So how do you turn ‘pets playing together’ into an opportunity to teach your child something important.
Teachable moments should be your Number 1 strategy for sex education!
Learn more about what a teachable moment is.
Watch the video below.
[00:00:00] How can we turn our pets into a teachable moment? Let’s find out.[Music].
[00:00:14] Hi, I’m Cath Hakanson from Sex Ed Rescue. Sex Ed Rescue is all about helping you, a parent, getting more comfortable with talking to your kids about sex. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a teachable moment. You don’t even have to plan for it!
So, behind me I have a dog and a cat. They’re both very cute, but the dog has the most annoying bark. Her name is Lucy Loose Bladder. We called her Lucy Loose Bladder because she’s like a toddler playing, she plays with her ball and then she suddenly realizes that she has to go to the toilet. Then we find a trail of urine down the steps to the back doors.
[00:01:00] Since we have our pets, we have so many opportunities for teachable moments because the dog loves to be dominant. During one of the teachable moment videos that I did very early on, I was recording, and the dog started humping the cat in the background. I found it pretty funny, but I did stop the video and delete it because I didn’t think it was very good to have a sex education video with two animals humping behind me. LOL
Now, most adults would look at that and go, ‘Haha the dog’s trying to have sex with the cat.’ Well that’s not what’s happening, as the dog is trying to dominate the cat. That creates lots of possible conversations with my kids. We often joke around about how Lucy thinks that our cat’s a special friend. Even though Lucy’s a girl, we talk about the fact that humping could be a signal for sex since that’s what dogs do when they make babies, but it’s also about dominance for her. If both Lucy and the cat are girls, does that mean that it’s a same-sex relationship? We can talk about if it’s okay for that to happen. So, it can create a great conversation about same-sex relationships.
[00:02:24] We can also have a conversation about consent. When the dog humps the cat, there is absolutely no consent. The cat just lies there because, firstly he’s a Ragdoll, and secondly, he puts up with a lot from Lucy. We can also have a great conversation about how we can pick up the dog and do almost anything to her and if you’re lucky, she might stop you. But, other than that, Lucy’s an easy going dog. Because of this, my son and I have lots of conversations about how he tries to force the dog to do stuff and how she barks and eventually bites him.
So, we also have conversations about consequences. Luckily, the dog usually has a ball in her mouth so she can’t bite anyone. My son has ended up with a few bite marks from annoying her, but none of them has needed stitching… yet.
[00:03:20] If you also have more than one goldfish, you can turn them into a conversation. For example, I had my cousin over for dinner the other night and she was talking about how she had one goldfish who was a female and the male goldfishes in the tank were constantly harassing her. She ended up exhausted, but they didn’t want to put her in another tank, so they took her back to the pet shop.
[00:03:47] Also, have you seen pigeons when they do a special dance during mating season? If you look at fences, you’ll often see two pigeons, one female and one male. The male will puff up and do a mating dance to impress the other. Pets are just a great opportunity to start having conversations about where babies come from as well.
[00:04:30] If you’ve got a puppy or a friend has a pregnant dog, you might talk about how puppies are made and where babies come from. So, you can have that conversation with any of your pets. Okay on that note, I must go.
Okay, have a good one. Cheers.
I'm Cath, a sex educator living in Australia with my husband and 2 kids. I help parents to talk about sex (with less cringe and more confidence) and to empower their child to make smart sexual decisions. You can join my online parent support group here and visit my shop for helpful resources.