By: Tracy Bennett, PhD
Part 4 of a 4-Part Series:
Studies demonstrate that kids are viewing Internet sites without parent supervision at younger and younger ages. Prepare you children to manage unexpected situations with confidence and competence. Start with responsible sex education.
5 Sex Ed Topics You Should Be Sure to Cover (plus a bonus that is guaranteed to make uncomfortable).
Optimize credibility by studying up before the talk. Be factual and truthful! (Another opportunity to be grateful for the Internet.)
- Teach your children how to assert themselves should anybody else ask to see or touch their genital. Role-play the communication skills to ensure understanding. Reassure your kids that they can talk to you if they ever feel somebody is approaching them in a sexual way or a way that makes them uncomfortable. (This means they have to trust you not to over- react.)
- Be sure to be comprehensive before your child has personal experience. Cover issues such as erections, wet dreams, puberty, and menstruation before 9 years old. It is not unusual for girls to start menstruating before this time, and they should have a sanitary pad or tampon available for their convenient use. Remember, sexual education isn’t gender- specific. The physiology about the male and female body should be included for boys and girls.
- Be sure to cover the nitty-gritty before middle school. Believe me, they’ll be hearing a lot already by fifth grade and often in ways that are factual inaccurate or inappropriate. If you wait until sexuality comes up as a discussion topic as a result of your child’s behavior, it’ll be too late and will look like shaming discipline rather than good information.
- Be comprehensive! Topics to cover include puberty and menstruation, a variety of sexual behaviors including kissing, petting, oral sex, and intercourse, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, unplanned pregnancy, abortion, and homosexuality/bisexuality/transgender.
- Here’s the bonus tip that makes even the most motivated parent uncomfortable. Talk to your daughter about masturbation as a healthy, important, but private activity. Don’t let her grow up thinking the only way she can feel sexual pleasure is with a partner. She should know her body and feel empowered long before she’s old enough to date. Then when she’s ready to be intimate, she can focus on getting experience with mutual affection and friendship rather than sexual pleasure. Personal empowerment will help keep her safe and avoid unhealthy dependence on another. I know it’s a tough to think about your little girl as sexual but, face it, she is and needs information and guidance from informed parents she trusts.
If life has you too busy to plan effective parenting strategies like connecting, filtering, and protecting, you may be interested to know that I will be launching a parenting course and series of webinars soon that will provide GetKidsInternetSafe information in a easy-to-use parenting package. I’ll let you know when it becomes available. Until then, please share www.GetKidsInternetSafe.com with other parents and comment away to become part of our supportive community. Don’t forget to visit my Facebook and Pinterest page as well! Twitter has been on fire lately!
I’m the mom psychologist who will help you GetYourKidsInternetSafe.
Onward to More Awesome Parenting!
Another great resource for sexual education for parents is http://www.siecus.org.
© 2014 Tracy S. Bennett, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission. Original article: 5 Sex Ed Topics You Should Be Sure to Cover (plus a bonus that is guaranteed to make uncomfortable). Part 4 of a 4-Part Series: “Sex Ed TipsFor Awesome Parenting in the Digital Age”.
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