This is a question every mom dreads.
Single Mom Seeking and Dr. Leah: "Are you having sex, Mom?" It's a question that could stop any mom dead in her tracks.
A single mom recently asked for our advice about a parenting dilemma: What do you say when your kids ask if you're having sex?
We understand -- so we've come up with some tips to help you the next time your child poses a sticky question about your private life.
• First, don't panic. This is not the time to be candid and reveal all. Take a breath and resist the urge to babble inappropriately about your private life.
• Find out what the real question is. The media exposes our kids to words and images they simply don't understand. Unless you're extremely open about your private life (a topic for another day), it's likely that your kid is simply curious about what the word "sex" means.
• Now is not the time. We all strive to respond to our kids' needs right away. But, sometimes, kids need to wait. Avoid having this conversation if bemused adults and other kid listeners are in earshot.
Try saying, "I hear your question. Let's talk about it later at home when we have more time." Using the word "private" or any other word that connotes secrecy will only encourage kids to repeat the question more loudly or at another equally inopportune moment.
• Gauge their level of understanding. Obviously, older kids will have a fairly clear idea of what "sex" means. Little kids' understanding will be vague, at best. Find out exactly what "sex" means to your kid.
• Keep it appropriate. Your explanation about "sex" will depend upon the age of your kid, and your comfort level. This is also an opportunity to talk about your own values and beliefs. Whether you talk about safe sex practices or the importance of abstinence until marriage, these personal parenting choices are yours.
Do you have any advice on how to handle sticky kid questions? What's the most embarrassing question your kid has ever asked you?
|Rachel Sarah, a.k.a. "Single Mom Seeking" blogs at SingleMomSeeking.com and co-founded SingleMommyHood.com, the first-ever website to offer "a whole new way to think about life."|