There are certain conversations that most parents would not like to have with their children. Most of us do not want to tell a child that someone has died. We do not want to tell our children about the death of a pet, and we also would not like to tell them that they will be moving. There are lots of difficult conversations in life, but one of the most difficult for most people is to speak with their children about puberty and the birds and the bees.
“The Talk” doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.
This is a difficult enough task for most adults when speaking with each other. To speak with your own child about it feels wrong and maybe just plain embarrassing. However, because it is a difficult thing to do it just might be worth doing. If you remember what it was like to go through puberty you know that it was difficult. You know that when your body started to change you did not know what was going on. You were scared and afraid of the future. You had probably heard of sex but you were unsure of what it was. You probably knew that puberty and sex were somehow related but you were unsure of how.
All of these issues are in the mind of your child who is experiencing puberty. This is particularly the case in a culture where sex is such a prevalent thing. With so many complicated issues involved, how will you talk to your kids about the birds and the bees and how they relate to puberty?
The first step might be to find out what your child knows about puberty. Find out if they have already been taught about it. See if they have good information or if they have been told several wrong things. If they have bad information you want to make sure that you correct it quickly. Probably the best thing to start with is some sort of talk about puberty. You will want to explain what is going on with the child’s body. Explain the hormonal changes that are happening. Be sure to reassure them of the normalcy of the changes. The other important thing for them to know is why these changes are occurring. This is how the discussion needs to relate to sex. Simply explaining that there are changes occurring in your child’s body does not say much. They need to know why those changes are occurring and they need to know about sex. It is important for them to hear about these things from an interested and concerned parent. They need to understand that sex is a serious matter. You do not need to go into terrific detail about sex, but you should explain the basics. Although this might be embarrassing you should know that the easier it is for you to speak about this issue with your children the better. It will help them to know that sex is serious but also not mysterious. If children do not understand sex they also do not know where children come from. If they don’t know this they might be more likely to get involved with a teenage pregnancy.
Just discussing puberty doesn’t tell your child what is really happening. Their body is mostly changing to get ready for sex and for reproduction. By discussing these issues together you help your child to more fully understand the situation in which they find themselves. Remember that ignorance is not bliss and that a well informed child might make better choices.