Difficult, but it’s necessary
Talking to your child about sex may be difficult, but it’s necessary. Sex discussion is never too early to start. Talking about it can make a big difference in helping them a) understand what’s happening to their bodies and b) make wise sex-related choices when they grow up.
For today’s parents, it may be hard to know where to start. Even harder if your parents didn’t talk to you about sex when you were growing up.
Questions like; “Where do babies come from?” or “How do you make babies?” may pop up innocently at a young age. Those difficult questions will definitely come, and it can be sooner than you think.
Although some questions can be difficult to answer, it helps if, as adults, we are open to their questions about sexuality.
Try answering them (with facts) the best you could. Listening and answering their questions can help them feel more comfortable talking to us about sexuality. It’s better that they talk to us about it than other people, right?
Creating a more positive atmosphere
Talking to your child about sexuality helps make them feel safe. It creates a more positive atmosphere, making them think that they actually have trusted adults at home to share their thoughts with. Parents ought to be the first adults in their lives to lay the groundwork for children to feel okay about their bodies and body functions, and to feel confident to ask questions and also to seek help.
According to Psychology Today, research estimates that 90 per cent of children today first learn about sex through pornography. Other research reveals that a child’s first exposure to porn happens around nine years old. Bear in mind that this isn’t just a boys-only problem. Though pornography use is more prevalent with boys, girls are also viewing it as well.
What can I do
When discussing sex with your child, make sure to include the following topics as well; stages of sexual development, what to expect during puberty, sexual responsibility and relationships. A different child has a different set of questions and concerns about sexuality at different ages. As your child gets older, the things you talk about will change. Always remember to:
- Intervene. Talk early and talk about it often.
- Be ready to answer questions. Listen to their questions. Those questions can tell you a lot about what they already know.
- Keep listening, even if you don’t agree with your child’s opinion.
- Tell your child if you’re embarrassed or uncomfortable. Be honest with how you’re feeling.
- Answer the question in a simple way, with facts.
- Use the technical terms so the child does not become confused in the future.
- How and When to Talk to Your Kids About Sex. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2020, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-stories-we-tell-ourselves/201610/how-and-when-talk-your-kids-about-sex
- Talk to Your Kids about Sex. (n.d.). Retrieved March 09, 2020, from https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/everyday-healthy-living/sexual-health/talk-your-kids-about-sex
- Kneteman, L. (2020, January 21). How to talk to kids about sex: An age-by-age guide. Retrieved March 09, 2020, from https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/age-by-age-guide-to-talking-to-kids-about-sex/