Let’s alter the way we think about hard conversations. Let’s try to think of them as necessary conversations. Do you agonize the hours or moments just before you have a hard conversation with your child? You know you have to bring up the topic, but don’t really know how. Your parents never had THE talk with you, so neither should you. They relied on school to teach you all about the uncomfortable things you wouldn’t dare bring up in front of your children.
When your child asks, “where do babies come from”, you say from your belly or that they dropped out of the sky and landed on your doorstep. When your child asks, “how are babies made”, you sweat profusely, inhale, swallow, and belt out, “in a baby factory”. As hilarious as all of those lies sound, the truth will come to light (friends or society will expose your child to the “truth”), and you will look like a liar—whether you meant to lie or meant to shield.
I had 2 days of “sex education” in fifth grade. The boys were in one room and the girls were in another room. We learned the technical terms for the male and female genitalia—AND THAT IS IT! We had to label a picture to assess what we learned. Then we went back to learning how to add and subtract improper fractions as if sex education was disgusting and something to never be spoken of again. The teacher left no time for questions outside of the scope of the lesson. Why was it so difficult to teach what they called “sex education”? It was as if it was inappropriate to talk about body parts, and in fifth grade even I knew my body parts were nothing to be ashamed of.
“Conversations with your child surrounding sex should never be taboo. If you don’t keep it real, someone else will.”
My mom taught me about my body parts as well as male body parts. She gifted me a book that I can pass on to my daughters that educated me on all of the bodily changes that I would experience throughout my childhood into adolescence. Her small gift made a large impact—I felt comfortable asking her any questions that I had about the book. She repeatedly reminded me, “Your body is a temple. Treat it with respect”.
My second and final “sex education” experience took place in 9th grade during Health class. I recall a designated week dedicated to specifically teaching my class about sex, teen pregnancy, and STDs. We “learned” about all 3 of those topics from an outdated VHS created 10 years prior to our viewing. I was SO over it. I thought by 9th grade sex education was an expectation. WRONG. The information presented in the VHS tape was minimal and extreme—if you have sex, you will get pregnant or get an STD; if you get pregnant, your life is over; if you get an STD, you die. They were determined to only give us the absolute worse outcome from participating in sex. I guess it was supposed to scare us away from even thinking about sex.
Sex seems to be the first thing that parents tell me is the one conversation that they dread having with their children. Talking about sex doesn’t have to be weird. Talk to your child from an early age about sex, good touch, bad touch, and everything in between. These “hard” conversations will become easier overtime. When you create an open line of communication with your child, they will always feel comfortable coming to you with any and everything.
I challenge you to change the way you think about “hard” conversations, and instead think of them as necessary conversations.
One Parent. One Child. 2 Hearts Linked for Eternity.
The Link 2 Join Hearts stimulates fun, healthy, and open dialogue between parents and their children. This helps them easily navigate through common challenging conversations.
It not only brings parents closer to their children but also strengthens their eternal bond.
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“Respond with an open heart instead of reacting with a closed mind.”