My Parents Never Talked To Me About Sex
But here’s what I wish they told me.
For the majority of my childhood, I grew up without knowing the fundamentals of sex.
As my parents never discussed “the birds & the bees” with me, I had no idea what type of behavior was considered appropriate in the bedroom. So instead of having a normal conversation about it, they remained silent because merely they didn’t want to seem awkward in front of their teenage son.
It wasn’t until I fell in love that I found myself desperately searching for answers, and developing a natural curiosity about what it’s like to have sex with someone you love.
So naturally, I began using the internet to learn about STDs, contraception, and other vital pieces of knowledge that are essential to know during puberty.
Although the learning curve was steep, the information that I gained from this experience enabled me to enjoy practicing safe sex throughout my teenage years & adult life.
But I’ve discovered that it’s important to have a conversation with your child when their bodies are developing. So if you ever find yourself in the middle of a discussion with them about sex or puberty, here are a few things to remember that will make it easier for both of you.
You Need To Help Your Child Understand Their Body.
If your child doesn’t understand the biological process of puberty, they may begin to think that they’re abnormal or different from those around them. For example, I went through it a lot earlier than my friends, so I was always wondering if the changes that I was experiencing would also happen to them.
It’s important to remember that the upcoming years will be difficult for your child as their body starts to develop & change into an adult. So helping them to understand their development will certainly help them to feel reassured.
From my personal experience, I’ve learned that everyone has a different way of learning that works for them. So offer to have a conversation, find some YouTube videos, or anything else that they may find beneficial towards understanding the process of puberty.
Because although it may be an awkward topic for both of you to discuss, they need to know that the changes they’re experiencing are normal.
You Need To Remove The Taboo Of Talking About Sex.
Throughout my teenage years, sex was an awkward topic that nobody in the family wanted to discuss. After all, we looked away whenever there was an intimate scene on TV — as if we had no idea what was happening.
I’m empathetic to the fact that talking to your kids about sex is a sensitive topic that needs to be handled with care. After all, many children are raised with moral or religious principles that they need to abide by.
But if we continue to ignore the topic of sex, we’re setting them up for unplanned pregnancies due to a lack of information from the people that they’re supposed to confide in.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that families need to adapt or change their principles. But if we can remove the taboo of discussing sex, I’m sure that teenagers & young adults will be more open to discuss any problems that they may face.
If You Don’t Answer Their Questions, Someone Else Will.
Nobody enjoys sitting down in the living room with their child to discuss the topic of sex. But as I discovered from personal experience, they will probably look to the internet for answers if you’re unwilling to conquer your fear of an awkward conversation.
For example, if you don’t want to talk about random erections, wet dreams, or anything else, they’ll notice your discomfort and search for answers elsewhere.
It’s important to remember that you are their parent. So they will naturally feel hesitant to discuss intimate matters such as what’s going on with their body. But if you can guide them through a difficult time (in which a lot of people feel insecure), their overall level of respect for you will drastically increase.
So let them know that you’re available anytime to have a discussion about whatever is on their mind. Although you may both feel awkward to have conversations about puberty & sex, it’s undoubtedly better than them receiving all of their knowledge from an unfiltered internet.
Porn Is Not An Accurate Representation Of Sex.
According to research published by the Daily Mail, the average age that someone begins watching porn is approximately 12 years old. So if children are being exposed to sexual content at a young age, it’s essential to talk about how sex is commonly misrepresented.
For example, being frequently exposed to pornography featuring sexual assault & rape could lead to horrific acts being normalized in the minds of some people. As quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald:
“It commercializes rape and torture of women and caters to an increasingly jaded market of men chasing more and more violent depictions of women being brutalized by men.”
So if you want to give your child peace of mind during their development, having open discussions about sex & puberty is an excellent place to start.
So every day, ask yourself: “What actions can I take right now to ensure that my child feels comfortable about what they’re currently going through?”
That’s all you need to do.