Parents let their kids know about how vaginas and penises work.
Here goes nothin'.
So you made (or know) a curious and smart human whose thirst for knowledge about the world and all it encompasses includes a thirst for knowledge about bodies? It's time for a sex talk.
Congratulate yourself! You have a totally great young person in your life who is curious and open to knowledge!
But now the gauntlet has been thrown. So wait, how DO you talk to kids about sex?
So with the birds and the bees...
Is there a right way?
Is there a wrong way?
Some couples make valiant, generous, and awesomely awkward (but in the way that is super sweet) attempts...
Basically, when you find yourself on the stage of life being asked to perform what may be the first of many sex talks with young and impressionable people in your life, the answer is not "you're doing it right" or "you're doing it wrong." The answer is this:
You're a good person, you are honest, you are kind, and you are inquisitive. And your instinct to be simple, honest, and humble with the kiddo in your life is *totally right.*
Yep! You're right! Sorry, shame, this is not where you are welcome. Sure, you might feel like you're making an awkward moment here and there (everyone does, this is life!), but frankly, you got this.
The simple truth is if this kiddo is old enough to wonder, this kiddo is old enough to know. And how great that they're learning new things from a safe, trusted adult like you.
STILL, much like kids want some details about the birds and the bees, you might enjoy some do's and try-not-to-do's about the birds and bees chat specifically.
WHY HAVE THIS CHAT?
An honest and candid and curious sex talk gives kids:
- language to use their whole life that will keep them healthy
- a way to prepare for sexual maturity without having to *experience* it
- a big old hunk of trust-building moments with you
Show your kid or the kid in your life that you'll help them get answers. If you don't show them that you're the source of answers, your awesome and intuitive kid will find their own answers ... somewhere else.
Here are a few do's and try-not-to-do's to remember.
Words like vagina, scrotum, testes, anus, clitoris, intersex, sex, and diversity are ideal to introduce when kiddos are learning words like dog and cat. They're on the same difficulty level, and the result is we have a whole generation who knows the name for both farm animals AND body parts.
Use correct language yourself.
You're modeling for this kiddo, and you're teaching them about honesty and integrity AND bodies all at the same time.
You're being honest! It's all good.
Stay chill, stay real.
Often our instinct after hearing a sex question from a kiddo is to go "eeek!" first and "OK, so here's the deal" later. But with some practice and yoga breathing, you can skip the "eeek" and go straight to The Deal. And if you don't find the answer...
Figure it out together! Be curious time is also a great time to practice the "stay chill, stay real" principle. When kids are curious about "grown-up" stuff, just answer 'em!
"It's underwear that holds up special socks!"
"It's a condom. It goes over the penis."
"This is a tampon! Look what it does in the sink!"
*A big thank you to Dr. Doe for these examples.
TRY NOT TO DO:
(BUT IF YOU DO, IT IS OK!)
Use language that presumes heterosexuality is the norm.
"When a man and a woman love each other they have sex!"
Use language that assumes that gender identity is set in stone.
Easy on the penis=boy and vagina=girl stuff. It's not all black and white!
Use language that is very "BOYS THIS" and "GIRLS THAT."
This is a good time to adopt a "people are people" kind of vibe.
ALSO, try not to beat yourself up if you aren't perfect. It's all good.
So, enjoy the talk! And remember, this kid might just teach YOU something!
So true, little lady. So true.