Talking to Your Kid About Sex It might be an uncomfortable topic, but talking to your kids about sex will save them from a number of hardships down the road. BY DR. JONI FRATER AND ESTHER LASTIQUE
It's not the easiest thing for parents to talk about, but necessary for your kids to be prepared.
There is no one on this planet that can replace you or your spouse when it comes to instilling values in your children. As a nation, we are still hesitant to talk about sexuality—and sex—and teens and young adults are suffering as a result. Take a look at these statistics:
* Only 5 percent of college students report ever getting meaningful information about sexuality from their parents.
* We do not advocate that students engage in sexual activity, but 70 percent of college students surveyed are sexually active.
* A whopping 50 percent of 18 through 24-year-old students will get a sexually transmitted disease while in college.
Very few would debate that the "sex talk" should occur at a much earlier age. When you look at other countries—where they talk more freely about these types of issues, discuss body functions and teach children to love their bodies—many kids don’t engage in sexual activities until they are older, which helps contribute to a lower rate of unwanted pregnancies and fewer sexually transmitted diseases.
So how can the two of you get the ball rolling? The first step is for you and your spouse to engage your children in conversation. Ask them how they feel about themselves from the inside out. Do they feel misunderstood (much like we did at their age)? Get to know who they are and who they are friends with both on and offline. Embrace them as the adults they are becoming! Provide them with condoms even if they choose abstinence; they should always have a backup or a go-to if need be.
Your talk should include topics that address practical knowledge about disease prevention: the use of condoms and how they are applied, as well as how they can prevent the transmission of STDs; and that sex should be a pleasurable experience for both partners, if and when they are ready.
Even if your child chooses to maintain their abstinence until they marry, it’s very important to let them know that their partner may have been sexual with other people. As a result, they may carry diseases without knowing about it, as they often have no symptoms. These diseases may cause cancer and even sterility or death. Let your kids know you love them enough to reach outside your comfort zone and provide them with the information to protect them.
You and your spouse have more power than you know! As educators that tour the country giving talks, your children have told us they would prefer to hear about sex from their parents. Trust us, we’re not saying this is an easy conversation to have, and if it’s too uncomfortable for you to talk to them directly, get them resources such as "S.E.X." by Heather Corinna. Her website is www.scarleteen.com. Of course you don’t want your children to stumble, but you and your spouse need to be there to pick them up if it happens.
Teaching your children about sexuality and sex is the most difficult conversation you and your spouse should have with your children. Many parents, not the kids, are the ones who are uncomfortable with having an intimate talk about sexuality and sex. If you can overcome your personal fears and talk about sexuality and sex, while instilling positive lessons about self-love, you and your spouse can make a difference.
Dr. Joni Frater & Esther Lastique are the founders of www.LoveHerRight.com and www.PassionateLifeClub.com and the authors of "Love Her Right: The Married Man’s Guide to Lesbian Secrets for Great Sex!" Visit their college website www.SexEdBootcamp.com for more links and general sex ed information and for more information about their Love Warrior Challenge, live appearances, and seminar classes. At www.LoveHerRightStore.com use the discount code HITCHED for a 15% discount! To purchase their book, please click here (it has lots of great pictures with descriptions of fun positions to try).