the start of “the talk”

a great book to launch discussions about sexuality with kidsRecently, I got the chance to hear Deborah Roffman, a very wise and funny sexuality educator speak about the role parents play in educating children about sex. I headed to the talk feeling pretty dang good about myself and the fact that I’d had “The Talk” with all of my kids by the time they were in 1st grade.

Right out of the box, Deborah put me in my place. “And to those of you who think you can just have The Talk,” she said, “you don’t just have The Talk and feel recused of providing further information! Instead it’s a lifelong conversation we must begin when our kids are little.”

Sitting in a room with other parents and listening to Deborah was engaging and inspiring. Her talk helped me reflect on ways in which my own upbringing, generation, and family culture took on the topics of sexuality, and what hurdles I had to get over to improve and enhance this communication. I began to understand ways in which I could be doing better by my kids, who I want to grow up with a strong sense of themselves and a clear understanding of sexuality in the context of relationships, media, and, of course, procreation.

We all bring complicated emotions and baggage to the topic of sex, and for me, having a way to introduce the topic of sex and “where babies come from” was very helpful. Uncomfortable shooting from the hip on this topic, I found a fantastic conversation starter and anchor in “It’s Not the Stork,” by Robie Harris. For me, it was a perfect beginning of The Talk with my kids…which I now know is only the beginning of talking with my kids. –n

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