Let’s talk about sex… (with our kids)

Q: My child is asking questions about sex? When is the right time to talk to her and how should I approach the subject?

A: It is important to start the ongoing discussion of sexuality before the questions begin. If your child is asking questions, then it is the time to answer them. If you don’t answer, someone else will. It is likely that you want the answers to come from you, rather than her friend in 5th period art, who was educated from the latest Cosmo edition. Don’t worry, you do not have to get out the diagrams and explain everything in one setting. Sex should be an ongoing discussion; answer questions and address things as they come. Having a one-time “birds and the bees” talk is not ideal and will not likely answer every question your daughter may have. Also, you want her to feel comfortable coming to you about the subject. Having a serious, tense, one time discussion implies that you are uncomfortable talking about it, and she will likely not approach you again. Be relaxed, truthful, and straightforward. Perhaps start by asking “what do you already know about this” and go from there.  Demonstrate a healthy view of sex and sexuality; you may be the only model your kids get to observe.

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