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How to talk about sex with your child? Tips and suggestions for parents

Many parents find it difficult to talk about sex with their children. Have you ever talked to your child about sex? Did you have a successful conversation?

 Maybe you are embarrassed or do not know how to talk in these cases? Or are you afraid that the privacy of the parent-child between you will be compromised? This lesson provides simple tips and a wide range of practical suggestions to help parents open up to their children.
Talking about sexual issues is difficult and perhaps impossible for many Iranian parents given the culture in which we grew up. Most current parents have never been exposed to sex through their parents, which means that even if they want to talk to or teach their children about sex, they have no personal experience and find it difficult.
Be. Unfortunately, we can not be happy with the schools where our children learn about sex.
 On the other hand, due to the amount of virtual communication and children’s access to the Internet and social networks, it is necessary to acquaint our children with sexual issues as soon as possible and according to scientific standards for different ages.

 Realizing this necessity, life literacy will provide a series of lessons about sex education to children over time.

In the first step, we have prepared recommendations for parents based on the latest scientific research in the world, which presents how to communicate and talk with children about sexual issues.
 It is important to note that in this series of lessons, the meaning of the child according to international standards includes the ages of 1 to 17 years and does not necessarily mean the ages of childhood (from birth to 5 years).
Sex education for children

What does sex education for children mean?

Sex education means talking about all the issues related to the sexual development of children and young people. Topics include body, privacy, sexual needs, sexual behaviors, and the “place” of sex in people’s lives.

Many parents find it difficult to talk about sex with their children. This lesson provides simple tips and a wide range of practical suggestions to help parents open up to their children.

How parents communicate and converse with their children

Research shows that parents often do not have much confidence to talk about sexual issues with their children, and thus children lose valuable information that can help them in sex education. Common findings of this research are:
    • Fathers often avoid participating in sex education discussions with their children.
    • When fathers talk about sex with their children, they limit the conversation to less intimate matters.
    • Mothers talk more about the intimate, emotional, and psychological aspects of sex with their children than fathers.
    • Mothers talk more to their daughters about sex than sons.
  • Parents want boys to know nothing about women’s sexuality, such as menstruation.
    • Parents usually refrain from making eye contact when talking to their child about sex.
    • And Parents limit their conversations to the mechanics and biology of sex and tend to set aside more difficult or embarrassing topics such as masturbation, homosexuality, and orgasm.

    How do children react?

    Younger children may become curious and interested when parents talk about sex. Older children, especially adolescents, are less likely. The research findings are:
    • An older child may feel that he or she knows everything and that their parents may not be able to teach them anything.
    • The child may feel as embarrassed as the parents and may prefer not to talk to them about sex at all.
    • If the parents never raise the issue of sex, the child thinks the parents do not want to talk about it – so the child never bothers to ask or is afraid to talk about sex with his or her parents.

    Characteristics of successful communication parents

    Families who talk openly about sex have certain characteristics that include:
    • Parents are good listeners.
    • Parents give honest answers to their child’s questions.
    • The child is allowed to have an opinion on sexual matters and to talk to them without fear of being shouted at or punished by the parents.
    • Parents do not insist that the child adhere to strict and inflexible standards of behavior.
    • The child feels heard, understood and supported by his parents.

    How to prepare yourself to speak

    To be able to have a continuous and successful conversation with your child about sexual issues, follow these suggestions:

    Learn as much as you can

      Issues that your older child or teenager eagerly wants to talk to you about include puberty, menstruation, reproduction, masturbation, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, homosexuality, and premarital sex. The more you know about these issues, the less hesitant you will be when talking about them.
    Back up data
     Provide age-appropriate books, articles, and movies to help your child. You can read or see these materials together or share them with your child.
    Practice before you speak
     Practice what you plan to say about sex with your child out loud beforehand. Find the right words and phrases to be comfortable talking about them.
    Consider sex education as a permanent issue
     Think of sex education as an ongoing process. Small, repetitive conversations are better than one-on-one conversations. Therefore, it is better to talk about issues in short and separate conversations to make it easier for your child to understand and to create an opportunity for your child to ask questions.
    Plan ahead
     Do not wait for your child to raise the issue. They may think that you are upset or angry or that you are not ready for these issues and therefore do not ask you questions. Therefore, it is necessary for you to plan to start conversations about sex education yourself.
    Turn sex education into an intimate and friendly conversation
     Try to see the conversations as a two-way discussion, not a lecture or advice. The goal is not just to pass on your information to your child, but to be able to manage the situation and conversation in such a way that your child can easily share his or her questions, thoughts and feelings with you.

    How to start a conversation

    Research-based suggestions for starting an effective and successful conversation include:
    Do not take the conversation seriously
     Do not talk about sex as a special and important situation. Parents and children are more likely to talk about sex as they go about their daily activities, such as cooking, washing the car or walking. So you do not need to spend special time on these conversations, but use everyday and intimate situations to talk about sexual issues.

     Maintain eye contact during conversation

      When talking to your child about sex, avoiding eye contact can make you think you are embarrassed or upset by what you are saying, and send the message to your child that you think sex is important to you. It is shameful, hard or taboo. Therefore, making and maintaining eye contact will make it easier for your child to ask questions and help you overcome embarrassment.
    Use the items and signs around you
     The beginning of a conversation can be romantic scenes in TV movies or events that happened to someone you know. You can start by asking questions like, “What would you do if you were in such a situation?” A conversation based on a hypothetical situation is an easy starting point for conversation and gives you and your child an opportunity to express their thoughts, feelings and opinions.
    Use your experience
     If you feel comfortable, you can describe some sexual issues and tips by sharing memories and stories from your experience.
    This will make the issue more objective and easier for your child to become familiar with your values ​​and beliefs.

    Explain your principles and values

     Older children and adolescents are interested in hearing their parents’ values ​​and beliefs about a variety of issues, including sexuality.
     Explain your valuable views, principles, and beliefs to your child, but do not expect or judge your child to have such beliefs, principles, and values. Insisting on your principles and values ​​is a surefire way for your child to respect and adhere to your principles and beliefs, and conversely, insisting on accepting them will quickly confront your child, especially during adolescence. Put your values ​​and principles in place.

    Do not let the conversation stop

    Some reactions may interrupt the conversation or turn it into an argument. Things to avoid include the following:

    • If your child asks you about sex, do not assume that your child has sex or “has a problem.” Your hysterical and ill-considered response will probably make your child never ask you about sex again.

    Avoid awkward moments

    Embarrassment can interrupt a conversation. So:
    1. If you are shy or feel embarrassed, say so and laugh at it. You can also chat with your child about why they discuss sex. This can help reduce your stress and embarrassment.
    2. If you are upset about talking about your sexual experiences, say so honestly and explain that people need their privacy.
    3. If you can not talk about it yourself, tell your child that you will find other ways to get information. For example, you can find a book, article or movie about it and give it to him.
    4. If you do not know the answer to something, say “I do not know.” Ideally, you and your child can research the answer together.

    What to do when communication is very difficult?

    Sometimes talking about sex seems impossible. Parents may be very embarrassed or the child may refuse to listen. Suggestions for such a situation are:
    • Think about it from time to time and try different approaches.
    • Talking on the phone may be easier.
    • Find out what your child might know through school or study or with friends. If you bring up topics that have not been addressed before, your child may be more willing to talk to you about sex.
    • Provide age-appropriate sex education content, such as books and videos, and make it available to your child in the bedroom .
    • Your child may want to talk about sex, but not with you. Suggest or ask a trusted relative or friend to speak to your child on your behalf.

    Explicit words to you

    Sexual issues for children are very attractive and curious; As it was for us as a child. If you are unhappy with your childhood experience and why your parents did not talk about your questions and ambiguities, do not allow irrational taboos and out-of-date customs to cause your child to get answers to questions from unreliable and unreliable sources before you.
    Take the initiative and talk to him sincerely. When you talk openly, your child will trust you and share his or her issues with you, thus relieving you of the burden of worrying about all kinds of sexual perversions and problems that may plague your child in the future. will be. believe it.