Sexuality is part of the life of all people, regardless of age. As children grow and develop, they are likely to get curious about sex matters and seek information, mainly with parents.
Seek opportunities in your life every day to address the issue or provide useful information. Pop culture provides many of these opportunities. If both watch a television program that showcases a myth about sex, correct it so your child understands.
Start talking about sexuality with your child at an early age. That way the child will get used to sharing information with you and expressing his/her opinions. It will be easier for you to keep talking as the child gets older. If you’ve never tried to talk to your child about it, remember that it’s never too late to start talking about sex.
When children start asking uncomfortable questions, the following tips can help:
- Do not laugh, even if the question is fun. If you laugh, the child may feel embarrassed and close up. Try not to look embarrassed or take a very serious position on the subject.
- Be brief. Respond with sensitive words and according to age. Your four-year-old does not need to know the details about a sexual relationship.
- Use the name of each part of the body.
- Make sure the child is satisfied with the answer or if he/she wants to know more.
- Perceive the child’s responses and reactions.
- Prepare to repeat things.
Highlight the importance of safe sex. Tell your child that safety is the main concern. Explain that sexually transmitted diseases can be very easily contracted, unless both parties take appropriate precautions. Talk about the use of contraception and how to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.
Remember that sex is something natural. There is no reason to feel embarrassed to talk about it or reject any signs of sexual awakening. It will not help if our children consider that sex is a taboo subject in the family. You can hide the truth, but that will not prevent them from having a sexual relationship. Not talking about sex only generates more curiosity.
It is better to talk openly to get rid of all the urban legends circulating on the Internet or in networks of friends. It is also the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases in the future.
We must talk about sex!
How we deal with it is how our children are going to deal with it in the future. If they see that we are ashamed to talk about the matter, it is likely that afterwards they will be ashamed to ask or they may find sex shameful. If you do not have an answer to a question, do not feel ashamed. You can tell the child that you will discover it together and can check in a book or search the Internet.
Talking about sex does not lead your child to practice it earlier, or anything like that, that’s a myth. Talking about the subject will not leave your child more precocious either. In fact, with information, he/she is more likely to delay sexual intercourse until he/she feels more secure. Talking about sex and sexuality will give you the opportunity to share your values and beliefs with your children.