I write all the time about talking to kids about sex. But the truth is, for many parents finding ways to broach the subject can feel super awkward and weird. Once you are IN the conversation, it goes swimmingly, but getting there can be tough. Maybe you can’t find the right segue or you get flustered when confronted with a sex-related topic without prep time. If so, it’s maybe time to just watch tv with your kids.
Janet Masden, at You Should Know, just wrote about watching Friends with her kid. She’s realized that watching the situational comedy not only offers her a trip back to the 1990s but provides huge opportunities to talk to her son about so many important things. She wrote:
There’s plenty to discuss about sex and relationships. The first episode in the series’ ten year run talked about sexual identity when Ross’ wife leaves him for a woman. And there’s a lot from there- consent, desire, one night stands, birth control choices and responsibilities, respectful use of porn, people having different sex drives in relationships, homophobia, and supportive friendships.
Janet also rightly points out that watching TV offers great opportunities to talk about fiction versus real life. While I loathe reality TV, watching that with kids is equally important since you can point out how absolutely unreal it is. Watching reality TV, I’ll add, offers a great foot in the door for talking about porn since both imply ‘real world’ but are far from it.
A friend of mine is watching GLEE with her daughter. It’s a great show to consider watching with kids who at 9, 10, 11 or 12. Themes include emerging sexuality, homophobia and gay pride, love, lust, consent, negotiating sex and respect. More generally, this show offer opportunities to talk to pre-teen