Talk To Your Kids About Sex

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex, with Dr Glenn Miya – RFL041

How to Talk To Your Kids About Sex – Episode Overview

The Internet and technology has brought many of the more adult issues right to our kids – even though they aren’t adults. They don’t have the ability, in many cases, how to understand, process or deal with some of the information they connect with – sex, drugs, relationships, social media. As I regularly state, a critical role of our job as parents is to walk with and translate for our kids, the information they get from our world. We can’t protect them constantly, but we can guide them to be prepared and wise when they do encounter things that are challenging or have the potential to disrupt their life and health or adversely influence their choices.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on getting our kids ready for life. My intention is to encourage meaningful conversations with our kids about sex and other things they will encounter in life – before they encounter them – the things that can be confusing, dangerous and difficult for them to understand without our guidance, support and coaching.

Meet our guest Dr. Glenn Miya

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex With Glenn MiyaDr. Glenn Miya, is a parent and board certified physician as well as a radio host, producer, writer, and speaker on current topics in the world of medicine and wellness. His philosophy to staying well is simple.

“Start with the three fundamentals of health:  proper diet, proper exercise, and proper rest. Years of gymnastics and martial arts taught me that.”

He has been featured by PBS, NPR, CBS radio, and many other new shows and publications.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Sex is everywhere – on television, movies, phones, the Internet. Most parents don’t talk about it in a way that relates to their values – so that when their kids encounter it, they know how to place it in a meaningful and healthy way in life.We can help our kids by walking with them and helping them understand and interpret the information they get from their world – to place it wisely – particularly about sex.
  2. Our kids need to understand the mechanics of sex (how bodies work) before they can begin to understand it emotionally. Talk to your kids early (toddlers) about bodies. It helps them see them as natural and normal – before they start to see them sensationalized.
  3. Our discomfort with talking to our kids about sex will direct them to learn about it from the internet, friends and the outside world. This doesn’t ensure that our kids develop a healthy understanding of it for their lives.
  4. We are connection beings. We are modeling and teaching our values about sex and sexuality with our kids from their first moments. Everything about having and raising kids is about connection.
  5. Look for the teachable moments to bring up or deal with issues about sex, health and other meaningful topics. Many times an event, site, word, television show, etc will get your child asking or wondering. This is a teachable moment – tune in to it – don’t miss it.
  6. Most kids overestimate what they know about sex; most parents underestimate what their kids know about sex.
  7. Talking about the mechanics of sex (early education for our kids) is part 1. The more important part is talking about the flood of emotions (feelings) that go along with sex. A solid foundation helps parents talk and deal with the emotions and feelings that come with our maturing kids around dating, sex and relationships.
  8. When we tune in and really pay attention to our kids (and ask them a lot of questions), we discover what they know and think about big issues like sex. We can then assess where they are with things and determine how we can best support and respond – particularly as they get older.
  9. Kids today are more connected with each other because of their constant social media connections. This encourages greater emotional relationships, sooner. Parents need to be aware that many relationships that we see our kids in as virtual (and not emotional), they see as real (and very emotional). This affects how they react.
  10. Sex is part of life. It is important for us to help our kids appreciate, value and trust their feelings and to understand and respect their bodies – and the bodies of others.
  11. Examine your own values and attitudes about sex. This is where most of the embarrassment about sex comes from. Rethink it and assess what needs to change to help you help your kids be wiser about themselves and the way they connect to sex in their lives.

Questions for parents

  1. How are you regularly talking about sex and tough issues with your kids?
  2. What concern or fear do you have in talking to your kids about sex?
  3. How could you involve your pediatrician or physician in preparing to have these meaningful conversations?
  4. What changes do you need to make in your own understanding of sex and being a sexual/connection being that will improve your life?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice how you talk to your kids about sex. What are your fears and how will you overcome them?
  2.    Stop and Notice what your kids currently know and think about sex? How can you have a discussion to find this out to determine how to help them develop a healthy and wise understanding of it in their lives?
  3.    Stop and Notice whether you take advantage of the teachable moments to help your kids understand sexuality, sexual behavior and their sexuality. How will you be more tuned in and watching for the times to help them learn from teachable moments?
  4.    Stop and Notice how you are helping your kids stay sane and grounded in a world that has a lot of distractions around sex. How can you help your kids understand this in their world and not be a victim to it?

Sex – it’s everywhere. Our kids see it all the time. Many times we have no idea what they know about it – and whether what they know is healthy, accurate and will help them be ready for life. As parents, we need to own these big conversations even if they make us uncomfortable. Our kids need us to help them develop their understanding of all of what their life shares with them. This way they will be wise and informed in the decisions they make at any point in their lives.

Suggested Resource:

A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex  – by Dr Kevin Leman and Kathy Flores Bell

A resource to talk to your kids about sexParents Often Imagine Their Kids to be Nonsexual Until Their Wedding Night The truth of the matter is that we’re sexual from day one. What are you going to communicate to your kids about this, knowing that they are sexual creatures today? Your kids need you to talk with them about sex. No one else will do. They’ve been discovering their sexuality since the day they were born, but they need you to help them deal with the changes and challenges of puberty. Those conversations that are so vital for your children’s health and happiness don’t have to be difficult if you’re prepared. A Chicken’s Guide to Talking Turkey with Your Kids about Sex helps you build a strong, trust-filled relationship with your son or daughter to prepare you for the intimate talks you need to have when “the changes” hit. And because every child grows in a unique way, this book tells you what to teach but lets you determine when. Inside this book are the tools you need to help your kids not only understand their growing bodies, but also cope with the temptations and social pressures that go with them. Practical, expert, and down-to-earth, A Chicken’s Guide is a powerful resource not only for moms and dads, but also for pastors, counselors, and anyone with a heart for kids.