There are many ways to start the “awkward” conversation about sex and sexuality with your children, and it will surely get easier with time and practice. Talking with them about this topic will help you stay healthy and strengthen your relationship. Do it completely naturally!
Talking to your little ones about sexuality will not cause them to have sex prematurely if that is what scares you so much, quite the opposite, providing them with age-appropriate information will allow them to develop a healthy relationship with their bodies and with sex as they grow up. . In fact, children who talk to their parents about it are more likely to consider having sex until they are older and with all the necessary care.
When is the best time?
If you ask us at what age you should start talking about sex with your children, the answer would be that there is no definition, sexuality is part of our lives regardless of age. As your children get older they will become more curious, they will laugh when “private parts” are mentioned, they will search for “taboo” words to name them, and only when he or she is ready, will they ask the necessary questions for them.
Where to start?
Don't stress about finding the best time. Every day we go through situations that lead us to teach our children topics related to sex. For example, bath time is a great time to talk about body parts or watch TV with them and engage in a conversation about relationships on screen. Do you see how moments to educate them can present themselves at any time and place?
What should I consider?
- Make sure you have clear and truthful information, and keep up to date on related current issues.
- Let them guide the conversation, you don't need to prepare a whole speech, find out what they already know and listen to them; letting them know that they can talk to you openly will let them know that they can ask you all kinds of questions.
- Be honest and accurate, but also don't overwhelm them with too much information. The smaller they are, the less is more, so try to be as simple as possible, use simple terms and always use the proper names of each part of the body . Leave modesty and taboo, just as you teach the name of other parts of the body such as ears, nose or knees, you must do the same with the vulva and penis. Did you know that calling things by their name can also help us discover sexual abuse early? If a child does not call the vulva and penis a little flower or little bird, respectively, when the possibility of abuse occurs, and it is necessary to declare before a judge, the communication changes according to the terms that the children use. Also, teach them that this is a private area , show them the correct way to clean their genitals and in this way they will learn to respect this area and avoid asking someone else for help.
- Do not think that you will lose your authority due to overconfidence, define those limits that should not be crossed while continuing to build a friendly and understanding dialogue.
- Do not make fun of their questions, no matter how funny they sound, they could feel embarrassed and they will lose that confidence and security when it comes to asking what interests them.
- Just as you shouldn't look for them to be embarrassed, you can't look like that either, assume a calm attitude on the subject because it's completely natural. Also avoid reacting negatively, this will make them think that their curiosity is bad and they will end up looking for information in other sources such as their friends or the internet.
- Make yourself available to them and be prepared to repeat the same information over and over again.
- When your children ask you a question, ask them again what they mean and confirm how much they know about the subject, answer them based on their questions, don't let it happen to you like our Dr. Sofía! Her 5-year-old son once asked her what sex was and she nervously began to explain that when mom and dad love each other... Until he interrupted her and said: "Mommy, what's wrong, sex is male and female." Your question was related to gender.
- Notice their reactions to each answer and notice if they want or need to know more. Be sure to ask them if you solved their question.
- If you definitely don't feel ready to talk about sex with your children, seek specialized help and avoid future difficulties or wrong speeches.
Talking about sex and sexuality with your children is the best decision you can make, it is the opportunity to share your knowledge, values and beliefs with them, also, your children need to know that at any time they can turn to you as a reliable and honest source to resolve all your doubts, and that the same person will respect your positions and thoughts.
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