Ask the Educator: “Will you please give my kid ‘the talk?'”

“Ethan, will you please give my kid the talk.”

I get this question a lot! And I totally understand. It is uncomfortable talking about things like puberty, relationships, and sex. Especially if we came from households where our parents didn’t talk about these topics. And while I am happy to discuss these topics with young people, I want to talk about why it is best for YOU to talk to them.
1)      Having “the talk” isn’t really about one talk.
It is a talk that happens over and over again throughout a child’s life. It can begin with something as simple as teaching them right words for their body parts (yes – that means penis and vagina). It can grow into talks about where babies come from, good touches and bad touches, puberty, love, and sex.
The point is, I won’t be around at the perfect time when young people are curious. You will be!
2)      Only you can instill your family values.
I can talk about the basics, but you’re the person who is going to instill your thoughts, and feelings about sexuality. It is important for you to share your family’s beliefs about sexuality with your children. I can help guide you to good information, but it is important that values come from you.
3)      You know them best.
It is hard to gauge if a child is ready to have conversations about sexuality. You know your child way better than I do! Some young people are very curious and will ask a million questions. Some are shyer and may want to know but may not ask. And yes, most kids will squirm and make faces when you talk to them about sex. That’s normal. It doesn’t, however, mean they’re not listening. That’s why it is important to talk to them over and over again. Even if they squirm and run out the room – they’ve learned that you are okay with talking about it. You just have to keep trying.
 
So in other words – I would rather coach you and help you talk to them, rather than have me talk to them!
Do you have questions for me about puberty, sex, relationships, or staying healthy? Want to make an appointment with me to chat about talking to your kids about sex? Email me at elewis@snccsyr.org