Talking to young children about “the birds and the bees” can cause anxiety, even in the most confident parent. I know this well as I too have been there. We all procrastinate, making up excuses to delay the conversation. We think: “They are too young” or “I’ll do it later” or “The children will get that information at school” or “Why spoil their innocence?”
The reality is that if we parents don’t initiate the conversation, it will be done for us. In fact, the process of your child’s sexual education has already begun (it began at birth). Parents, friends, caretakers, the media, and all others who interact with your child will play some sort of role in educating your child about sexuality. Unfortunately, along the way, your child may be exposed to some information or events that fail to meet the standards of your values and beliefs.
Consider many of the television and video programs that children see—the sexual messages and innuendoes are rampant. It is therefore of utmost importance that the parents take an active role in teaching children about healthy sexuality. It is my view that parents should be a child’s primary educator about healthy sexuality.
Sexuality is a sensitive topic because of its private nature. Yet, if the subject is approached in small steps and with age-appropriate information, the barriers will not seem so high.
Learning about the facts of life is similar to learning about mathematics. We will begin with very simple “arithmetic,” and then advance gradually. The “Birds and the Bees with Ease” booklet emphasizes a “little by little” approach that will make your job easier and more effective. Please feel free to download a complimentary copy of this helpful booklet.
You have undoubtedly been doing an excellent job in caring for your children, nurturing them, providing them with love and affection. This is a vital part of teaching sexuality. Nonetheless, the topics of reproduction and male-female relationships are a bit complicated. We can all use a little help as to what knowledge is appropriate for our children. How much do they need to know, and when do they need to know it? When are the best opportunities to talk? How can you recognize a “teachable moment”? This booklet offers help along these lines.
When my children were preteens, I examined the health education curriculum they were going to receive at school, and I volunteered my services as a way to get involved. The school welcomed me with open arms and asked me to teach young girls about the changes of puberty and related issues. The classes I taught were eye-openers. The girls lacked basic information about conception (information I thought they would have received at home). In my experience, providing health information did not “spoil their innocence.” Rather, it “bridged their ignorance.”
The girls were not comfortable asking their mothers about the topic of conception or the changes in their bodies brought on by puberty. “I am too embarrassed to speak to my mom about this,” they would say. And yet, they would question me, a stranger.
The Healthy ChatsTM program can help you bridge that chasm – or hopefully, keep it from developing in the first place. Ideally, the education process should begin very early so that the lines of communication are working well by the time the child becomes a preteen. For more information, please visit http://healthychats.com