Talking about sex is awkward, and many parents would prefer to avoid it if they could. Well, there are several techniques you can use that virtually guarantee your kid will get his or her information about sex and relationships from other sources, letting you off the hook.
If you really want to convey “this topic is not safe to ask me about,” here’s how:
Shut down. When your child asks about anything to do with sexuality (bodies, gender, conception, sexual choices, anything), don’t answer. You might change the subject; tell them “you’re too young to know about that”; get flustered and leave the room; or tell them it’s not polite to ask about that. Most effective of all: Get angry that they’ve asked. That makes it clear that sex is not OK to talk about.
Talk often about how wrong/bad people are for various sexual practices and/or orientations. Have strong opinions about other people’s sexuality, and express your negative opinions in no uncertain terms. Make it clear that only certain forms of sexual expression are OK with you.
Mock him. When your child asks about something sex-related, laugh at him for not knowing. Laughing at him publicly is especially effective. He’ll not only learn that sex is an off-limits topic, but he’ll feel so embarrassed he’ll never go there again.
Betray her confidence. If your child comes to you with a question or concern about bodies, puberty, sexuality, or relationships, don’t let her get away with asking privately—tell your friends, and hers. The more publicly you treat her private concerns, the less likely she is to bother you in the future.
Shame him. Say or imply that there’s something wrong about asking, about even knowing cretain words, about having sexual thoughts or feelings: “What a horrible thing to ask!” “That’s disgusting!” Even more powerful is making the shame about your child as a person, not just about the topic: “Only a slut would use that word” or “It’s morally depraved to even wonder about that.”
Use even one of these techniques, and you’ve created an effective barrier to communication. Use all of them, and you’ve built a wall that your child won’t even try to breach.