Parenting How to talk to your kids about sex: An age-by-age guide Explaining sex to kids can feel like a minefield for parents, but it doesn't have to. Here's our guide for how to talk to your kids about sex. By Cheryl Embrett May 1, Photo: Since there were no bare-bottomed kids playing doctor in her bedroom or questions about where babies come from, I figured the talk could wait awhile—until her high school graduation maybe. Turns out my daughter had been learning quite a bit about the facts of life—mispronunciations and all—from a seven-year-old chum with an older sibling.
You may also like: Teaching should be an ongoing process in which your child learns over time what she needs to know to develop a healthy attitude toward her body and sexuality, says Hickling.
Even infants are curious about their own bodies and will often touch their genitals in the bathtub or during diaper changes, and baby boys have regular erections. Toddlers have no sense of privacy and may masturbate quite openly.
The message you want to give to your child is that masturbation is healthy and normal, but something that should be done in the privacy of her own room. These explorations are more about curiosity than sexual activity, says Johnson. Then distract them with something more interesting—like milk and cookies.
Continue to reinforce the correct names for body parts, and start teaching the difference between good touch and bad touch. Take a deep breath and answer as matter-of-factly as you would if you were talking about astronomy or geography.
If you wait for your child to start asking questions, you may wait forever, warns Hickling. Neonates are also starting to go through the hormonal roller coaster of puberty and have a zillion questions about their changing bodies and emotions.
Every one of their friends will go through it too, but maybe not at the same pace. Talk to your neonate about the physical and emotional risks of becoming sexually active too soon.
Did they use contraception? What they need to know While they may not admit it, teenagers still want support and guidance from their parents. No matter how awkward it may be to talk to them about sexuality, do it anyway, advise the experts.
She also needs to know that nobody has the right to pressure her and that any sexual involvement should be by mutual consent.
You want your child to learn about sex in the context of feelings and relationships, not just disease prevention, says Johnson. A good website to refer your teen to is sexualityandu. Accept the fact that your teen is the one who is going to be making the big decisions as far as his own sexuality is concerned. Kids have a lot of questions about what they see or get told about , she says. For children Changes in You and Me: Mostly for Boys and Mostly for Girls.