Talking about Sex

How much does your child need to know about sex? How much detail do they need? Unfortunately, there is no right answer to this question. Every child is different and will respond different to the information you give them. Some may have no interest in knowing anything about sex until they are older, others will start with the questions at a young age.

Talking About SexThe best way to deal with the issue is to try to identify what information your child needs by looking out for signs that they may already have some information (in which case you will want to make sure it is correct) or are wondering about it; whether they are asking questions, talking to friends about it or have seen television or films that may cause them to wonder. As a rough guide, talking about sex usually coincides with talking about puberty.

Explain what sex is.

Instead of launching into discussions about the repercussions of sex, make sure your child knows what sex is ? what do people do and why? Explain that sex is how pregnancy occurs and give them the information they can cope with regarding how this happens. If they ask about other aspects of sexual practice, such as oral or anal sex, first ask where they have heard about these things, and then explain in as much detail as you feel is necessary. Making these things taboo can make your child more determined to learn about them from another source ? it is best coming from you.

Safety ?

it is important that children have an understanding of what constitutes appropriate sexual conduct whenever they are ready to know about sex itself. This means explaining how pregnancy can be prevented, how to protect against sexually transmitted infections and any aspects of sexual conduct that are important to you culturally. Even more importantly, it is essential you explain to children, whether male or female, that they should never do anything they are not happy with. Explain that they are able to say no to anything they don?t want to do, and reassure them that if anything they are uncomfortable with should happen, they should tell you right away.

Leave the lines of communication open ?

keep the tone of the conversation light, encourage them to ask you any questions they might have and make sure they know that if they have any questions later, you are there to answer them. Remind them not be believe everything they hear from their peers!

Whether your child has a rough idea about sexual matters or they are hearing everything for the first time, the conversations you have about sex now will inform, to an extent, how they feel about sex later on. So it is important you are as open with them as you would like them to be with you. Having an honest conversation about sex teaches your child that it isn?t something to be embarrassed or ashamed of. It is your chance to make sure they know the facts ? so instead of viewing the ?big talk? as an ordeal, try to think of it as an opportunity.