My little brother knew what to call his penis around the time he figured out I had a name other than “Sissy.” My parents believed in sex education at a very early age with him, because when I grew up I asked questions like, “What makes the robot man (Bicentennial Man a la Robin Williams) a real man?” that caught them totally off-guard. They were going to be prepared this time.
Some parents aren’t as forward with their children and their sexual education; I mean, look at all of these different routes taken to talk to children about sex.
Some of them already knew things from their siblings and others didn’t know anything about sex. Sometimes, there was extremely gendered language (“What makes Daddy a man and Mommy a woman?”) used to walk the children through. Often enough, parents have to recant some earlier story they’d made up for their children about how they were made, too (If anyone is wondering, Maddox is my absolute favorite reaction video).
“A child is pure innocence,” Linsey from Sexplanations has heard. This makes it hard to talk about sex for some parents–but why? Why is sex this dirty, unclean act, and why is anything related to it considered taboo to talk about? It’s okay for your kid to know what a vagina is, especially if they have one! To automatically approach sex as something impure that will ‘ruin’ them is a rough way to start their sex-ed.
Linsey also lists some great reasons of why it’s necessary to tell your kids about sex and things involved:
- They need the language and vocab to talk about sex and sexuality for the rest of their lives
- They get the basis and preparation for conversations about sexual maturity before actually getting to the point where that is paramount; this is important for their ability to communicate when the time comes around!
- It sets up you and your child’s relationship with questions like these, and makes it clear that you will answer their questions with the honesty and candor that is necessary and appreciated
They’re going to learn it from somewhere. Also, most parents give their kids smartphones or computers. It takes only a couple of seconds to type S-E-X into Google, and there are much worse things to find out here on the world wide web. Get ahead of your kid’s curiosity, so they don’t find out what to call what’s between their legs from Susie down the street.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.