Tips on Discussing the Birds
  • | October 5, 2016
Few things are more awkward than sitting your teenage son down to give him the dreaded “talk.” These days it might seem like movies and the internet can do that job for you but having “the talk” is a time honored tradition that hasn’t lost its luster and is still an important part of parenting.

Because movies and the internet are so flush with explicit information is precisely the reason why discussing the birds and bees with your son is even more important now than ever before. Simply put: there’s too much information out there and they need help sorting through it all. Here are some tips on discussing the birds and the bees.

Note: For the purpose of this article it is assumed your son is a teenager. As a father you may decide it’s appropriate to have the discussion a little earlier. The same rules apply.

  1. Your son is not your buddy. The internet and other entertainment has given him enough jokes to last a lifetime. What he needs from his father is information. Remember, your son probably thinks he knows a lot more than he actually does. Encourage him to ask questions even if you’re only confirming what he’s already heard is true.

  2. Now is the time to establish proper behavior. Guys, we still live in a male dominant society where women are often thought to be second-class citizens. It’s true. Don’t feed into that. Now is the time to tell your son in no uncertain terms how he should treat women. With luck, you’ve been setting a good example for him with his mother and he’s learned a little already. Clearly tell him what is and is not acceptable behavior. Remember: real men treat women well.

  3. Remind him it’s not all about sex. Sure, that’s the subject of this awkward conversation you’re having in the canoe on your fishing trip, but teenage boys today are every bit as obsessed with sex as you were when you were his age. Don’t teach him that sex is the ultimate goal that is to be achieved at any cost. Frame the conversation around maturity and responsibility and becoming an adult. Sure, throw love and happiness in there too.

  4. For God’s sake don’t trade war stories. If the kid is old enough to know what sex is he’s old enough to assume you’ve had it. He wouldn’t be old enough to assume anything if you haven’t. This is a time to establish boundaries. You’re still his father and he doesn’t need to hear about your past conquests especially since some of those stories likely feature his mother in a supporting role.

  5. Discuss safe sex. It’s not all about what goes where and how babies are made. According to the Department of Adolescent Health (yeah, we didn’t know that was a thing either), adolescents ages 15-24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STDs every year. This, and pregnancy need to be addressed and discussed maturely. It may be the more awkward part of the conversation but it’s also the most important.

Having the talk can be nerve wracking and awkward but it’s an important discussion to have. Keep the lines of communication open and let your son know he can come to you with any questions or concerns he might have about sexuality. The puberty years are a confusing times for boys and discussing the brids and the bees isn’t something they look forward to but it’s an important part of parenting and a discussion worth having to make sure your son is being smart and safe.