We know that parents are their children's first sexuality educators. We at Planned Parenthood want to help you feel comfortable in this important role. Parents, guardians and other family members like grandparents, aunts, and uncles are naturals for the job, and we believe there is no place like home for sex education.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- You can do it.
Remind yourself that it is okay to be uncomfortable. Relax and let your children know you are talking with them because you love them and care about what happens in their lives. They are listening, whether they act like it or not.
- When you talk to your children, you can share your family values.
Kids are bombarded by messages about sex from all sides and they may not know what to believe. Research is clear that young people would really like to get their information from parents, and that they consider family values when making decisions about sex.
- Listen as much as you talk.
And ask questions in ways that invite conversation. Open-ended questions keep the conversation going. You could ask them what they want to know and what they already know. "What do you know about contraception? What else would you like to know?" You may be surprised.
- Keep the conversations going.
Use "teachable moments" like television shows or real-life incidents to check in with them and to share your thoughts and feelings. Kids and teens will get the idea that you are willing to continue these discussions.
- Talk about when you were young.
Kids love to hear about your best and worst moments. It helps them realize you were really young once, and that you understand some of what they are going through.
- Don't wait for them to ask.
Many youngsters get the message that sex is uncomfortable to talk about, and they don't want to risk embarrassing you or themselves. Whether they ask questions or not, they want and need information.
To talk to an educator you can call our Anchorage office: (907) 565-7526 or you can call 1-800-230-PLAN where you will be directed to the clinic nearest you.