Talking to the kids about the birds and the bees … about where do babies come from … about Sex … is one of the hardest things for all Parents. The Sex talk with the kids is always one of the issues that all parents must face and yet also the No.1 issue that we all want to avoid. We talk about Sex casually with our friends and yet when we face our 8-year-old, we all get tongue-tied … Such is the irony of life!
Recently, I gave a talk at Suntec City together with City Parents about Sex, Technology and the Internet. It was heartening to see more than 200 parents, giving up their friday nights to keep themselves abreast of technology and to find out how they can better approach the topic of Sex with their kids.
Being brought up in a traditional Chinese family, no one talked to me about Sex. In fact, most of us learned about Sex from our friends in school. We picked up our ideas about Sex from the highly sought after Playboy magazine and Pornographic tapes that were circulated among our friends in school. These platforms are definitely not the best avenues to learn about Sex.
Parenting is about values and if we want to impart our values to our children, we need to talk to them about Sex! Most professionals agree that we need to start the Sex talk from as young as 8 years-old and it is not just the talk. But it is many talks! Yes! We need to be comfortable talking about it, over and over again. We just need to kill the elephant in the room!
Why talk to your kid about Sex?
The power of First Mention is a powerful tool! We all remember the first girl/guy that we had a crush on, as it was the first time we felt such emotions. We can’t explain the feeling but our first experience left such a deep impression in our hearts. Today, we might not be together with that person, but we all remember the person’s name or the place it occurred.
As a parent, we want to be the first person to introduce our children to chocolate, to ice-cream to Mcdonald’s French Fries. As we know that these things are good! In the same way, parents should be the first people to impress their views of sex on children. If we don’t approach the topic of sex to our children, their views about sex will be formulated by their friends, media and pornographic material which they consume via Google.
As a Christian, we want them to know that Sex is beautiful and good, and it is meant to be experienced within the confines of a marriage. When we articulate these values first, we have a unique ability to make these values stick harder.
What is stopping us from giving the Sex Talk?
Look most Asians, we are all awkward when it comes to the topic about sex. Most of us can’t string a coherent sentence when we come to this topic. Just the mere mention of Penis… Vagina … and sexual intercourse makes us tongue-tied and blushing.
I am no different and even when I had to prepare for a recent talk that I gave at Suntec City, I had to get used to these terms thrown on a casual basis. The urgency is even more daunting when I need to be the person throwing these terms around.
Even as we stammer and give our hmmm…and ahhs…. when we bring up these sexual terms, there is good news for us! The only people who feel embarrassed about this topic is us! Yes! the parents themselves! Our children are not shy to approach this topic at all.
In the last few years, when I brought up the colloquial term for Penis to my son (Cuckoo Bird) … he corrected me and said, “Daddy, it is called a Penis!” Parents, let me tell you, our children are definitely ready to talk about this topic and we can speak it as it is! 🙂
And the better news for us parents is that they do not have a deep interest in this topic. Whenever I try explaining more to my kids, they are disinterested. For example, if you tell them where babies come from (Using age-appropriate terms), they are not known to press you with more questions. In fact, they will more likely to be disinterested and not persist with further questions. Therefore, offering you much time to catch your breath (Heave that sigh of relief) and also time for you to google so that you can find examples on how you can better paint the sexual references.
Yes! Talking about Sex is not just a learning process for the kids, but it is a learning process for us parents as well. The good news is that these days, we don’t need to do it alone as there is lots of helpful Christian literature and Google to assist us. Times have changed and we can all use technology to our advantage. 🙂
Let us be urgent about Sex!
At the end of the day, we must recognise that the “Sex Talk” is every parent’s responsibility. It should not be left in the hands of the teacher, youth pastor or their classmates. We parents should “bite the bullet” and take up the challenge. The buck stops with us and we should uphold our responsibility to lead as parents.
Technology ensures that pornographic images are spread through various mediums. I have received pornographic materials through messaging services (WatsApp), therefore internet filters are not fool-proof. We can never fully insulate our children from the real world and we must, therefore, be ready to impart to our kids.
Let us remember, it is not a Sex Talk per se, but it is many Sex Talks! Their questions will come and we must ready to talk about it today. The ball is in our court and we have to make the first serve today!