Sex education is essential
Talk to toddlers and preschoolers about sex
Sex education usually begins with the child’s curiosity towards knowing things related to his body, and here we present a way to pave the way for sexual education with the way to answer the child’s questions.
Sex education is a topic that most parents avoid. If you have a young child, you may think you’re not to blame – at least for a while, but that’s not necessarily true. Sex education can begin at any time. Let the child pave the way with his questions.
As babies learn to walk or talk, they are also beginning to explore their bodies. Open the door to sex education by teaching your child the correct names for his or her sex organs, this can be done while bathing. If your child points to a body part, simply tell him the name of that part. This is also a good time to talk about the parts of the body that are personal.
When your child asks questions about his body — or yours — don’t giggle, laugh or be shy. Accept questions without scrutiny. Provide direct answers that are appropriate for the child’s age. If your child would like to know more, he will ask.
Anticipate self arousal
Many children express their natural sexual curiosity through self-arousal. Boys may pull the penis, and girls may scratch the genitals. Teach your child that masturbation is a normal, but personal activity. If your child starts masturbating in public, try to distract him from it, and if that fails, take your child aside to remind him of the importance of privacy.
Sometimes, masturbating frequently indicates a problem in a child’s life. He may be anxious or not receiving adequate care at home, which could be a sign of sexual abuse. Teach your child that no one is allowed to touch the private areas of his/her body without permission. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, see his or her doctor.
Curiosity about others
By the age of three or four, the child usually realizes that the genitals of boys and girls are different, and shows normal curiosity. You may find your child playing the role of a doctor or examining another child’s genitals. This curiosity is far from sexual activity in adults, and it is harmless if it is only for young children. However, as a family business, you may want to set limits to this exploration.
Taking advantage of the opportunities available every day is essential
Sex education is not a one-stop discussion. Instead, take advantage of the opportunities each day to discuss sex. For example, if there is a pregnancy in the family, tell the child that the development of fetuses takes place in a special place inside the mother. If your baby would like more detail about how the fetus got there or how the baby was delivered, provide that.
Study these examples:
- How does the child enter the tummy of Mama? You can say “Mama and Papa made the baby by holding each other in a special way.”
- How are children born? For some babies, it is enough to say, “Doctors and nurses help babies who are ready to be born.” If your baby would like to know more, say, “The mother usually pushes the baby out of the vagina.”
- Why don’t all people have a penis? Try a simple explanation, “Boys and girls’ bodies are different.”
- Why do you have hair down there? Simplicity works well here too, you can say “our bodies change as we get older”. If your child would like to know more, add “boys have hair near the penis, girls have hair near the vagina.”
As your child matures and asks more detailed questions, you can provide more detailed answers. Answer the questions using the correct terminology, and even if you don’t feel comfortable, move on. Remember, you are setting the stage for open and honest discussions in the years to come.
Talk to school-aged children about sex
Sex education does not require a single, all-encompassing discussion. Follow your child’s cues for what information he wants to know — and when.
Sex education usually begins as simple anatomy lessons during the early childhood years, but during school entry age, your child may begin to ask specific questions about sex. Not sure what to say? Study this guide to discuss sex with a school-aged child.
Expect detailed questions
Toddlers and preschoolers are satisfied with vague answers to “Where does a child come from,” but school-age children tend to ask more specific questions about the relationship between sex and child making, and as your child’s questions about sex become more complex—and perhaps more Shameful – it may turn to friends or other sources for more information.
When your school-age child wonders about sex, ask him what he already knows. Correct any misconceptions, then provide enough details to answer specific questions. Do not laugh at the child’s questions or use nicknames for his sexual organs, which is a sign that these body parts should not be discussed.
Study these examples:
- What is an erection? You can say, “The boy’s penis is usually soft, but sometimes it becomes hard and stands away from the body. This is called an erection.” Explain how an erection can occur when a boy is sleeping or when his penis is touched. This might be a good time to explain what it means wet dreams
- What is the menstrual cycle? You could say, “Your period means that a girl’s body is mature enough for pregnancy to occur.” Explain how the menstrual cycle is an important part of the reproductive cycle. You can provide details about bleeding and feminine care products.
- How do people have sex? If your child wonders how to have sex, be honest. You could say, “The man puts his penis in the woman’s vagina.” Consider using a book with illustrations or diagrams to help your child understand.
- What is masturbation? You could say, “Masturbation is when a boy rubs his penis or a girl rubs her vaginal area.” Remind your child that masturbation is a normal but personal activity.
Even if you don’t feel comfortable, go ahead, and remember, you’re setting the stage for open and honest discussions in the years to come. Think about it, who is better at educating your child – you or the TV, the Internet, and your child’s friends?
Between the ages of 8 and 12, children are usually concerned about whether they are “normal” – especially in terms of penis size and breast size. Explain what happens during puberty for both boys and girls. Emphasize that children of the same age mature at different rates. Puberty may start years early or years later in some children, but eventually everyone does. You may want to share experiences from your own development, especially if you once felt the same fears your child does now.
Responsibilities and results
Talk with your child about the physical and psychological consequences of becoming sexually active, such as pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and a range of emotions. Discussing these matters today can help your child avoid feeling the pressure that he has not become sexually active before he is actually ready. When you tell your child about the dangers of sex, don’t be afraid to mention the fun, too. Let your child know that sex can be beautiful in a committed relationship.
Take your part in sex education seriously. Encourage your child to take care of his body, develop a healthy sense of self-esteem, and seek information from a trusted source. Your thoughtful approach to sex education can help your child lead a healthy sex life throughout his life.
Talk to your teen about sex
Sex education is provided in many schools but doesn’t rely solely on classroom instruction. Sex education should take place at home as well, and here’s some information to help you talk to your teen about sex.
The basics of sex education can be covered in the classroom, but your teen may not hear – or understand – everything they need to know to make the tough choices about sex, and that’s where you come in. Sex education, which can be embarrassing, is the responsibility of the parents. By reinforcing and completing what your teen has learned in school, you can pave the way for healthy, lifelong sex life.
Break the ice
Sex is the main topic in the news, entertainment, and advertising. It’s usually hard to avoid this ever-present topic, but when parents and teenage kids need to talk, it’s not always so easy. If you wait for the perfect moment, you may miss out on the best opportunities. Instead, think of sex education as an ongoing conversation, and here we give you some ideas to help you start and keep the discussion going.
- Seize the opportunity When a TV show or music video raises issues of responsible sexual behavior, use them as a starting point for discussion. Remember that everyday times – like getting in the car or putting away goods – sometimes provide the best opportunities to talk.
- Be honest. If you don’t feel comfortable, mention it – but make it clear that it’s important to keep talking. If you don’t know the answers to your teen’s questions, offer to find or search for the answers together.
- Be direct. Clearly state your feelings about certain issues, such as oral sex and intercourse. Present the risks objectively, including emotional pain, sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancy, and make it clear that oral sex is not a risk-free alternative to intercourse.
- Think about your teen’s point of view. Don’t lecture your teen or rely on intimidation to discourage sexual activity. Instead, listen carefully. Understand the pressures, challenges and fears your teen faces.
- Override the facts. Your teen needs accurate information about sex, but talking about feelings, behaviors and values is just as important. Examine questions about ethics and responsibility in the context of your personal and religious beliefs.
- Invite further discussion. Let your child know that it’s okay to talk to you about sex any time he has questions. Reward him for asking questions by saying, “I’m glad you came to me.”