Be an Askable Parent
At iwannaknow, we aim to give parents the tools they need to teach their children about sexual health. Sexual health is not just about sex--it includes the roles, behaviors and values people associate with being a man or a woman. Educating a child about sexual health is an important part of his or her healthy development. Their early understanding of sex, love, intimacy and their own sexuality can help mold their values, behavior, and even their self-image, for a lifetime.
Does your child feel it's ok to talk with you about sex and sexual health? If not, have you thought about who will answer your child's questions? Only you can tell your child that it's okay to ask you questions. You want to become askable! After all, you are your child's first and most important teacher. Loving and caring parents actively discover a child's needs for information and then find ways to fill those needs. Even adolescents in their mid-teens are still learning from you.
Here are some traits of an askable parent. Which phrases describe you? An askable parent:
- Shows respect, value and love for children.
- Realizes that every difficult situation is not a crisis.
- Wants communication, but doesn't expect to have all the answers.
- Knows the most important part of communication is listening.
- Doesn't laugh when a child asks a question, even in reaction to the child's cuteness.
- Doesn't expect to be perfect, and knows that admitting mistakes is a valuable lesson for the child.
- Is sometimes embarrassed by questions about sex but acknowledges the discomfort and explains it to the child.
Children are more likely to talk to an approachable parent. If you think the traits above describe you, then you are very askable.
Learn more about sexual health and you
The American Sexual Health Association website offers you information about your sexual health, healthy relationships, STIs, communicating with your partner and your healthcare provider, and more.