• As a mother how do you talk to your children about sex and relationships?
• My grandma used to say you must discipline your children but do not be too harsh that they cannot tell you anything.
You tend to write a lot on taboo subjects. As a mother how do you talk to your children about sex and relationships?
Thank you for taking the time to write to me.
First, sex is not a taboo subject. I think once we get over that, maybe we will see a drop, albeit a small one in the atrocious numbers of teenage pregnancies.
I have four children, pre-teens and teenagers. I do not want to come to you and say it is easy. It is not. I mean, these are your babies, now they want/ need to know about exchanging body fluids. It is scary.
Create a balance. My grandma used to say you must discipline your children but do not be too harsh that they cannot tell you anything. If they can tell you anything then you always know what is going on with them and you can advise. They might also not tell you everything, in words but because they can be close to you, you can quickly pick up changes.
Be open. Depending on their ages, tell them as it is in age-appropriate terms. Tell them about your experiences as well. My oldest daughter asked me if I smoked weed in my twenties. I told her I had never smoked weed in my life. She was so shocked. “So what did you do in your twenties? That’s when people are supposed to smoke weed!” I told her I drunk alcohol a bit but leaning towards a lot. She laughed and that gave us an avenue to talk about weed and why it may not be a good idea for her to smoke it.
Find ways to cope. Listen, you are human and these are your babies. It is not easy but find ways to get by. When my daughter was sixteen, she announced that she had a boyfriend. After talking about what that meant to her, I went to my room and cried. Then I drunk some vodka. I wrote her a letter and told her all the things I wanted her to know. It was uncomfortable. When they broke up, she told me. I drunk more vodka, but because I was happy this time.
I do not have the right answer, I just know if they talk to you and trust you to tell them the truth, then you are on the right path. As uncomfortable as it is, embrace it, you will not regret it.