By: Tracy Bennett
Part 3 of a 4-Part Series:
We all need support to be awesome parents. Teaching sex ed can be a challenge, particularly when your kids are all different ages.
6 Parenting Tips for Making Sex Ed Easier!
- Be at peace with the fact that is is healthy for even young children to be curious about sexuality. As early as toddler hood, it is normal for children to masturbate, be curious about the bodies of others (want to “play doctor”), and ask about where babies come from. I’ve worked in preschools, and believe me there’s a lot of jiggling at nap time. Calm, simple instruction without shaming is the best way to parent.
- It is normal for some kids to be modest about nudity and others to let it all hang out.Simply teach them about privacy and discretion.
- Be prepared to listen as well as teach. That means avoid interrupting, lecturing, shaming, and criticizing.
- If you’re nervous, admit it and have a sense of humor without being silly or shaming. Be particularly careful not to tease or even snicker at your children’s participation in the discussion. Any question is a good one, even if they use a word you may find shocking. Be prepared to discuss your opinion about specific terminology.
- Allow your child to have an opinion and teach them decision-making, peer negotiation, and refusal skills. Role-play challenging situations that may come up and engage in fun debate.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know, but I’ll find out for you”. Don’t be surprised if your children know more than you expected. As a clinical psychologist who works with children and teenagers, I have often found kids are more “in-the-know” than their parents would have guessed.
As you can see, there’s plenty to teach beyond the mechanics of sexuality. Perhaps even more important is teaching the communication, problem-solving skills, and assertiveness skills to your child so they are equipped to confidently manage unexpected situations.
I’m the mom psychologist who will help you GetYourKidsInternetSafe.
Onward to More Awesome Parenting.
© 2014 Tracy S. Bennett, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. Original article: 6 Parenting Tips for Making Sex Ed Easier! Part 3 of a 4-Part Series: “Sex Ed Tips For Awesome Parenting in the Digital Age”.
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