Are you a single parent? Do you have a daughter? If so you understand how difficult it can be to relate to your daughter during her adolescence. Some subjects can be very embarrassing and sensitive. As a father it can be tough to talk about those uncomfortable subjects such as “the birds and the bees,” but it can sometimes be just as difficult for a mother. When speaking to your teenage daughter on the topic of sexual intimacy and other heavy subjects, there is a certain way to approach it so that the conversation is effective and less traumatic for both parties.
Here are five helpful tips to steer you in the right direction as you sit down with your daughter to have “the talk”:
- Be sure that you speak in clear, plain English – It is important that your teenager understands what you are saying and sometimes it is better not to beat around the bush. Try not to use euphemisms such as “birds” and “bees” or “flowers.” When making a correlation about sex it is usually best not to mention animals, flowers or anything like that because it could make it even more embarrassing for your daughter. Use clinical terms like a doctor would rather than starting out with “When a mommy goat and a daddy goat love each other…”
- Start with the facts- When you are having “the talk” stick to the facts like a doctor wearing a lab coat would do. When you include feelings and emotions in the mix, then it is too much for them to take in. Start with just the facts and explain the feelings and emotions down the road in a separate conversation.
- Break it up into baby steps- Rather than dropping the entire bomb on them at once, you could break it up into stages over the years. It will be easier for them to grasp if you take baby steps and get more and more detailed over time. By starting “the talk” at age 10, they can have a full understanding of it by 14 or 15.
- Don’t have the discussion out of fear- It is important that you convey your trust for her. Rather than sitting down to have the talk because you are afraid of what she might do, you can show her that you trust her and you know she will make good decisions. Trust comes over time and if you have instilled good values into her life, then she will have those to fall back on.
- Keep it casual- If you make the talk too formal she may not take it seriously and it can get very embarrassing. Rather than sitting down to have the talk you could go on a walk or talk while you play a game.