When I was 13 years old, my mom sat on the edge of my bed and told me the facts of life. “Sex is a beautiful thing that happens between a man and a woman, according to God’s plan. It should only be done inside of a marriage. Sex outside of marriage is sin.”
I stared at her. It seemed like she was waiting for an answer. “Okay,” I said.
“Remember, if you have any questions at all, you can ask me.”
Then she left. I did my best to forget the incident and the acute embarrassment that went with it.
Some folks had relationships with their parents where they could ask all the questions they needed to ask, and their parents were wise enough to fill in what they never thought of asking. For the rest of us though, we entered adulthood with only the knowledge gained from awkward conversations like I had with my mom, politically-motivated church and school classes, or just the pure, unfiltered internet.
If you’re a parent reading this, you want to equip your sons and daughters for adulthood with the best tools you can provide. You may also feel unqualified for the task.
If you’re a young adult, you probably don’t want to start a conversation about sex with your parents. But they are one of your most valuable sources of information about the world, and the only people who OWE you an explanation – for why you were born, where you were born, the circumstances of your life, and everything that shaped you before you even arrived.
This game is meant to help you have the awkward conversations. Take turns choosing a category, and a question is presented. The question might be something you’re too embarrassed to ask about, something you never thought to ask, something that you hoped your child would never ask, something that you’d both rather not talk about it.
Lean into the awkwardness. Own it, sit with it, and have a conversation. See where it takes you.
Parents, resist the urge to give advice. Tell stories about your actual lived experience. It’s the most valuable thing you can offer.
Teens, resist the urge to roll your eyes. Listen, and ask follow-up questions about the parts that don’t make sense. You deserve an explanation.