How prepared are you for the sex talk?

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I had an interesting chat with a mum who told me her 8-year-old daughter came home from school one day and asked her to explain what ‘sex’ is. This stunned mother was not prepared to have ‘the birds and the bees’ talk to such a young child and simply responded that it will be explained to her when she is at that right age. Which brings me to ask the question - what exactly is the right age?

Read more: Parents talk to their kids about sex for the first time

How to talk about sex

The world we live in today is so much more sophisticated than it was twenty or thirty years ago. This sophistication has brought about new found technology where information can be accessed at ones fingertips. As a result our kids have become much more advanced than we were at their age and are constantly seeking information which we as parents may think is not appropriate for their age, like information about sex.

Sex is no longer information applicable to the growing teenager only; it seems like children younger than twelve years old and who are still in primary school are being educated about sex. Some schools introduce the sex talk to kids as young as ten years old. So parents need to prepare themselves to have the ‘sex’ talks with their kids sooner rather than later.

Most experts do not identify a specific recommended age but rather encourage parents to be guided by the maturity of the child. Questions from your child about sex play an important part as it gives you the opportunity to open the channel of communication with your child about this topic.

Parents are often guilty of avoiding answering any sexual questions raised by the child because they feel the child is too young. Rather answer the question honestly (appropriate to the age of the child of course) than give your child the impression they cannot come to you with these types of questions.

There is always the concern that if your child does not feel comfortable in speaking to you they will then seek answers from their buddies, and often friends do not provide the correct answers.

Some useful tips to keep in mind when confronted with sexual questions:

  • Try and mask your shock, be casual.
  • Do not avoid the question no matter how young your child is.
  • Let your child see how comfortable you are to talk about sex and encourage your child to come to you no matter what questions they have.
  • If ever unsure how to deal with situations simply tell your child to give you a moment and get some reading material off the internet - There is plenty of great advice out there.

The key thing to remember is – Be prepared to talk about sex with your child no matter the age of child.

How prepared are you for the ‘birds and the bees’ talk?

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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