Is your baby already asking you where babies come from, my sugar plum? I hope you aren’t telling them that babies are just dropped from the sky into cribs. That’s just setting them up for disappointment. Listen, poppet, I know the sex talk with kids can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but honestly, there is no reason for it to be so. Sex education for children should be just as normal as your sex life. Coz, darlin’, if there is no shame in doing the deed, there’s certainly no shame in talking to your kid about it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Don’t make them feel ashamed
Curiosity is a part and parcel of being a kid. So, for kids to ask you questions about the body and sexuality is very common. And when they do ask a question, don’t laugh at them or shoo them away. Don’t make them feel like they need to be ashamed of asking such a normal question.
Encourage them to ask you questions
If your children feel like you aren’t happy with the questions they are asking, they won’t be coming to you the next time, darlin’. And that’ll be such a pity. Answer your kids tactfully in a non-judgemental manner. Don’t make them feel like they made a mistake coming to you. Instead, encourage them to ask questions. Ask them if your answers have satisfied them or if they need more clarification. And if they ask you something you aren’t sure of, offer to check it out with them.
Don’t baby-talk about anatomy to the kids
Don’t tell your child their genitals are known as pee-pee or vee-vee. While this is fine for kids who are just preschoolers, this is not the language you should be using with a tween or a teen. Using such baby language will only make your child feel that penis or vagina is an ugly, shameful word that shouldn’t be spoken in public.
Speak to them at their level
Children of different age groups should be given different information in different ways. For example, you can talk to a preschooler about private parts and how those parts shouldn’t be exposed in public. To a tween, you can talk about puberty and how the body changes with it. To teens, it is important to talk about attraction, consent, and even the act of sex. What comprises a sexual act, should they or shouldn’t they do something that can be seen as sexual?
Good touch, bad touch
Teach your kids, boys or girls, the difference between good touch and bad touch. Let them know how to figure out whether someone’s behaviour is inappropriate or not. Teach your children that saying certain things, even innocently, is not okay. Your kids will thank you later, poppet, and you will thank Madam Eve.
Debunk the myths for them
A lot of children find out about various bodily functions through the internet or their friends. Both sources are unreliable when it comes to sex education for kids. A young girl, when she starts her period, might feel like she is dying because she is bleeding so much. A young boy may feel that having an erection is something unnatural. So, teach them these are all normal things that happen to everyone. Bust the myths for them and don’t let the internet misguide them.
Talk to them about gender stereotypes and differences
When it comes to sex education, it is also important to talk to your kids about sex and gender stereotypes. The idea isn’t to perpetuate stereotypes but to break them. Children don’t need to be told that only a man and woman can be in a romantic relationship. They need to be taught that it is perfectly normal for a man to fall in love with another man or a woman to fall in love with another woman. Don’t reinforce gender roles for your kids like women belong in the kitchen and men are the providers. The time when a child is developing into an adult is the perfect time for them to break out of the mould of stereotypes and learn that there is more to love and relationships than what they see on their screens.