Curiosity, that’s exactly how it starts. Younger kids are curious and more interested in pregnancy and babies than the mechanics of sex. As parents, it is generally shocking to know how early you should start talking about sex to kids. Especially, when your kid’s questions about sex come up at not-so-convenient times or in predictable ways. It can put you off guard and you might search for ways to respond.
Sex education is important as it will help your kids understand about their body and feel positive. An early, honest, and open communication about pregnancy and birth control with your preteen kid can get him/her to trust you. They will be more open and communicate about all the other trials they might go through in future.
How Do You Start?
Their hormones are in overdrive, they go through big life changes, and they might be under pressure to have sexual intercourse, whether or not they feel ready. While it may be difficult for you to convince them, reassure that they need parents support and guidance.
There may be awkward conversations, but no matter what, talk to them anyway. Reinforce that there is nothing embarrassing to talk about. They should be prepared to make informed and responsible decisions. Let them know how to be responsible for sex. Giving them accurate and truthful facts will help them understand the real-life consequences.
Even if your preteen doesn’t need to know about birth control and condoms, teach anyway. Protecting themselves from unwanted or unplanned pregnancies or any sexually transmitted diseases is your responsibility. They would know that you care, love, and support them.
A good way to start a conversation is by asking what they know already and you can continue from there. Your kids might know a lot more than you can imagine. Studies show that kids who have open conversations with their parents about sex are more likely to wait longer to experience sex and using protection. They are more than ready to take information from parents than you might know. Preteens say that their parents are their biggest influence to know more about sex.
Ask your kid a lot of questions. Ask them what are their views about sex, pregnancy, what are their priorities, relationship goals, financial stability, decision to have sex fits in, birth control.
How Do You Talk About Pregnancy?
Changes of puberty and talking about pregnancy can go together. Talking about facts like how testicles start making sperm during puberty, and ovaries start releasing eggs a few weeks before the first period can clear their doubts. Getting all myths busted will also help them understand clearly.
Only abstinence from vaginal sex is a guaranteed way to prevent pregnancy, other than using birth control. Facts on emergency contraception which can help prevent pregnancy up to 5 days after unprotected sex are useful.
Do You Talk About Birth Control?
A detailed explanation of pregnancy and how to prevent by using birth control is important. Clear info on waiting until they are older and when it happens, they should use birth control and condoms can guide them correctly.
Let them know that giving them facts about sex doesn’t mean you are giving permission to have sex. Making responsible choices at right time is what you can expect. You can help your kid to take responsibility for his actions and make sound decisions but cannot control or dictate his actions, as much as you might want to.
Making The Right Choice!
It is hard to imagine your preteen making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy, even if your kid is years away from being sexually active. Making the right choice is very important. Teach your preteen that there are different options to make – abortion, adoption, and parenting.
Finally, accept the fact that your kid has all the rights to make big decisions about his sexuality. It is only your responsibility as a parent to let your preteen know that they never have to do anything they don’t want to do!