“The Birds and the Bees” – are we talking to our kids enough

A couple of months ago I shared my fears about my daughter entering her tween years here. It’s not the fear of confirmation that I am growing old (ok, maybe just a little bit). Nor is it about the fact that she will be screaming ‘I hate you’ soon. My unrest really lies on not talking to her enough. The consequences thereof.

My sisters and I were raised by an amazing mother who was an inspiration and very motivational. She was the type to nip things in the bud – peer pressure, insecurities, self pity you name it. Her superpowers were innumerable. But even Superman has a weakness, and my mom’s was ‘talking about the birds and bees’. We grew up knowing that you will be kicked out of the house if you fall pregnant. That there was the talk. When I was 15 I had my first boyfriend. After our first kiss (note: no fondling, no caressing) I ran home and brushed my teeth. I was horrified that I may be pregnant. Never in my life have I prayed this much to ‘not be pregnant’. And the worst is that, even when I got my period, I still believed I was pregnant.

I turned out fine, but I wish my mom was more open with me. It would have spared me so much anxiety and the crazy teenage theories. In more way than one, I AM MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER. One thing I swore to change though was exactly this. A clear communication channel between my daughter and I. When and how does one begin though?

It goes without saying that whatever your take is on this issue, it is important that you keep it age-
appropriate. Have a game plan that allows you to think carefully about the key take outs you want your child to remember. Remember it’s not a once off, there’s a good chance that the talk may repeat itself as they grow older and their questions become more detailed.

I want to know, what worries you the most when it comes to your child’s sexual education? What would your top questions be in regards to:
 Talking to your children about sex;
 Questions you are scared to ask your children when it comes to sex;
 The details of their sexual activities; and
 Communicating your concerns around sex, etc.

Send me your thoughts and questions via the comments section below. Durex will have CONNECT-ED Buddy (sexual health counsellor available online and provides anonymity and confidentiality) answer all your questions. CONNECT-ED Buddy is part of Durex’s CONNECT-ED programme, a high school CSI Corporate Social Investment) initiative, run in association with the Gauteng Department of Education, and aims to provide young people of high school age with the knowledge required to enable behaviour change specific to healthy sexual activity.

Your questions, and advice from CONNECT-ED Buddy could be published or talked about in newspapers and radio. So, it doesn’t matter if you think your child is too young or that your questions are quite specific to your situation, I just want to able to get expert answers and advice to all your questions and concerns on this important matter. The aim here is to empower not only you but your children with the relevant information for now and the future.

You have until the 4th of September to send me your thoughts and questions. One lucky person chosen will win a ‘Birds and the bees toolkit’ worth R 1000 and you might just get sexy goodies to rekindle that romance (only for mommies and daddies).  Goodluck

0 Comment

  1. Anonymous says: Reply

    My child is 12 and I still don't know where to start with this. I also grew up in an era where we did not talk about sex. What should a 12 year old know? And what shouldn't they know?

  2. Mirjam says: Reply

    What a great concept Durex has come up with. We had 'the talk' with our son last year. He is old enough 14. Just how much detail do we share with him though? What scares me the most is going into detail about masturbation, It feels like we are encouraging it? Oh, this is very confusing and difficult.

  3. Whew. I've been reading this article over and over and haven't had the courage to ask anything. What is the right way, if there is any, of having this conversation? Should both parents talk to their child or is it better for the same sex to stick together?

  4. Addye says: Reply

    My sister cant talk to her child at all, and has asked me to give him 'the big talk'. I'm very open about sex but find myself worried that if this child choses the wrong path, it might just be my fault. I don't know if this makes any sense but there's a huge responsibility that lies with teaching your child about sex.

  5. My 9yr old started taking about puberty and periods. I only knew about period when I was 15yrs old. Honestly I can't imagine having a straight face and talking about sex with her. Not anytime soon. Should I maybe get a specialist to intervene?

  6. When I tell my mother that it's time to talk to my younger brother (we are 10 yes apart), she says she's too old for that. How do I help her be comfortable with this? it was always awkward with us but I wish she could do better with my brother.

  7. I just want to eliminate the anxiety that comes with sex education early on. My child is still young, but I would like find out things I can to help both of us get comfortable in the long run, to prepare us beforehand?

  8. One would think that being a teacher would make this extremely easy for me, not a single bit. I need to be a parent and not a teacher in this case, and I always find it easy teaching other kids and not my own.

  9. Anonymous says: Reply

    I'm a professional psychologist and find that Mothers are more likely to talk about intimate, emotional and psychological aspects of sex than fathers. Fathers actually avoid it completely. As a society, how can we help our fathers to be more involved and realise that they play just as much a role as mothers do?

    Vidoh Mashiloane

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