Six Tips: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

When should parents talk to their kids about sex? What should they say? Is there a way to make these conversations less awkward?

After a quick poll of my friends, I couldn’t find any that had positive memories of “The Talk” with their parents when they were kids. Most learned about human reproduction from details gathered from friends (which were often incorrect), books left discretely on bedside tables, movies, adult magazines, etc.

Needless to say, family conversations about changing bodies, reproduction and sexual health were rare and uncomfortable for my generation.

A New Approach to Conversations with Kids About Sex

As a parent, I feel these conversations are really important. I want to create a home where these talks are perfectly normal. I want my kids to feel comfortable asking me about anything.

So, I started age-appropriate conversations when my kids were toddlers and these conversations continue today. And they’re not really awkward. Here are a few tips that have helped along the way:

List of Six Tips to Create a Home Where The Talk with Your Kids is not Awkward

How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex

1. Start Early

When my kids ask questions, I try to answer them in an age-appropriate way as simply and honestly as I could. This opened the door for more conversations later.

2. Read Books Together

Over the years, I’ve brought home many great books from the library. These resources, written by child development experts, are filled with age-appropriate information Cover of the book "It's Perfectly Normal" by R Harris and M Emberley

3. Don’t Flinch

When I’m caught off-guard by an unexpected question, I try not to flinch or respond in a way that makes my child feel embarrassed or ashamed for asking the question. Inside, I might be thinking “yikes”, but on the outside, I try to appear calm and happy to talk.

4. Buy Some Time if You Need to Think About Your Response

If you’re like me, you may need a few moments to figure out how to respond in an age-appropriate way. In these moments I say, “That’s a good question. Let me think about the best way to explain this…”

5. Regularly Remind Your Kids That You Welcome Their Questions

I also remind my kids that sometimes what they are hearing from friends may not be correct, so they can always check with me.

6. Find the Right Moments Instead of Forcing Conversations

Maybe we just listened to a news story that touches on an important subject or maybe we are taking the dog for a walk. Finding the right moments really helps.

If you have additional ideas and resources that you’ve found helpful to encourage open communication in your home, please share! Together we can raise a generation of kids where “the talks” are more open, honest, and helpful.

PASS IT ON. Jessica Speer’s weekly BLOG focuses on helping kids and families thrive. If you know someone who might appreciate this content, please pass it on! Click here to follow blog via email or social media.

Published by Jessica Speer, Author

Author and Advocate for Kids and Families

Please share! I welcome your thougths and comments.

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