you who has to initiate the discussion, not them.
- Mother of a 10 year old
Most times it starts with you, Mother, taking the
initiative. If your adolescent daughter has not
started asking questions about sex, look for an
opportunity to start a conversation. If no opportunity
presents itself, sit her down and tell her that
now that she is grown up, you wish to talk to her
about few important facts - about sex. Be prepared
for strange smirks and smiles, for shocked or embarrassed
silence, be prepared to hear that she does not want
to talk about this with you, or that she knows about
it. You can reassure your daughter that these talks
are not meant to embarrass, but are about dealing
with awkward or difficult situations she may have
to deal with. Tell her that it is okay to talk about
this with you, because you will try and help her
understand. Even if your child does not get the
message you wanted, she will have learnt that you
care and that if she is confused or scared, you
are approachable. It is never a wasted effort, and
the communication channels that you are building
come into use sooner than later. It's happened with
many a parent and child, and it will happen to you
too. Just keep trying.
Today's kids are very smart, they come and ask
- Mother of a 13 year old.
This, other scenario perhaps is more common, when
the child initiates the talk. In an unguarded moment,
your 10 year old drops a bombshell of a question.
Ma, what is a condom? Try and answer as truthfully
as possible, giving accurate and age appropriate
information. Start by saying something basic like
- It is a kind of protection men use and then be
guided by her next question. There may be a few
more or if she is satisfied for now, none.
The critical thing is not to react immediately,
certainly not with a brush off or the most quoted
line - you will know when you grow up! Didn't you
just hate it every time an adult said that to you
as a kid, and didn't it raise your curiosity even
more? An enduring tip for all time is that what
is even more important than what you say is how
you say it.