Talking to Your Children About Sex and Puberty

December 21, 2007

Most parents don't know when they should start talking to their children about sex and puberty. But the earlier you start introducing your child to the changes her body will go through during puberty the better. Here's a list of advice that we have compiled for you to make it easier to talk to your child about sex and to answer her questions about sex and puberty.

Figure Out Your Own Attitudes About Sex and Puberty

The best way to start is by exploring your own attitudes on sex and puberty. If you feel very uncomfortable talking to your kids about this subject, try reading some books on this topic or discuss your feelings with a friend, clergy member, or relative. Remember to be honest with your kids. Tell them, if you feel uncomfortable, and explain to them why. Maybe it's because your parents didn't openly talk to you about sex. But, let your child know that even if this topic makes your feel uncomfortable and even if you don't know all the answers to his question, you'll try to give him the best advice you can.

Communicate With Your Children

Don't wait until your daughter gets her first period or after your son starts getting facial hair to talk about puberty and sex. It's best to start early and gradually introduce the subject. For example, if you're teaching your toddler her body parts, you can let her know where her vagina is. As she gets older, you may want to add more information, about menstruation, and the other changes her body will experience when she comes of age.

Take Initiative With Your Children

So, what do you do if you're child isn't curious? Or if you're child doesn't ask you, "Where do babies come from?" You take the initiative to bring up the subject to get rid of your child's insecurities of talking to you about it. It's better if your child learns about sex from you than from the kids on the playground. So, take the first step. Ask your child, if they ever wonder were babies come from? Then, gradually introduce the topic of sex.

Talk about the emotional aspect of sex and dating.
While our children need to know the facts about sex, like the proper terms, and the scientific aspect of how they were conceive. Most parents may leave out the emotional aspect of sexual relationships, which may mislead children into thinking it's okay to get into bed with anyone.

So, discuss the importance of caring and the responsibilities that comes with sexual relationships. It's best to introduce topics like safe sex when your child is a pre-teen, so he knows about the consequences of having unsafe sex when he's a teenager.

Another aspect parents may also overlook is dating. Make sure you touch upon dating, and let you're child know when he or she can date. Also let them know your values about sex. Even though they might not have the same values as you when they get older, it's good for them to know how you feel about sex and dating.

Provide accurate and age-appropriate information.
It's best to talk about sex in a way that fits the age and developmental stage of your child. So, if your 7-year-old asks why her older brother is growing facial hair, you can explain the hormones, a special chemical, in the body is responsible for producing these changes. Let her know what changes she will gradually go through, as well.

For example, to explain to her how she will develop breasts and her hips will get wider. Remember to keep it simple and accurate. Also, predict the next stage of development that your child will go through. So, you can talk to them about the changes that you child's body will go through before it happens. This will help your child prepare and calm her nerves.

Relax! A Great Message For Your Children

Most importantly, relax! It's okay if you don't know all the answers to your child's questions. What you know is lot less important than the message you send to your kids. If you give the message that your child can talk to you about sex and any other topic, you're doing great! So, keep at it.

Also check out some of our great ideas for decorating a teenager's bedroom!

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