Part of talking to your kids about sex involves helping them understand your specific rules and expectations. Besides the basics of what sex is, and when to start engaging in sex, your child needs to understand what the family and personal rules for sex are to be for them.
You may have all sorts of rules. When talking to your child, besides teaching them values and expectations, start with the basics of when, where, why, who, etc.
When: this is when you talk to your child about your expectations and rules regarding when to start having sex. Whether that is when they started dating, when they’re married, when they’ve had a boyfriend or girlfriend for a long time, when they go to college, or when they’re emotionally and physically ready. Though when rules will change for each person in each family and should be based on your morals and values. It is critical when talking to them about the rules that they also understand that legally they cannot start having sex until the age of sixteen.
Where: when you talk to your kids about the rules and expectations of sex, one of the things you have to talk to them about is the where. Where should your child be when engaging in sex is a rule you need to set. This can be highly uncomfortable to talk about, but is an important rule to set. For example, having sex in public places such as baseball diamond dugouts, at parties, on school grounds, etc. is inappropriate. You may want them to know that they cannot engage in sex in your home unless they’re married. Whatever your rules and expectations are about where, you need to make those clear. If you want your child to avoid the back seats of cars, or the last row in a movie theater, or a hotel room, you need to tell them that specifically.
Why: people have sex for lots of different reasons. As a parent, you need to explain to your child your rules and expectations regarding their sexual activity. For example having sex to get back at you for something is inappropriate. Having sex for fun and for no other reason is also inappropriate. However, your rules and expectations may be that they have asked for love or to express their deepest feelings and emotions for the person they are dating or married to. Kids have sex for different reasons. Sometimes it’s because their friends are having sex. Sometimes they have sex because they were dared to. Sometimes they have sex because they’re in a contest to see who can have sex first. Sometimes they have sex because they are drunk, or high, and are not making rational choices. Make sure you address the reasons and the reasons they should be having sex and set clear rules and expectations.
Who: when you talk to your child about sex and the rules and expectations regarding sex, one of the rules and expectations you cannot neglect to mention is that of who they are having sex with. The first rules and expectations, you must set are those of the legal aspect of who they can have sex with. No one under sixteen. If they are under eighteen, no one over eighteen. Not with their teachers. Not their church leaders. The rules and expectations you use will vary depending on who you are; however you may want to address things like love, how long they’ve been dating, the relationship status, and other factors that may play a part in choosing who they want to engage in sex with. For some, the rule is simply their spouse and their spouse only. For others it may be only with boyfriends or girlfriends. And for others there may not be any sort of rule regarding who as long as it’s legal.
Talking to your kids about your rules and expectations regarding sex will help them understand where you are and where you expect them to be in this aspect of their life. Setting rules means you can worry less. And as a parent, you will establish the boundaries in a complicated and confusing world.