Kids should feel comfortable talking to their parents about sexual health and relationships.
Talking about sex can be uncomfortable but kids who have regular communication with their parents about sex and relationships are more likely to prioritize their sexual health and safety. Parents should consider their own opinions on sex and relationships before they talk to their kids. Think about what your goals are when you talk to your kids about sex and relationships. What main points do you want for your kids to take away from the conversation. The topics, main points, and goals will depend on your own values and your children’s age.
If you have a young child, you can begin by teaching them the names of their body parts. They should learn to be respectful of others feelings, privacy, and personal space. These lessons will set your child up in the future for healthy relationships with others. Keep things simple and light for young children. Make sure your kids know that they can come to you with any questions they may have.
If your child is older, in middle school or high school, start having regular conversations on the various health and safety topics of sex and relationships. Don’t overwhelm or embarrass them by having one large conversion about sex and then never talking about it again with them. Having regular conversations shows that these topics are a normal and important part of life.
If your child comes to you with a question about sex and relationships, let them know that they did a good job of approaching you with the question. They should feel comfortable talking to you about these things. If you don’t know the answer to a question or want to consider your answer first then let them know that you need a little time to think about your answer.
Never make your child feel embarrassed, ashamed, or uncomfortable when they ask you a question about sexual health. Remember, sex is a normal and healthy part of life. If you make them feel uncomfortable about asking you these types of questions, they are going to seek out answers somewhere else and they may learn things that are untrue or don’t align with the values that you want to teach them.