Did you Hear the One about the Sperm and the Egg?
Keep a Sense of Humor in Sex Education - It Can't Hurt!
While it may be natural to feel embarrassed at the thought of having conversations with our children about sex and sexuality topics, trying to keep a sense of humor when approaching this parenting scenario is recommended! Old school sex ed, which focused on scare tactics and tales of "disease, disaster, and dysfunction" within a clinical presentation format, is a thing of the past. Part of being an "ask-able" parent (i.e., letting kids know that you are available to talk about this subject so that they keep asking the questions and coming to you rather than the kid down the street for information) means trying to keep conversations positive, upbeat and relaxed.
The hardest part in talking to your child about sex is getting started. First, parents need to understand that it is their right and responsibility to have these conversations. Research indicates that parents are the greatest influence on their youth's sexual decision making. Although it might be natural to feel embarrassed at first, parents need to work through the fear. And, if need be, keep a sense of humor about it! You can laugh about being nervous and say, "My mom never talked to me about this, so I'm learning too!" We don't advocate laughing when a child asks a question about sex, no matter how nervous it makes you and no matter how cute and funny the question may be. However, trying to see the humor in it all helps relax us, normalize the conversation, and helps us not feel quite so alone in this parenting adventure!
With the holidays approaching and lots of family time for conversations, let's take a moment to check out a few funny clips, cartoons, and resources and keep a sense of humor in sex education - it can't hurt!
It's Time to Talk
October was the official "Let's Talk" month highlighting the importance of parents having ongoing conversations with their kids about sex and sexuality topics. However, we're advocating that parent-child communication endeavors about this important subject continue all year long! Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) created this funny video called "It's Time To Talk!" to help parents be more comfortable as the primary sexuality educators of their children. Click on this video link and enjoy.
Her First Period
The Frantics is a group of four very funny men from Canada who had a radio show on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Here's a clip from their 30th Anniversary Show in 2009 at The Royal Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It's called "Her First Period" - and it's a hilarious account of a father's wonderful attempt at reacting to news from his daughter and being helpful - perhaps not at the most opportune time or place! Click on this video link and enjoy.
|Kids Say the Darndest Things|
Some of the funniest moments on the early CBS show "Bill Cosby's Kids Say the Darndest Things" were when he had conversations with kids about marriage, relationships, love, and babies. When Bill asked Ricky, age 8, "How would you make a marriage work?" the reply was, "Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck." A good reminder to us all that kids do learn from watching and listening!
|A New Book for the Wee Ones!|Who Has What: All About Girls' Bodies and Boys' Bodies, is the newest book designed for children ages 2-6 by Robie Harris, the author who has brought us such fabulous books as It's Not the Stork, It's Perfectly Normal and It's So Amazing. This simple story follows Nellie and Gus on a family outing to the beach. Humorous illustrations, playful conversations between the siblings, and a clear text all reassure young children that whether they have a girl's body or a boy's, their bodies are perfectly normal, healthy, and wonderful. Candlewick Press, 2011
|A Useful Online Social Networking Experience|Here's another great resource for parents! The new website called Mightybell from PPFA is an online social networking experience that guides parents through the steps of thinking about the messages they want to give their children and gets them ready to have conversations. Check it out and if you like it, sign up and encourage others to participate as well. Remember, positive communication between parents and children helps establish family and individual values enabling young people to make healthier, safe and better-informed decisions related to sexuality.
Visit our website for helpful tips, information about workshops, and much more. Don't miss an opportunity to be the primary sexuality educator for your children.
Need help? Call our Parent Education Team at (617) 616-1658.
Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts