Those few words are sufficient to cause your heart to start racing. Sweat starts forming on your forehead. You can feel butterflies in your stomach. There is no escape from the situation, your feet seem like they have just glued themselves to the ground. You try to say something, anything but your mind is blank.
The deafening silence seems to go on forever and you start to wish you could just melt into oblivion.
No, you have not just been robbed in some dark alley! All it takes is for your kid to ask you a seemingly innocuous question like ‘What is sex?’ and you end up facing the dreadful scenario I just illustrated earlier. This is every parent’s worst nightmare.
A parent’s worst nightmare: Talking about sex
Okay, maybe I am being a tad over-dramatic. Having your child ask you such questions may not be on the list of every parent’s worst nightmare. But it is definitely a situation which many parents would rather they never have to deal with or talk about. Parenting is hard enough already. Why do children have to be so annoyingly inquisitive and make it that much harder?
I remembered when I was younger, my parents used to say “We will tell you when you are older” whenever I would ask them questions which would make them uncomfortable. That answer used to really frustrate me because I would insist that I would be able to handle the truth. Now that I am older, I can completely empathise with my parents.
The media is certainly not helping . Squeaky clean Singapore has suddenly been bombarded recently with one sex scandal after another. There was the whole Jack Neo affair, Michael Palmer scandal, the Malaysian sex bloggers, Alvin and Vivian and not to mention numerous teachers who obviously needed a few moral lessons themselves.
Just this week, there was the case of the teacher who took the virginity of his 13-year old student. Then, there was of course the case of the sex-for-contracts trial which has been attracting the attention of pretty much every news agency in Singapore. In fact, it seems almost like sex scandals are taking turns to hog the limelight each week!
Thanks to the media, I am sure terms like ‘oral sex’ or ‘prostitution’ would have found their way into many children’s innocent ears. As you are reading this story, there are probably many parents out there being confronted with deadly questions like ‘Daddy, what is a prostitute?’
Five solutions to your nightmare!
(Disclaimer: Please do not take the solutions seriously)
With so much news involving sex scandals hitting us each week to make this nightmare even worse, how do we stop children from asking their parents awkward questions like ‘What is oral sex?’
Here are five plausible solutions:
1. Throw out your televisions, radios, phones or anything that might break not so family-friendly news to your children!
Okay, on second thought, maybe that is a very big over-reaction since no one would be able to survive without all these technological necessities.
2. The next time your child asks you such questions, shout ‘Look, Justin Bieber is behind you’! A good distraction might just successfully divert your child’s attention.
However, this plan could possibly backfire should your little girl start crying hysterically when she realises the Canadian pop icon is not behind her.
3. There is a saying in the Army which is called ‘Act blur, live longer’ and this saying has become the motto of many men who just want to get through their two years of National Service in one piece. This Army saying can be applied in this context. Just say ‘I don’t know’ whenever you don’t feel like answering your children’s question.
You might risk appearing rather stupid in your child’s eyes though so do take note of that!
4. You can also try bribing them. Tell them that if they agree not to ask you such questions again, you will buy them a new Barbie doll, or a new iPod, or whatever it is that kids play with these days. Basically just whatever that will make your kid scream with so much delight they will forget all about the deadly questions.
You might end up burning a big hole in your wallet so be warned!
5. Finally if all the earlier solutions don’t appeal to you, turn the tables on them. Ask them questions which will make them sweat. Like ‘Have you done your homework?’ or ‘Why is your room still so untidy?’
This solution might not work if your child has really finished all of his homework and cleaned his room already.
Yes, it does seem to appear as if there is no solution to this problem–probably because the above solutions were all given just to give you a good laugh!
But in all seriousness, there is no right or wrong method to tackle this common scenario. What we would suggest is to tell your kids the truth. But perhaps phrase it in such a way that would not leave them or you traumatised.
There comes a time in every parent’s life when they might have to deliver the dreaded ‘sex talk’ so you will have to deal with it sooner or later. It is better they receive the right information from their parents then get misleading information from other sources.
Just remember, millions of parents have managed to get through it. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same. In short, it may not be every parent’s nightmare after all! Good luck.
Also read: Are you bribing your kid?