It happens almost every time. It makes me laugh every time.
During the Q&A portion of my parent workshop, one hopeful parent raises a hand and asks the question, “Traci, would you be willing to have the talk with my child?”
What are they, crazy?!
It always gets a chuckle from the audience because it’s the one thing we all have in common.
None of us wants to have the sex discussion with our children.
Sure, we can all agree that we should have the talk, but if we are completely honest, we secretly wish that when the dreaded time comes a tiny escape hatch would magically appear at our feet.
You know what I think? I think the reason you want to avoid “The BIG Talk” stems from a truly admirable motive. Simply put, you just want to protect your child. Most parents do. We figure that if we postpone any discussion about sex, we will ward off the evils of a sexually permissive culture and protect their innocence just a tiny bit longer. And you know what? If we lived in a society that shared those values we would be home free. Heck! We could postpone the sex talk until they are 22 if we wanted!
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a culture that values sexual purity.
Let me say this as tenderly as I can…
If we don’t talk to our eight-year-olds about sex, maybe we aren’t protecting them at all. In fact, maybe we are actually leaving them exposed and vulnerable. You see, in the sex-saturated world in which we live, if you are not talking to your young child about sex, someone else is. And, trust me, they are getting it all wrong!
When you discuss sex at an early age, YOU are the first one they hear it from. And when you couple that with frequent discussions, you get the chance to wrap everything that you teach up in your values. In effect, you are actually protecting her with a layer of armor when you send her out into the world. Begin having age-appropriate discussions when your child is in preschool and continue the conversations into the teen years and beyond. Stop avoiding the talk. Instead, embrace it.