When you think back to what you were taught about your female anatomy, starting your first period, and issues with reproduction, there was probably a lot of information missing. Now that you have a child, it can make this a very different experience for them.
I would suggest that you talk to your child about their boy or girl anatomy when they are about 5-7 years old. During these years, they are excited to learn about their body. They don’t need information about sex or even puberty now. Just the basics.
The time to start preparing your son or daughter for puberty is around 8 years old because they have likely already entered puberty by then. Puberty lasts just a few years, but they are powerful years of change in your child’s life. In the first few years, they will notice that they smell different and they have more attitudes and feelings than in the past. You will notice these changes too!
As your child moves past the first few years of puberty, it is time to learn about the changes happening in their body because of hormones. For girls, learning about the menstrual cycle and preparing for their first period is the main topic. For boys, they will begin to experience ejaculations and wonder what is happening to them.
By about 14 to 15 years old, puberty is over and they have become sexually mature. New concepts like conception, contraception, and sexual health are important topics for them to learn about. Parents and teens might prefer to skip this part of the learning process because it is uncomfortable, but if you can push past that, you can help your teen learn information that will have a big impact for many years.
You don’t have to be concerned that if you talk to your teen about conception and contraception they are going to become sexually active at a much younger age. Actually, the opposite is more likely to occur. They can ignore the dangers if they don’t know about them. Being informed is a way to protect them.
What I am describing is a process of learning over many years and not just one “big talk.” Small chats of about 7 minutes that are age-appropriate is the plan. It works. Both you and your teen will look back and say “Job will done!”
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