When it comes to sex talk with kids, honesty is key. There is a lot more risk in not sharing enough than there is in telling too much.
Sex talk is like an African parent’s biggest nightmare. Talking about anything sex related was, and still is bound to get a few looks your way, the reason being, we have made it seem like a taboo. That is why, when your kids notice another addition to the family belly and they ask you why, you give a myriad of answers, ‘it came from the supermarket’ among other things.
It is normal as a parent to feel awkward or nervous about speaking to your children about such sensitive a topic. However, for the greater good, it must be done.
Here are tips to kickstart the process:
- For starters, use the correct names of body parts.
Once your child is as old as five years, you must sit down with them and explain that they have body parts that are sacred to them and should not be touched by anyone else without consent. Teaching your children this from a younger age is bound to reduce cases of molestation because they know it is not appropriate.
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- Two heads are better than one!
This conversation needs courage and is in no way a one-man’s job. Since liquid courage is not an option here, stick to initiating the conversation together. It gives the illusion of a safe space for your child while also showing the importance of the conversation.
- Avoid the conversation from just being about ‘don’ts’
Don’t just tell your daughter that she cannot play with boys and stop there. Rather, explain to her that playing is okay but some games are not okay to play at certain ages because they are inappropriate and dangerous.
- Use the child’s language
The talk is not going to yield if the language is too hard for your child to process. Use an easy-to-understand language. Keep it brief, factual, and positive. Eventually, your child can always come back to ask about something if they get curious.
- Do your homework
Don’t just wake up one Saturday morning and declare it sex talk day. Give yourself time to prepare mentally for the tough job ahead. Get tips on how to start from online resources if you must. This preparation gives you time to know what to do, and things you can share on the first day onwards, to not overwhelm your child.
At the end of the day, sex talk is a never-ending conversation and has to be done in baby steps. Slow and steady parents, slow and steady.