It's a topic parents know they will have to tackle sooner or later, but talking to your kids about sex may not be the easiest, or most comfortable conversation for everyone. But it's not just the talk that can be nerve wracking,. There's also an expectation for a positive outcome after the chat has taken place. In fact, there may be some factors influencing this subject that you hadn't considered before. For example, the ways your sex life affects your kids' relationship with sex will manifest in different ways. But as long as you're aware and intentional, you can channel these attitudes into a healthy, ongoing conversation between you and you child.
They way you feel about, perceive, and engage in your sex life will become more apparent as you start to discuss sex with your kids. Although stating the facts about the birds and the bees seems straightforward enough, your underlying attitudes and beliefs about sex can be projected in some less obvious ways. Checking in with yourself on this subject may reveal to you ways your child will relate to sex and sexuality, and gives you the opportunity to make sure those attitudes are in line with what is best for your child.
Your influence on your child's sexual choices can be both obvious and subliminal, and these five ways your sex life affects your kid's relationship with sex uncover just what an impact parents can make.
1It Projects An Attitude
Whether positive or negative, they way you feel about your sex life will project an attitude about sex that your children will pick up on. Modeling healthy relationships and representations of sex gives kids positive views of the topic, instead of images and ideas projected by the media, according to Psychology Today.
2It Helps With Sexual Decision Making
Being comfortable with sex and talking about honestly about the subject can be a huge influencer on your kids engaging in safe sex. In fact, as Planned Parenthood pointed out, "teens who report having good conversations with their parents about sex are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners, and use condoms and other contraceptives when they do have sex."
3It Affects Their Outlook On Sex
If parents haven't reached a comfort level in talking about sex in their adult life, it could spill over in to discussions with kids, especially if there are too many fears involved. Avoiding sex conversations, being too rigid, or making sex a taboo, will affect how your child's outlook on sex, according to Healthy Children. Instead of always saying "don't," Healthy Children suggested telling kids what they can "do" to have a healthy outlook on sex.
4It Makes You A Resource
If you project a sex-positive attitude when discussing the topic with your kids, they are likely to feel more comfortable coming to you when they have questions. As the National Health Services website suggested, if your kids are asking questions about sex, you need to be prepared to answer them. You may not have all the answers, but the important things is that your kids are seeking you out as a resource, and not their peers or other sources that are not as reliable or invested in their wellbeing as you.
5It Normalizes Feelings
Sharing with your child that you once had the same concerns and questions as they do, will help to normalize the way they are feeling about sex and sexuality, according to Mayo Clinic. Being vulnerable in these conversations will also help to build trust between you and your child.