How to talk about sexuality with your children: useful tips to help you take the step

We have our teenager in front of us and we consider that we finally have to talk about sex. But how do we start the conversation? What would be the appropriate time? Should we be both parents or only one who is of the same sex? All these questions have a quick answer: it's already late.

If your son is a teenager and you have not talked about sex with him, it's too late, he probably investigated and formed many false myths through your friends, internet or your own deductions. Children have to be told about sex since they are old enough to understand and self-question about their own sexuality.

It is shown that children who are more familiar with sex have sex later, have fewer partners and are more stable and take appropriate precautions.

How to talk with my son about sex?

First of all forget all those stereotypes that many movies have put in our heads: no long and serious talks using a technical vocabulary. No, none of that.

In the second place you have to be attentive to the signals your child shows towards the curiosity and discovery of their sex and that of others in order to naturally clarify some terms, avoid confusion and inappropriate situations. You do not need to prepare the talks, simply, when the questions arrive, answer honestly adapting to the age of your child.

Adapting our explanations to our son

Already at the age of 2 or 3 years, children already self-discover their own sex and are interested in that of others. They want and need to know why they are children or what makes them different. How are these differences physically?

Obviously, at these ages we can not explain the biology and functioning of the genitals but we can help them categorize what is a penis and a vagina. Through stories where you can see genitals we can teach them how they are.

And forget the euphemisms with which we call the genitals: no pipi, chichi, little bird ... no, it's called a vagina and you do not have to create confusion. A clear example: if a bird flies and is in the trees, why do I have a bird down there?

At the age of 3 and 4 years there is always a key question: Where do children come from?. At these ages the terms of conception of a baby are incomprehensible, simply enough: "of the belly of Mom".

Gone is the stork or the little gifts that come from the sky. You have to be aware that they will see that confusion throughout their childhood. For example, if the children are brought by the stork, why does mom get chubby and take her to the hospital? This type of questions will lead to more complex and illusory questions and in the end, parents and children will be lost in the answer.

At 5 or 6 years the questions become more complex, to more understanding more curiosity. How babies are made? Our son already knows where the babies are born, but of course, how do they get there? Do they put them when they are big? Who puts them ?.

At this stage, it is worthwhile for the child to understand that a baby is formed through the mixture of mom and dad cells. We will make it clear that dad has cells that are called sperm cells and that when they unite with the mother cell called egg they create a baby. We do not have to advance information that we are not being asked and each child develops curiosity at different ages.

From 7 to 9 and our children have some autonomy when viewing their drawings, games and movies and will have access to many types of images and recordings. In this case, they will ask how the conception is carried out, that is, how dad introduces his cells to his mother.

What is the process? In this case the answer is concise, we will only have to physically explain the fact of penetration of the penis in the vagina as a necessity for the reproduction process.

After the age of 11, pre-pubertal and puberty changes begin in themselves. Your body is changing and the questions will become more specific. We should never ignore the questions, because if we do not answer them, someone will do it and the results can be devastating.

What you have to make clear is that when two people perform the sexual act is because they love each other.

Some issues that we should not forget when we talk to our teenage children are: contraceptive methods, the chances of getting pregnant, protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

We must create trust so that when they have any doubts or are in a compromised situation, they come to us as parents and we can guide them as we do in the other aspects of their development. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Pediatrician. We advise you to consult your trusted pediatrician.

How To Talk To Your Kids About Sex - Kenneth Adams, PhD (May 2020)