Answering Your Child’s Questions About Sex
JULY 1, 2019
The “talk” is one that many avoid, and many others hope will only require a quick fill-in of information they do not already know. For many, the “talk” that we have with our children about sexual development can be very intimidating. According to the Department of Health & Human Services (2016), many parents assume that we must talk to our children about EVERY aspect of sexual development all in one sitting. Parents hope that their children will hear everything and that any curiosity they have will dissipate. In order to more fully understand this difficult step, we must ask ourselves the basic questions that give us a clearer picture as to WHY our children are turning to sexual intercourse or inappropriate media. According to the government-funded study referenced above, anxiety almost always precedes inappropriate behavior. This anxiety is often manifested in questions linked to sexual development. These questions include the following:
Why is my best friend getting attention from boys?
What is this feeling that I feel when I see inappropriate images?
The “talk” isn’t meant to be one perfectly worded explanation of anything and everything pertaining to sex.
We must approach our children according to our knowledge and understanding of when these changes in their bodies and personalities are occurring. We should approach this with careful regard and seek to guide the conversation rather than control it. We should avoid becoming angry if we discover that our children have begun exploring these new developments. Instead, we should explain the dangers of inappropriate media and pornography. Pornography addiction can have the same type of effects that occurs in those with substance abuse issues. Not only is addiction a concern but pornography is linked to human trafficking as well.
By grade 3 most children will have made the link to sexual pleasure and reproduction. It is important to convey information about sex to our children early on. We are the parents and know our children best. Talk to them honestly so they will go into school with a knowledge that is still speculation to many of their friends.
Having the “talk” is a process that will facilitate openness and honesty between you and your children.
If your child has not asked questions by the age of 10, we cannot assume that they are just ‘good’ kids who are not interested in that type of thing. Most likely this is caused by embarrassment. It can become a snowball effect as trust and openness lack in this child’s relationship with his/her parents. Parents, remember that feeling of looking at your newborns and having that overwhelming feeling of “I would do anything for you” and hold on to that.
Know that arming our children with facts and truth will take them further than anything in this life. We are the source of light and truth for our children.
For more information and resources to help you discuss sex with your children:
ACPeds Patient Information Handouts
Additional Information & Research
Stop Comprehensive Sex Education – an inside look at the harms and dangers of CSE