The Birds and the Bees for children is an important part of the parenting process that no parent does not go through. According to the survey, teenagers said that the people most influencing their sexual decisions were none other than their parents.
Your child’s school or child’s friends will still not be able to replace a parent’s education about gender/sex, so you need to actively talk to your child about this issue.
Definition of “The Birds and the Bees”
The phrase “The Birds and the Bees” is a metaphor to explain to children about the reproductive mechanism, based on the image of bees pollinating and eggs hatching to describe sexual intercourse. It is a distraction whenever children ask their parents: “How babies are born?”. “The Birds and the Bees” is also an alternative, ingenious answer to this question.
Although there are some variations, the metaphor is that bees’ pollination equals to male’s sexual activity, and birds’ ovulation equals to female’s fertilization.
12 tips for successful “The Birds and the Bees” talks
No matter how open, knowledgeable, or confident you are when talking about your knowledge of sexuality and reproduction, it can be difficult for you to talk with your children about this sensitive issue! You and your children may feel awkward and uncomfortable talking about sex, but do not let these feelings stop you.
First, parents need to understand that this is a matter of their child’s safety and health – both physical and emotional health. Parents should start talking about gender as soon as possible (when the child is about 5 years old). One of the benefits when parents openly discuss their children’s sex education is that the children will have the necessary knowledge growing up and they will be able to protect themselves from risks like sexual abuse.
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Here are 12 tips for successful “The Birds and the Bees” talks:
- Share sexual issues with your child in a serious, yet light, open tone. It is normal for babies and toddlers to touch their genitals when changing diapers and bathing. Don’t laugh or get angry, try to be normal about it.
- Some 2-6-year-olds are curious about their genitals and “playing doctor” with their friends. This is completely normal. Instead of teasing or scolding your child, gently ask questions and observe their behavior later on.
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3. Make use of leisure times with your child such as watching movies or watching TV and skillfully relate topics to their real-life examples.
4. Parents should let the children read books about puberty and other age-appropriate gender books, either when the children are alone or when they are with their parents.
5. Teach your child the proper names of body parts from a young age so you don’t need to switch from nicknames to proper names in the future. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), naming body parts by nicknames can cause your child to suspect that there is something wrong with a proper name.
6. Using the right gender terms can help your child comfortably talk about medical problems, learn and report sexual abuse without feeling it is taboo.
7. This should be a series of normal and gentle conversations throughout the children’s childhood and adolescence, not one of those sudden “talks” that shocked and embarrassed you and your child.
8. Accept and sympathize with your children and your discomfort regarding this topic. Then, openly discuss and learn the topic together. Children need this knowledge to make the right decisions regarding sex later on.
9. Make sure your children know they are responsible for their bodies and that they have the right to say NO if someone touches them in ways that they feel uncomfortable.
10. As the children grow up, parents should LISTEN to the children’s stories instead of just talking. Do not judge too quickly. Stay calm and communicate with your children as best friends.
11. Relax and take time to plan what you want to say about gender to your child.
12. Practice before talking to your child.
Educating, updating yourself, practicing talking about gender/sex with your child and always remember that it is NEVER too late to initiate these conversations.
When you frankly discuss and talk to teen about sex as well as other sensitive problems, your child will not secretly search for or have sex when they are not old enough or when they are not well-informed, avoiding unfortunate consequences for them and your family.
There has been cases where children today watch porn to learn about gender and sexuality because they think the lessons from school are not practical while their parents are not inclined to talk about these issues.
Once your child’s questions are not answered, he or she will search the Internet on his own, however, 30% of the images/videos posted every day on the Internet today are related to pornography, your children are very likely to be exposed to these types of content even if they do not want to. Porn now creeps into sites that have nothing to do with pornography. You must be careful!
Besides having “the Birds and the Bees” talks with your child, to ensure children’s online environment is safe and healthier, many parents have used best free parental control software – online content filtering tool to hide 15 types of harmful content on the Internet, including:
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- Content about stimulants, addictive substances such as alcohol, beer, marijuana, drugs, etc
- Content with aggressive elements, hurting others like Hate speech
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