This is the time of year when we embrace what scares us: ghosts, zombies, skeletons. A lot of Halloween stuff is about death, if you think about it…a plenty uncomfortable topic for most of us. And yet we go there this time of year (albeit in a way that puts the subject at a comfortably abstract distance).
What about the world’s other most frightening topic: the birds and the bees? Sex is a much cheerier thing—in fact, it’s downright fun. But it’s so awkward to talk about, especially with our kids. It’s not scary as an activity, but it is frightening as a topic.
What makes sex so hard to talk about? Well, our parents probably didn’t model ways to discuss sex. Many of us were lucky to get a decent lesson in puberty and conception, never mind more nuanced stuff about what sex means and how to make wise sexual choices.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t handle “the birds and the bees” differently—even if it’s a little scary. What do you wish you had known earlier about sex and dating? If your parents had contained their anxiety long enough to make the talk(s) only a little stressful, what would you have wanted to learn from them? What parental guidance would have been helpful? What tools would you like to give your kids about thinking through their sexual choices?
It’s okay to be awkward, by the way. Sex is a private topic that we don’t discuss often. But it’s not so spooky that we can’t take a deep breath and give our kids the information they need. If you like, take a look at the TalkStarters in this blog for ideas about how to get started. It’ll be worth the anxiety. 🙂