I recently saw an article that appeared on a very helpful website called Young Women’s Health. This website is offered by Boston Children’s Hospital and their mission is “to help teen girls, their parents, educators, and health care providers improve their understanding of normal health and development, as well as specific diseases and conditions.” They strive to use “carefully researched health information” and I like to see that because you can be more confident of the content they give you.
I have noticed that many parents are already uncomfortable teaching their kids about their reproductive system, what the parts are and what they do. The thought of advancing to a discussion about sex is many times more threatening! I wanted to share this because I think it could help meet some of the needs of parents who are wondering how to talk to their kids about sex.
This article from Young Women’s Health will help put parents at ease because it provides guidelines that are useful whether you have a son or a daughter.
Here are four highlights:
- Children prefer to talk to their parents about sex.
- You should begin by talking about their body parts and how they change during puberty.
- Sexuality is a much bigger talk than sexual intercourse. These are conversations that happen over a long period of time.
- There is a practical section with helpful information about what to say.
Here’s What I Think About When To Teach Kids About Sex. …
As you know, I encourage parents to teach the anatomy first so that your child knows their own body. This information can then form the foundation for future talks about puberty and sexuality.
You can begin teaching them about their body as early as you want, but certainly it will be helpful if they are confident with their anatomy by about 8 years old. By 10 years old, let’s make sure they know how the structures work.
As your tween (9-13 years old) matures through puberty, you will have clues that let you know when it is time to begin discussions about sex. For example, they might ask questions about something they saw in the media or something they heard from a friend.
There are many challenging topics that come up while raising a tween, but discussing sex with your child is certainly near the top of challenging. Brief comments that are age-appropriate are the best way to respond. Your love and insight into your child will guide you as to when these discussions should happen.
This is a very important part of your child’s life that only you, as the parent, can address. They need to learn the accurate information, but they also need to hear your heart on the topic as you teach them.
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