Having the sex talk with your kids isn’t ever easy, but it can be even more uncomfortable when it’s coming from a dad to a teenage daughter. It can be tempting to keep putting it off to dodge an uncomfortable chat, while reasoning that your daughter is still too young. You may even try to foist the job on mom.
However, being a good father means you have a role to play in guiding and nurturing your daughter into adulthood and sometimes that involves having painfully awkward conversations about sex. With all the myths about sex going around, your daughter needs your guidance. She needs to hear from her father to get a male perspective on the issue.
Here are some tips to ensure your daughter gets the education she needs, feels loved and supported and the conversation is as comfortable as possible.
Get Over Your Feelings of Awkwardness
This conversation is bound to be uncomfortable and maybe a little embarrassing for both of you. Nonetheless, you can use humor to lighten things and cracking a few corny dad jokes might put your daughter at ease. If you’re comfortable with the topic, your daughter is bound to relax and open up.
Keep The Conversations Casual
Try not to make this a formal sit-down type of talk as that will only heighten the awkwardness.
Keep things light and casual instead. If you’re finding it difficult to bring up the topic, try picking a time when you’re both relaxed, e.g., when driving home from school or after watching a movie. Asking open-ended questions and listening to her will make the conversation more engaging.
Make Sex Ed An Ongoing Conversation
You can’t hope to cover every aspect of sex and sexuality in one conversation, so why not make it an ongoing discussion? This takes some of the pressure off the first time you approach the sex topic. It also allows you to build up more on the subject with subsequent conversations to cover things like porn, STIs, sexual identity, etc.
Also, it may take more than one conversation, especially if your daughter isn’t ready to ask questions. Stay receptive, so she comes to you for real answers, rather than her less-informed peers.
Reaffirm That Her Identity Doesn’t Come From Sex
Your daughter, like most women, is bombarded by messages of female objectification and sexualization that can have her questioning her self-worth. As a father, you can help her see that she’s not defined by her sexuality. Complimenting her on her achievements and abilities instead of just her looks is a good place to start.
Bring Up The Importance Of Consent
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, it would be remiss not to teach your daughter the importance of consent and the need for others to respect her body and her right to say no.
Emphasize that respect goes both ways, and she should respect others’ boundaries too.
Having a conversation about sex with your teen daughter might be awkward, uncomfortable and even embarrassing but in the end, you’ll be glad you did it.
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