Monday, June 04, 2007

 

Sex Ed - Who's Problem Is It?

Talk to your kids about the birds and bees, only don't call it the birds and bees, use the real-deal terms. Keep it scientific and natural. Don't let kids get their sex education from friends, who don't know diddle either. This is all fine and good, this advice . . . until it becomes chastisement, which it inevitably does. Why haven't you talked to your kids about sex? Shame on you! Leaving them all uninformed.

Let's just hold the phone for a moment. Has it ever occurred to the experts doing the chastising that maybe it's not the parents who are afraid to talk about sex with their kids, but the kids who are afraid to hear it from their parents? Whenever I broach any sort of sex education topic with my kids, they roll their eyes and stiffen. You can feel them steeling themselves against what might be coming. It's embarrassing for them because they don't like to think of their parents as sexual beings. Can you imagine your parents doing it? Even if you're an adult right now? Yuck, right? That's what kids bring to the table, no matter how much the parents are ready for The Talk (or the numerous Talks over the years). When met with this kind of resistance, it's difficult to speak in a way that isn't stilted or halting, which increases the discomfort all the way around. What then are parents supposed to do to ensure their kids know all they're going to need to know?

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