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That’s okay; ask questions like, “How do you know when someone wants to kiss you? ” and, if necessary, gently challenge their assumptions.
Most of us grew up in a time before webcams and certainly before cell phone cameras, so the whole idea of kids sexting or sending sexy photos to one another is foreign to us.
Say something like, “I think it’s so cool how that guy just asked the girl he liked if she wanted to kiss him.” Discuss and deconstruct dangerous and problematic romantic and sexual interactions, and explain how your own values fit in.
Old James Bond movies are ripe with opportunities to talk about objectification and violation of consent.
Our kids need conversations about their bodies, sex, and sexuality to be a part of normal life, even when they’re as young as 2 years old. They may remember the basics of what you said after one conversation, but that doesn’t mean they’ve fully processed the bigger picture of your message or figured out how they fit into it.
Imagine your child learning a tough new math concept in school, and then never discussing the concept again. So why do we think they can grasp the complicated biological and emotional aspects of sex after just one chat?
If you notice your kids staring quizzically at a sexy billboard, ask them what they’re thinking and if they have questions.
Talk about how every person has the choice of whether to show a lot of their bodies or to cover up, and remind older kids that how a person chooses to dress shouldn’t affect how much we respect them.
Goldenberg thinks this is a mistake: “For all of the images a person believes to be negative, they have the opportunity to counter with two or three messages they believe to be positive.
If you’ve already told them a fib about the birds and the bees, take the time to apologize, tell them the truth, and let them know you’re open to honest conversations whenever they want.
Whatever your values are, it’s important to seize opportunities to talk about sex and offer your perspective as often as possible.
If all else fails, or if you’re starting late, you can always practice these talks with your partner or a friend.
Judith Steinhart, a New York-based Sexologist and Sexual Health Educator, explains that teaching consent should start young with kids.
Once you’ve sent your child the message that you’re untrustworthy or too uncomfortable to be a source of information about sex, they’re less likely to choose you as their primary source of information in the future.