Birds and Bees Talk

​It is a topic as old as time, the birds and the bees. Yet, many adults would rather work overtime for demanding bosses than talk to their children about sex​. "Let the teachers do it!" they may say.

Schools do help but cannot replace the role of parents. As parents, you are your child's first role models. How you behave with each other as a couple, could very well influence the way your child sees relationships.

Sexuality education programmes are also conducted in schools for students in upper primary to post-secondary level. Your child may have attended some of those programmes and you could ask them to share what they have learnt with you.

Basic Guidelines and Tips for Parents

When parents open up with their children, kids will feel more confident about sharing their thoughts and feelings. They will not have to rely on distorted information from their friends, the mass media, or worse, the Internet.

Here's some quick advice to help you get started:

Keep a Very Objective Mindset

  • Tell them that sex is a natural part of married life.

  • Relax and do not be openly embarrassed or negative - your attitude will influence your child and sex becomes a taboo topic.

  • Children, who have been brought up thinking that sex is bad and dirty, can grow up with unhealthy perceptions of sex. This, in turn, can negatively impact their relationships with future partners.

It Is Ok to Admit You Are Shy About It

  • Do not worry about admitting your discomfort or shyness to your kids. But do not show a negative attitude towards sex.

  • You may wish to say, "I'm uncomfortable talking about sex because my parents never talked with me about it. But I want to be able to talk about anything, including sex, with you. So, please come to me if you have any questions and I ll try to help you."

Be as Honest and Clear as Possible

  • Give accurate but age-appropriate information. Use the correct terminology for body parts like penis and vagina . Don't use childish words that may confuse them further.

  • Do not embellish the facts! Telling your kid that he or she was picked up from the drain or brought by the stork only confuses matters.

  • From as young as age four, children are very curious about sex. Children who are equipped with the facts about sex tend to make the most responsible choices later in life.

Encourage Questions and Conversations

  • Let your child know that it is ok to ask questions. You should answer them factually and honestly. You are your child's best resource for sorting out what s fact versus fiction!

  • There will be times when you are stumped - kids can be very creative in thinking up questions! If so, just say "That's a good question. Let me get back to you later with the answer." And do remember to keep your word.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

  • There are many picture books on sex written for children. You can use them to explain the human body and sexuality. You can go to your local library or bookstores to look for some of these resources.

Sex Education is a Process, Not a One-time Lesson

  • Do not feel like you need to cover an entire biology course in one sitting. Sex is more than just the birds and the bees . When you talk about sex to your child, include a holistic view that includes not only the physical aspects but emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects.

  • You may wish to frame the conversation to convey your values about sex. Let your kids know that others may have different values about sexuality.

  • Some children may be quite happy with the basics. They will have more questions later on, perhaps when they are watching a nature programme on TV.

If your child feels comfortable asking you questions about sex, then you know you are on the right path. All it takes is the first step from you!

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your child a healthy start.