When is the Right Time for the Birds and the Bees Talk?

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    When is the Right Time for the Birds and the Bees Talk?

    As if just being around to make sure your children don’t eventually find those creative ways to kill themselves they seem to be looking for as they grow up isn’t enough of a challenge on its own, there’s the emotional intelligence side of things to have to contend with. The extent to which kids are inquisitive sometimes has one actually pausing for a second to think quite deeply before answering a question they ask.

    I’m not just talking about having to think hard about how you’re going to answer a question like “Dad, what does it mean to sweat-it-out?” in a manner which doesn’t draw follow-up questions like “…and what’s to compete?”, especially after something like a long day at work, no. I’m talking about having to answer questions about some vulgar words used to describe sexual activities. Obviously, this mostly applies to smaller children who are still in the rather delicate stages of developing their vocabulary but simply playing it down by saying something like “that’s a bad word which you should never use” or saying “it means nothing” just won’t do. If anything it’ll only make them even more inquisitive and that’s something kids lack nothing in — inquisitiveness.

    So discuss the matter whenever it comes up or when the first opportunity to do so presents itself. That’s pretty much what I’d say is the answer to the question of when exactly it’s the right time to have the birds and the bees talk with children. Basically it’s when you get the first hint of the fact that they’ve been somehow exposed to any one or more of the elements of the birds and bees, which can happen really early on in life, so much so that it rather baffles me how some parents’ memories of naughty discussions of sexual activities going way back to those supposedly innocent years leading up to school are somehow count for nothing when they consider just how early a child can get exposed to such.

    This is not to say a child immediately loses their innocence the moment they become conscious of sexual matters — not at all.

    When they ask questions or when they perhaps try to contain their silly laughter in reaction to some song lyrics that mention sex, for instance, that’s your queue to start your education about the birds and bees. It’s better that they get it from you, in the right manner — trust me on that one, but you really don’t have to do it all on your own.

    To save you some embarrassment, not all, but some, there are some great books written about the birds and bees for kids of just about all ages, so too explainer videos produced. You must just find a way to restrain your own urge to burst out laughing when you hear explanations such as “When mum and dad have been married for some time and they want to have a baby, they hug in a special way…”

    You catch my drift, don’t you? It sure beats your child hearing all sorts of nasty things from the peers who are really quite receptive of what their own parents do, say, watch on the telly and listen to on the radio.

    Written by Jenson Phillips

    Hi, I'm Jenson. Father of two and living with OCD, read my musings on coping with both and maybe pick up some advice for yourself.