HOW TO TACKLE YOUR KID’S QUESTIONS ON SEX
What does sex mean?” a question every parent dreads being asked. There comes a time in all parents’ lives when they are directly asked about sex and reproduction by their children. Tackling questions about sex in the right manner is necessary. How you do it, of course, depends on your child and you as every child is different and reacts differently.
But, here are some tips regarding what to do when you are bombarded with these questions:
Stay calm: We know one might feel surprised, flustered or embarrassed when faced with a question about sex. Instead, try taking a deep breath, and answering the question without showing any embarrassment.
Don’t dodge: In all probability, your child will ask these questions again or, worse, can go to others with such queries, which will just be catastrophic. Therefore, be ready to answer the questions.
Be honest: If you’re uncomfortable talking with your child about something, tell them that. Children don’t expect you to be perfect or to have all the answers. However, when you answer their questions honestly and respectfully, you’re better able to have an open conversation.
Be factual: Be as factual as you can, according to the age of your child. Just be simple, lucid and gentle. Don't scold your child if he or she is ready with a few more questions on the subject. Don't talk or explain more than what is necessary.
Go casual: You don't need to make a big deal out of the situation with a very serious talk. Instead, ease in the topics when teaching your child about the human body. Speak without awkwardness or hesitation, so that your child doesn’t feel embarrassed.
Read together: You can read a book along with your child that deals with the science of it all. The idea is to learn about sex in a scientific and factual manner. It should be a matter-of-fact engagement.
Don’t be harsh: Don’t be harsh or judgmental about certain things, like masturbation, as your child listens to it all and may feel badly about it. Chances are, by the time they asked you about it, they have already tried it (like, masturbated) and may feel dirty or judged. This might result in them being evasive and not as forthcoming with you in future.
Instead, speak to your child about the occasional need for private time to explore his body, behind closed doors. Explain that both parents and children need to respect each other's privacy and space. Knocking before entering a closed room always helps. Also, make sure you assert that irrespective of your child’s sexuality, you will always love them.
Ask teachers: If you are uncomfortable or bewildered with your child’s questions, talk to his or her teachers, take their help. Ask them how to handle such questions.
Keep boundaries: Know where to draw the line when you are talking about sex with your child. Do not ever cite your own personal experiences. Keep your answers simple, and to the point. Overload of detailed explanations can be overwhelming as well as frightening for your child.
Encourage them: Encourage asking questions and remind your child that he or she is free to speak to you about anything.
Talking about sex is difficult but doing so can help children know about sex, pregnancy, contraception and safer sex before they start any sexual activity. This is so they will know what to think about and can make decisions that are right for them when the time comes.