Deciding when to have the “talk” with your child is something that most parent dread. I know I did.
It’s something that almost no parent is ever ready for, but despite this, sooner or later, this conversation must happen.
While some parents may be tempted to delay the “talk” for as long as possible, it is best to talk about it early to ensure that their kids make the right choices about sex as they grow up.
But how early should parents have the talk with their kids?
The Right Time to Talk About Sex With Your Child
The truth is that it is never too early to talk to your kids about puberty and sex. When a child is a toddler, they might often touch their private parts out of curiosity.
This behavior isn’t sexual, but parents should still address this to ensure that their child doesn’t embarrass them in public. They should simply tell them that this shouldn’t be done in public because it is a private matter.
However, this should be handled with care as punishing or scolding toddlers for these actions could make them scared to talk about sex in the later stages of life.
Some parents wait for their children to ask them questions about their body parts or sex. This isn’t the right way to go about it because it’s a very embarrassing subject for some people and many kids are too scared to talk about these topics with their parents.
Therefore, parents need to take the initiative and talk to their kids about sex and puberty once their child reaches their preteen years. During adolescence, children go through puberty, and their bodies change dramatically. The degree of change is also different for boys and girls.
Puberty in boys starts between the ages of 10 and 14. Parents should talk to boys about masturbation during these years so that they understand that this is a normal thing and nothing to worry about.
Puberty in girls generally starts between the ages of 8 and 13. The first sign of puberty is that their breasts start to grow. Some girls get their first period at the age of 9, while most get it between the ages of 11 and 13. Parents should talk about menstruation with their daughters before they get their first period, so it doesn’t come as a surprise to them when it happens.
You Don’t Have to Lay It All Out at Once
Many parents mistakenly think that the “talk” is one conversation that they have with their child where they talk about all things sex and puberty related.
However, this is not the case at all. Parents can talk about different things with their child and keep the conversation going over time so that their child can reflect on each individual point.
It helps when parents keep reminding their child that whatever they are experiencing is completely normal and that everyone goes through the same.
Once a child gets comfortable talking about puberty and sex, it will be easier for the parent to keep discussing different topics as their child moves through the adolescent phase.
How Parents Can Prepare Themselves for the Talk
Parents need to be prepared to answer any and all questions that their child can ask. Some questions that a child may ask include:
- How are babies born?
- Why do I have hair under my armpits and belly button?
- What is a period?
- Why have my breasts started to grow?
- What does it mean to be pregnant?
- What will happen if I touch these parts?
Another thing that parents absolutely need to do is teach their children the proper names for their private parts, i.e., the breasts, penis, and vagina.
They also need to be confident and reassuring when addressing these subjects. If parents show that they are getting embarrassed, the child will hesitate to talk about these kinds of things with them.
Moreover, they should be honest with their children and answer any questions that they might have.
They can also use stories to make the conversation more relaxed and engaging. Parents can also offer websites that provide accurate information about sex to help their child learn more about it.
They should also address mood changes, acne, and hormonal changes that children are likely to experience as they move through the adolescent phase.
Important Things That Parents Should Talk About
While it’s not necessary to cover everything in the talk, there are some basics topics that need every parent needs to address when having the talk with their children.
The following are the basics you should cover:
- Parents should talk about the importance of using protection during sex. They should also talk about how a girl can get pregnant and other consequences of unprotected sex, such as sexually transmitted diseases.
- When a child is young, parents need to teach them that they should never allow anyone to touch their private parts without their permission.
- Parents should tell their daughters about their period and what to expect when it happens. They should also teach them how to use a tampon or a pad.
- On the subject of masturbation and ejaculation, parents should talk to their child about masturbation and should address any concerns that their child might have.
In a nutshell, parents need to have the “talk” with their kids as early as possible. A child may never bring up questions about puberty and sex, so it is the responsibility of a parent to initiate this conversation.
Parents shouldn’t hesitate to talk about these topics. They should tell their kids everything about puberty and sex.
Moreover, they should let their kids know that they are available to answer any questions that they might have.
Doing this will make the child feel more relaxed, and they won’t hesitate to reach out to their parents if someone tries to sexually abuse them or when they are planning to get into a relationship.
If you have anything to add please leave a comment below.
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