about this - I’m a little uncomfortable. But it’s really important for you to have this information because I want you to make great decisions when this is part of your life.”
Teenagers (they are the hardest!)
Get a book (do you see a theme here?). Make sure it’s comprehensive, which means it talks about sex, birth control, STI’s, puberty, relationships, everything. Don’t expect to be greeted with open arms about this, BTW.
Say: “I think I totally blew it and I’m sorry about that. I should have started talking to you about sex and relationships much sooner, so this might seem a little weird to you that I’m doing it now.”
“I got you this great book about sex - it covers everything - and I’d love it if you’d spend some time reading it. I read it and thought it would have been super helpful to me when I was your age.”
“I get that this is uncomfortable - but I want you to make great decisions, so it’s important that we try to talk to each other about this. I don’t have all the answers, but we can find them. And we’ll both just have to deal with being uncomfortable.”
There you have it! Simple ways to get the conversations started at any age. Remember, it’s worth being uncomfortable now so they have a great future!
You can find Amy at:
Superstars: is this how your parents handled talking to you about sex? What was your experience like? Any questions about any of this stuff? Talk to us in comments!