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What Not to Say to Children about Sex

10 of 10 in Series: The Essentials of Talking to Children about Sex

Parents can make all kinds of mistakes, but they may not realize the seriousness of the mistakes having to do with sex. Try to analyze your behavior around your children from their point of view. You communicate to your child in many ways, and that communication always has an effect, even if you don’t realize it. So watch what you do and say in front of your children.

  • Don’t pull away. Some fathers don’t know what to do when their daughters start to develop. The little girl who used to cuddle with her daddy starts to fill out, and physical signs of affection might feel inappropriate. When that happens, the father pulls away and starts to treat his daughter as just another woman and not his little girl.

    If that happens, the daughter will feel hurt and confused. What did she do wrong? She may even start to look elsewhere for someone to provide the physical affection her father withdrew. Others think of their new bodies as ugly because Daddy rejected them, and they crawl into a shell. Neither reaction is good, and that’s why dads have to be careful how they treat their daughters.

  • Acknowledge individuality. Remember to limit your comments about dating choices. Some men may encourage their sons to be sexually active as a rite of passage that they missed out on. Or perhaps parents might discourage their daughters from dating at all. For parents who weren’t popular in high school, it can be exciting to see your child blossom into the student body president, and then to continually ask about who your child is dating.

    Remember that the more you impose a certain behavior, the more likely you will push away your child. Forcing a behavior can also force resentment, and previous closeness can disappear. Your child won’t want to talk about relationships, and certainly won’t want to bring any dates around the house.

  • Condoms don’t make you a good parent. It’s smart to encourage safer sex, but giving your child condoms may not be a good idea. If you think you will constantly count the condoms and then quiz your child about them, it might be better to forgo this step.

    Condoms are easy to buy these days, but your child’s trust is not. If your child thinks that the only reason you stored those condoms was to catch him or her using them, then you may seriously damage your relationship with that child.

If you have difficulties doing this but suspect that you may be making some mistakes, do some research for information in the areas where you have some concern.

Although sex makes it easy to become parents, it doesn’t make us experts at parenting. But you can discover how to be a better parent, and doing so is definitely worth the effort.

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