My upbringing made me determined to be open and approachable with my own children about sex.
At home, the radio was switched off the moment any remotely sexual reference hit the airwaves.
And whenever we walked past posters of filmstar Jane Russell, my father would shield my eyes from the corrupting influence of her cleavage.
No one bothered to mention periods either so my first heralded a major drama. I thought I was dying..
Here’s how to easily do it:
6 GOOD GROUND RULES
(1) Forget formality
Instead of a potentially cringe-making chat at a certain age, treat sex as a regular conversational topic from an early age. That way, it's not a big deal and your child will be comfortable coming to you for information and advice later.
(2) Be relaxed with nudity
If you hastily cover up when kids are young, you'll send the unhealthy message that bodies are something to be ashamed of.
Kids are naturally curious so may well ask questions, often starting with something like: "Why haven't I got a willy?"
(3) Always tell the truth
Spin them a yarn and you'll be rumbled. Once they know you've lied, you'll lose their trust - and your influence.
(4) Be age appropriate
You don't have to give a full and detailed explanation of everything if they're young.
Keep it as simple or complex as your child's age demands.
Say, for instance: "Sex is when two people who love each other, like Mummy and Daddy, cuddle and kiss in a special way."
(5) Don't worry about gender
It doesn't have to be a case of Dad talking to boys and Mum talking to girls. If one parent is much more comfortable with the subject than the other, it makes sense for that parent to take the lead, regardless of gender. If a parent is uncomfortable around the subject a child will pick up on this and be reluctant to ask more questions. Later they'll be more likely to go elsewhere, perhaps to inappropriate sources, for information.
(6) Don't neglect emotions
I believe official sex education is inadequate because it often ignores the emotional aspects. A confident, self-respecting teen who's considerate to others will behave responsibly when it comes to sex and relationships. But getting there involves lots of discussion about behaviour and consequences.
Remember, by all means express your views but being dictatorial will alienate teens.
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