You might feel like you have wise advice to share with the next generation, but is talking about the birds and the bees a topic you should touch upon?
As it is usually the case with everything in life, there is no cookie-cutter answer that fits all situations. Depending on your grandbaby’s age and the relationship you have with them, talking about sex can come naturally or seem absolutely mortifying. That being said, whether you’re just worried you’ll be caught off guard by a curious child’s question or you want to nurture an open, supportive relationship with your teenage grandkids, having “the talk” doesn’t have to be awkward.
Provided that you’re not a custodial parent, in which case talking about sex is your responsibility, it’s essential to consult with your own kids before you have a serious conversation with your grandkids. Knowing that you’re on the same page as the parents will ensure you don’t get the kid confused with contradictory information or their parents angry with you for overstepping.
If your grandkids are still too young to fully understand the reality of sexual intercourse and everything it entails, you can wiggle your way out of the conversation really quickly. Saying things like “I’m not sure,” “Your mom/dad will tell you that” or simple answers like “Babies come from mom’s bellies” will probably get you out of tight spot.
However, if your granddaughter or grandson are old enough to get the hang of the biological process behind sex, you shouldn’t hesitate to be open with them: kids appreciate that. Sometimes, the talk is not about the mechanism of intercourse at all , and it’s advice you’ll be asked for. In these situations, you need to forget everything that might be bothering you (“They grow so fast!” “But she’s my grandkid!”, etc.) and step up. Be their shoulder to lean on and impart some of that wisdom you’ve undoubtedly gained with age. If anybody needs it, it’s teenagers.
Regardless of your grandchildren’s age, the most important thing you can do is make sure they feel comfortable enough to talk to you. Create a judgment-free environment for them, where they can safely discuss what bothers them and have someone to confide in. Sometimes, as a grandparent, you can get a second chance to do it right, as they say, and be the “cool” grandma or grandpa that the kids go to when they need advice and help, even when it comes to love and sex.
Photo credit: SpeedKingz/Shutterstock