You’ve met Peggy Curry before, she’s been on the blog to talk about her strange life hacks & I always rave about her bone broth recipe. Today we’re going way deeper though.
We’re going to discuss how to talk to your kids about sex & open that line of communication. Starting the conversation can be tough but it’s important. Since I’ve had a daughter, this is something that I’m really interested in & I’m sure this post will come in handy. It’s actually something I wanted discussed on the blog for a while & will bring any parent value. So get ready to take some notes.
Peggy is a mother of 4 beautiful girls & is the co-creator of Curry Girls Kitchen with her daughter Megan, where they share the most amazing recipes.
They’ve also just launched a new podcast called Make Life Delicious so be sure to check it out. They have tons of amazing guests & talk about LIFE. Think astrology, fear, death, sex, health – you name it, they talk about it.
With that, let’s welcome Peggy back to the blog.
How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex
Sex. We have it. It’s not really talked about openly. It’s a closed-door situation. Some enjoy it, while others do not. Many have been traumatized &/ or shamed by inappropriate sexual activity & encounters.
As parents, it’s our job to talk about sex with our kids & help keep them safe. We help our kids create healthy relationships & develop positive self-esteem. We help them learn what’s right & wrong. Every parent has their own feelings & opinions. Our opinions can either help or shut down the communication with our teenagers.
I, Peggy, built trust by not sharing too many opinions, rather listening & welcoming conversations at my kitchen table. Nothing was taboo. I wanted all topics of conversations to be openly communicated, even the most uncomfortable & wiggly ones. SEX would be considered wiggly.
Most adults are not comfortable talking about sex in general, especially with their kids! Getting comfortable talking about sex with our kids at all ages will take time, courage, vulnerability & bravery. It will also take a sense of humor! Laughter helps, a lot!
So how do we teach our kids about sex, let alone that it’s a beautiful part of life & relationships?
The conversation begins when they are young. It’s building that foundation that we create room for all conversations as they grow.
Teaching abstinence doesn’t build your relationship with older kids. Talk with them & listen. This continues to build a strong, trusting relationship between you & your child. School does not teach about the act of sex, pleasure, nor the feelings or emotions that come with it. School teaches about biology, precautions, safety, STDs, & abstinence. Your kids will appreciate you for having real conversations with them as they age & build trust – so they come to you…
I was a Special Education teacher for 10 years & raised 4 healthy, active daughters between the ages of 28-33. I loved teaching sex education to my middle school special needs students before having children of my own. Here are my tips for open honest Sex Talk.
TIPS FOR OPEN & HONEST SEX TALK WITH YOUR KIDS:
♡ First Step: A personal Self Check:
How do you feel about sex? Getting in touch with your own feelings & beliefs helps with HOW you are able to talk openly & honestly about sex with your kids.
♡ Toddlers: Age appropriate Sex Talk (Ages 2-5)
Toddlers are all about curiosity & self-discovery especially with their body parts.
Share some fun picture books about body parts especially during bath time.
KEEP IT SIMPLE.
When your kids start to get curious, be curious with them. Sit down, listen to their questions, & answer them at their level of understanding.
Vagina & Penis. They touch it. It brings them pleasure. Read the book Where Did I Come From by Peter Mayle. ( What’s growing inside of mom’s belly it’s about babies not the act of sex. )
Allow them the freedom to explore.
Set boundaries about where & when touching themselves is ok. Teach them what is not ok, especially when others touch them in their private parts.
Building healthy relationships with our body is important as we grow. The goal as parents is to help build your child’s self-esteem, confidence & self-love.
♡ Elementary: (ages 5-12)- Middle School (12-13)
Hormones start to kick in & children begin to show sexual curiosity.
Earning our kids trust.
This begins at a young age. Laying a solid, loving, trusting foundation is paramount. Your words, actions & reactions are everything. Being a good listener, open, honest & non-judgmental builds trust. Coming clean when we make mistakes also builds trust & allows kids to learn that mistakes are learning opportunities. WE need to earn our kids’ trust. They will come to you with questions IF THEY KNOW IT’S SAFE, not judged & OK to share their truths.
Words & reactions matter.
TAKE time to talk, but mostly LISTEN to your kids. Communication is a huge part of building relationships. We are all sexual human beings. There is so much shaming in our culture & society around sex. We need to help our kids understand their sexuality, reiterate about pleasure, & talk about when & where it’s appropriate.
By communicating lovingly, & not shaming kids, it changes the course for how they will come & talk with you. The words & language we use with our kids either builds them up or tears them down. All words matter. Words shape kids. All words have a lasting effects on a kid’s psyche.
HORMONES kick in.
When your child begins to have physical changes, be compassionate. They begin to have sexual feelings too. So be understanding. They will start to play with themselves &/or a friend, even masturbate.
They are learning about pleasure. Their bodies change & they transform into young adults. Talk with them & tell them this is normal. Sometimes a good laugh & not taking it so seriously helps. A good, straight forward book is What’s Happening to Me? by Peter Mayle
♡ High School.
It’s their way of preparing for when they leave the nest. This can be hard on parents & your relationship. It’s normal & natural.
By understanding the process, you are better equipped to be compassionate & loving while living through their process. A great piece of advice we were given was to be the “dock” for our girls. Let them make their mistakes when they are still under our roof. This helps them to learn in a safe way.
Have a “Sick of it Day” & spend some special time together. It’s challenging for kids at this age to make time to be with you. It’s a way to give them 1-1 time & for you to show them you are there.
Allow them the space to open up & talk. By creating a fun outing, be it dinner or a shopping spree ( even during covid, online shopping works ), taking a hike together, a bike ride, or just sitting in a park, on the beach or in a room with cookies & milk shows your child you care & that you are there just to listen. Ask them if they want your advice.
Self-esteem & confidence.
These are CORE values learned right now. How a child feels about themselves & their body image helps them make good choices.
To Sex or not to Sex?
TALK with your kids. Talk about their emotions, their feelings, the responsibility of having sex at any age & all the important ‘what ifs.’ Telling them not to do something may only push them into a situation & leave them feeling that they are not being heard.
Instead, have conversations about sex. Listen to them. Having them share their pros & cons helps them to make their decision. Hopefully you’ve created a solid foundation over time before they get to this stage.
It can take just 1 small step, action or word to shift how a child learns & grows their trust in you. This age can be very tricky. But, if trust is there, they will come to you for help. The key here is that you’ve created a safe place for them to communicate their truths. They need you a lot at this stage of their life.
Kids might have sex at a young age so help them be responsible. If sex is eminent ( they have a girlfriend or boyfriend ), take your child to their doctor or a planned parenthood, where they can talk about their thoughts, feelings & ask questions freely with or without you. Giving them options to talk & helping them find the right protection for them will show you care & build more trust.
This is also a good time to talk about STDs, birth control, along with beliefs & morals.
IF they are curious about masturbation, talk about it. If you are not comfortable talking about it with them, find a good somatic therapist or sexological body worker to work with your child. They are amazing lightworkers that help us at any age of our lives to find appropriate self-pleasure that not only helps young adults, but also adults & elders. What is taught is f*cking amazing!
Our personal favorite teacher & healer is Dolly Josette, founder of The Pleasure Muse. Dolly is a Somatic Sex Educator, Sexological Body worker, & Intimacy & Relationship Coach. It’s life changing! You can check out Dolly on the Make Life Delicious podcast.
Be sure to check out Megan & Peggy’s podcast Make Life Delicious, & specifically this episode that dives deeper into talking to your kids about sex.
Everyone is doing it so why not talk about it?
On another note, the Curry girls have launched a winter reset program that starts TOMORROW! It’s 21 days & geared towards people who want to get rid of inflammation, have chronic pain or have breakouts & other skin conditions.
You’ll get an eBook with recipes, meal plans, plus tons of videos to help you cook & grocery shop. Peggy & Megan are giving all TSC readers 15% off with the code TSC15. So if you need a little healthy reset after the holidays, this is for you.
+ if you want more from Curry Girls Kitchen, check out their 10 strange health hacks.
++ scope motherhood tips: how to keep it together.