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Talking to Kids About Sex

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 11 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Sex Where Do Babies Come From Talking To

Kids have questions. About everything. Curious about the world around them, children frequently start their sentences with 'why' or 'how' or 'when.' Parents spend a great deal of time helping kids to understand things and are children's first and most important teachers. Most subjects are fairly easy, but many parents have difficulty talking to their kids about sex. It doesn't have to be awkward or uncomfortable, though, just keep things simple.

Start Young

In order to establish a comfortable base, begin by teaching your kids the proper names for all of their body parts. No one seems to balk at telling kids where their elbows or ears are, but many parents choose to use silly nicknames for the genitals. The problem with this practice is that is sends the message that some body parts are shameful or embarrassing. Kids aren't born with a sense of discomfort about their private parts. Try not to instill one in them.

Information in Small Doses

When young kids ask a question such as, "Where do babies come from?" many parents get a sense of dread. In all likelihood, however, the child is not seeking a complex lesson on human sexuality, but rather a simple answer. Often, a few words will do. Depending on the age of the child, "They grow inside of their mommies until they are ready to be born" may be all that they need at that time.

As children grow, their questions will require more detailed answers, but if you answer what they ask, one question at a time, the information will be well received. Many parents make the mistake of sitting their kids down and giving them a large amount of information all at once, which is less effective than small chats for two reasons. First, young children have fairly limited attention spans, so you will probably have lost their interest shortly after, "When a man and a woman love each other very much...", and secondly, kids will not properly absorb information that they are not yet ready for. It is much better to give them the basics and after they have an understanding of those, expand their knowledge as their curiosity demands.

Opportunities for Lessons

Some kids never ask about their bodies, sex, or the origin of babies, yet it is important for them to have this information. In these cases, the parents must take the initiative. There are many opportunities to begin talks about such topics. Obviously, if you are about to welcome another child into your family, you have the perfect opening for a conversation about growing babies. Even if that is not the case, however, you can look for chances to bring up the subject. Puppies and kittens are always popular with children, and talking about baby animals can lead into talks about human babies, as well. Libraries and bookstores offer a wide variety of quality books for children of all ages, which are terrific, especially if these books are read along with the children, rather than merely handed to them.

Establishing Trustful Communication

Sex is a natural part of life and an interesting topic for many people, kids included. If you are a parent, you will undoubtedly need to have a few conversations with your child about sex, so try your best to be casual and open to their questions. Keeping an open line of communication is important now and will be even more so as your children head into their teenage years.

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