10 Tips to Become a Sex-Positive Parent
There's no such thing as a sure thing when we're parenting, but these 10 strategies will help you think differently, show up differently, and have more confidence.
1. Practice Makes Comfortable
There are no perfect conversations, but talking about bodies, values, sex, emotions, and relationships becomes easier every time you practice. You won’t get it right every time – every conversation is practice for the next one.
2. Embrace Tiny Moments
The internet isn’t waiting for you to find the perfect moment to have The Talk. The goal should be to have one million one-minute conversations, not one awkward talk. You can start right now.
3. Identify Your Family Values
What are your family’s five fundamental values? Write them down, refer to them often, and talk about them with your kids and your partner. Your values can become the framework for your
conversations about sex.
4. Be Glad They Asked
Kids are naturally curious, and they’re also careful observers. If their questions make you tense they’ll learn to stop asking, but they won’t stop being curious. Treat every question – about their body, your tampon, or a dance on TV – as a gift. You want them to keep asking!
5. Surrender to the Sexual Lexicon
You know the words your parents avoided: vulva, vagina, penis, scrotum. Practice these words out loud until you can say them calmly. Make eye contact with that mirror until you stop blushing. Then you’ll be able to teach your children there is no shame in using to correct language for their amazing bodies.
6. Be Body Positive
Your child’s first step probably felt like a miracle. Can you learn to view other changes the same way? Puberty, sex, pleasure, menstruation – when we remember how amazing the human body is we can see change for the miracle it is.
7. Never Stop Growing
Maybe you didn’t handle a question very well, or maybe your child just doesn’t seem to get it. When that happens, remember the simple word, “yet.” Instead of “I’ll never be able to talk about sex without getting flustered,” try, “I’m not an expert yet, but at least I didn’t cry this time!” “Yet” is the only permission you need to keep teaching and keep learning.
8. Keep Planting Seeds
If we judge our garden by the number of plants we see the day after planting, we’ll decide we’re lousy gardeners. Just keep planting seeds and watering the conversations. The harvest always
9. Think Bigger Than Sex
Sexual health includes boundaries, consent, emotions, anatomy, hygiene, healthy friendships, love, reproduction, sexual behavior and more. Start with a topic that isn’t tricky for you.
10. See Opportunities, Not Problems
Remember when your parents were upset by cleavage on TV? Today’s world will bring you endless teachable moments. View them as opportunities, not threats, and your child will see your values in action instead of learning to react emotionally.