(Or “totally casual” if you’re not a 41-year old woman supes addicted to shortening words like she’s 12.)
One of the BEST pieces of advice I ever heard as it relates to talking to your kids about sex is to be 100% casual about it like it’s no big deal. Answer exactly what they ask, don’t give them any unnecessary information unless they ask more questions. Be frank. Be casual. Be honest.
But y’all. THAT IS REALLY HARD IF YOU ARE A PRUDE WHO DOESNT LIKE TO WATCH TV OR MOVIES WITH SEX SCENES IN THEM.
I will say though, I’ve done a much better job this time around with my younger kids at least trying to be open and casual, even if I’m 100% faking the “casual” part of the situation. Here are two key tips if you’re a natural prude trying to be totes cool when talking about sex:
1) Try to have the conversations in a situation when you don’t have to actually look at your kids. I love it when they ask me questions about sex and puberty when I’m driving because it is EASY AS PIE to answer frankly and casually when I’m just staring ahead at the road. We’ve had great conversations about Transgender men and women, how Gay Men have babies, and How Do Babies come out – all while driving! So easy! But, the other day Wes asked me a tough question face to face (“Mom? What is the boy version of a period?”) and I’m not sure my “casual” came off as “casual” as I had hoped. I’m pretty sure my face was as red as an apple. I was most definitely sweating profusely.
2) So! When that happens! Keep saying, “I’m glad you asked! It’s no big deal to talk about this stuff!” That way even if you’re sweating or red-faced, you’re reminding them that these are great questions and super important to be asked and there’s nothing embarrassing about it. Sometimes the non-verbal cues can make them feel like they shouldn’t ask the question, so if you’re naturally embarrassed like me, verbal cues reassuring them are important. I also am SUPER casual with my tone. “That’s a great question! I’m glad you asked! You’re right! Both boys and girls have changes in their bodies during puberty…” Tone light and airy! Casual word choice! Enthusiasm! Facts! All of which counterbalances the fact that I was cringing on the inside and thinking, “OH MY GOD I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS STUFF.”
Totes cas. NBD. We cool.
I also talk a lot about how our country has a much more prudish attitude about sex and bodies than other countries. We’ve talked about topless beaches and nudity restrictions on television. I explain to them how our culture sometimes makes it feel like we shouldn’t be talking about this stuff, but it’s really is okay. Just sometimes it might be better to ask ME questions about it, since I’m totes cool and casual, and maybe not drop some of these bombs on their teachers at school.
It’s hard enough my kids tend to ask tough questions about religion at school, the least I can do is protect the teachers from talk of erections and menstrual cycles.