How to discuss the birds and the bees

Many Dads feel anxious about talking to their children about sex. It’s the most natural thing you can engage in on this earth but still, we feel awkward. How should you go about it? How much information is too much? As a parent, you have a responsibility to educate your children on sex. The birds and the bees talk are one that parents often put off for as long as possible. But learning about sexuality is a normal part of child development.

Cover the basics
For children, there is a lot of curiosity due to lack of knowledge. When young children start to interact with other children on a daily basis you should make it a priority to inform and remind your child that they have private parts that nobody should be touching but themselves but mummy and daddy. Allow your child the freedom and a safe space to come to you immediately if something doesn’t feel right or they want to know more information. Tell your child if they experience any unwanted touching that this is not normal and should tell you immediately.

Tell the truth
In most school curriculums sex as a way to reproduce is often at the forefront so you may only want to briefly reinforce what they probably already know. As a parent, you need to talk to your child about the real-world reality. Of course, this is age sensitive but it’s your job to talk about the following topics: Relationships, porn, sexual health, sexual orientations and bodily changes. For example, “You will get your period every month and you will bleed from your vagina and this is totally normal.” Try to have these types of conversations before they happen.

Be mature
Chances are, your child is asking these questions is because they are now mature enough to know the answer. We understand it can be awkward for you as a parent but try to use everyday opportunities to discuss sex. We have found that men like to discuss sex in cars with their children because of the absence of direct eye contact which makes the whole topic easier to discuss. Bedtime is also a good time just before you tuck them in and make it your business to openly ask and answer questions.

Ask what they have heard
This is a very important step, you must continually ask this question to track what stage they are at in maturity. When your children are with their friends they talk about this stuff. Stuff that may make you a very concerned parent. However, by asking what they have heard you will be able to give holistic answers that are measured alongside their maturity. Failing this step, you will create a false sense of accomplishment within yourself as you will not know your child as well as you think you do.

Answer the question
“Dad, I saw two girls kissing at the bus stop. I thought only boys and girls kiss?” Children are very intuitive and it’s your job to provide clarity to help navigate the world in which we live. “There is two types of love, family and friend love and the other love. They were kissing because they are in the other love.” Depending on how old they are, this answer should do. However, after answering be sure to ask if you answered their question. Explain further until they are satisfied.

Dad, this is never an easy topic to discuss, especially with Daughters. However, as a parent, it is your duty to be open, honest and informative. Good luck bro!