My husband has already informed me that I will be having the sex talk with our kids. I'm really tempted when the time comes to just say, Well kids, you are never having sex. That is final. Off to the nunnery and seminary you go. Except we're not really Catholic. It's okay to not want them to ever have sex, right? I mean, they can once they meet THE ONE and then give me grandbabies. But please! None of this too young stuff that ... you know ... I did when I was way too young to be doing ... you know.
Sigh. I know. It's going to happen. I have to be prepared. I have to be honest and real and exude cool so my kids actually listen to me and not roll their eyes and think how lame mom is talking to us about something she knows nothing about. Because that's what they will think!
Thankfully there is Dr. Kenneth Ryan, father of three girls, who knows exactly what we should say, and how we should say it.
Dr. Ryan is also a relationship expert and author of Finding Your Prince in a Sea of Toads: How to Find a Quality Guy Without Getting Your Heart Shredded. He says many of us make the mistake of lecturing instead of conversing. (Okay so no chalkboard demos, instead this is a chat over cookie dough brownies. Got it.) Plus, it may be the most awkward conversation you will ever have with your kid, so bring out your best jokes but be honest. Maybe even mention some celebrities -- like Justin Bieber and his lady Selena Gomez -- to divert attention and pressure and still get your point across. Dr. Ryan explains that this is how to talk to your daughter about sex, and some of it certainly applies to talking to sons, too.
Tell her that lips are her secret weapon. Say: Learning to converse easily with guys is one of the most important skills you can learn. Guys like being with girls who make conversation easy and interesting. Conversation is a skill you can learn just like playing the piano. If you practice, you can get good at it.
Tell her about fateful attraction. Say: Attraction cannot be forced or faked but it can be influenced. Physical attraction will fade if you do not have an attraction based on character and personality. (In other words, don't just like a guy because he's cute.)
Tell her that you can't put a condom on your heart. Say: Contrary to popular opinion, your heart is at just as much risk as your reproductive system. Since you can't put a condom on your heart, safe sex is a myth. A girl's heart is at much greater risk than the guy's.
Tell her sex is like duct tape. Say: Sex is meant to help one couple bond together permanently for life. Each time it is used outside of marriage, it loses some of its stickiness.
Tell her guys say "love" to get sex. Girls give sex to get love. Say: Sex won't buy you genuine love. It is very easy for men to have sex without love or commitment but women violate their own inner voice of sanity and femininity when they have sex without commitment. His self esteem may go up but yours will go down. Perhaps it's not fair but that's how it is.
Tell her sex causes blindness. Say: Sex helps married people overlook each other's faults. Unfortunately, it has the same effect on single people, often causing them overlook critical flaws and make a poor choice of who they marry. Does he truly love you or does he love having sex with you? That's the million dollar question and sex can give both of you fuzzy vision and confusion.
Tell her sex is part of the superglue of marriage. Say: Surfaces must be clean and dry for good adhesion. Marriage -- once that time comes -- is tough and you need as much going in your favor as possible. If you ruin the magic of sex by treating it like a meaningless toy before marriage, you are heading into marriage with one strike against you. Sex is a big deal in marriage and you need the magic.
Tell her that all the celebrity stuff she sees is fluff. Say: Famous people are no smarter than you when it comes to relationships. In fact, they are more likely to have a warped perspective of reality. They are not necessarily a reliable role model and they won't tell the interviewer the real problems in their life so what you see with a celeb isn't always the whole story.
Tell her to dump the guy humanely. Say: Men want to know the truth so if it's not going to work, tell him so he can deal with it and move on. He would rather know where he really stands than get dragged along. Sandwich the bad news between a couple of compliments. Be gentle but direct.
Would you try any of these approaches when talking to your child about sex? Any other advice you can share if you already had THE TALK?
Image via Biscarotte/Flickr
Going to baseball games
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Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside