There comes a point in a child’s life when they no longer truly believe that they were delivered into this world as delicately as Dumbo; with a stork pampering them through a midnight flight to their new parents home! This is when all parents need to think about explaining the facts of life to their child. But how? In a panic you realize that the permission slip from your child’s school enabling them to take ‘health’ class in lieu of PE hasn’t even arrived! What are those educators waiting for? Isn’t it too soon they are only in 4th or 5th grade? And how in the world is a parent supposed to explain something like sex to a kid who is still playing with toy trucks and dolls (at least when their friends aren’t around.) The bottom line is that parents have to calm down and be realistic. Long before we think kids know about sex; they do.
There is always some kid in their grade who either through negligible parents, too much TV, older siblings or the internet has already learned the dirty little details of intercourse and love making. And he is talking about it! Your kids are just so embarrassed and bamboozled that they are self conscious about breaching the conversation with you. But keep in mind, this kid is also telling kids they can get pregnant through kissing and catch diseases by holding hands. He might know the details, but he doesn’t know the truth. Sure, lots of you parents are saying that’s how you learned it and you turned out just fine so perhaps it is better to let the whole thing go! Wrong! The reason is because they may understand sex, conception and the science behind the whole thing; they do not have a mindset regarding to the morals of sex that you want to pass on to your children; boys and girls!
Part of explaining the facts of life to children is making them feel comfortable with their own sexuality and the many changes that are happening to them. Certainly you have noticed and if you haven’t; you aren’t paying attention. Boys and girls start to change as early as 2nd and 3rd grade and these sexual changes are confusing and super charged with hormones that they don’t understand. Explaining what is happening and why is important. Explaining and handing down your morals about sex is not just important; but vital to their teen years. They need to hear something from you! Chances are as soon as you begin your little talk; the eyes will be rolling and they will look like they aren’t listening. But they are; and they are hanging on every single little word so choose them carefully! Bobby the boob boy should not be allowed to shape and mend their morality and information!
So what words do you use? When you look at all the guides, handbooks, E-books and pediatrician recommended discussion it becomes obvious that sex is not something that makes adults comfortable; especially when it concerns our kids. But look at it this way; the worst thing that is going to happen is you will go through your entire spiel of egg meeting sperm blah blah blah and your child will look at you and say ‘you and mom did THAT!’ That’s when it really gets uncomfortable. This is a huge turning point for children because they thought all these years that they shared something intimate and special with their parents and now they realize that mom and dad have been living a secret and sexual life all along! It will totally gross them out and for a while and make you appear different in their eyes! But get over it! There are much worse things you could do!
So, when you are ready to become brave and start explaining the facts of a life to a child in your life approach it naturally. If you are a dad, pretend you are talking to one of the guys (without expletives) and if you are a mom treat your daughter like one of the gals. Ask if they noticed any of the kids (of the opposite sex) in school. Make the conversation sort of funny and humorous so you wont send them scurrying away and whatever you do don’t act like June & Ward Cleaver! Kids today see right through that innocent act and there is a good chance they already know much more than you think! Approach it without embarrassment or shame so you don’t haphazardly pass that on to your child. This is a pivotal point in their life and relationship and the more open they can be about sex and the opposite sex; the more honesty you will get in the years to come. Tell them what you expect, describe what they might be feeling or going through and by all means explain some of the nondescript terms that they are no doubt hearing in school so they get it!
Depending on your relationship with your child and the level of maturity they have; this conversation can go on endlessly and with wild abandon or can be short and to the point. If things seem to be going well though be forewarned that balking out details or your own intimate life, the fact that often intercourse lasts 2 minutes, that size really does matter and all those other things they will find out eventually should be left out of the mix. Answer questions as honestly as you can and by all means try not to frighten them into NOT having sex one day. Leave the blood, guts and birthing experiences alone! There is no need to mold their sexually psyche into something horrid only to find them in therapy at 40. Open up conversations about the different types of sexuality, the meaning of and intimacy of sex with someone you love and try to leave them feeling proud of their bodies and their gender. Chances are, the conversation will not come up so openly again and you will only have to offer minute details and information along the way. Eventually they will get it all too well and will be hiding everything they know from you! Explaining the facts of life to a child is not really about sex but rather about explaining life skills and morality to someone you love in the hopes that you will empower them with the ability to make valid and sensible decisions on their own life!