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How do I talk to my kids about sex?

50 Answers
Last Updated: 05/07/2018 at 10:17am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, MSc Psychology


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
May 22nd, 2016 7:53pm
I think it really depends on how old they are - if under 15, I wouldn't worry about it - if 15 or older, there are plenty of possible approaches online
May 28th, 2016 9:34pm
Thus would depend on what age group they are in. For 3 upwards till the age of 8 years they should be told time and again about good touch bad touch and how they can come to you if under any circumstances they feel even slightest bit uncomfortable . Age 9 upwards both boys and girls start to experience changes in their bodies and hence parents should familiarise them with the changes that are going to happen so that they are prepared when their body starts to show changes. Similarly the behavior also undergoes changes which should also be informed to them. Most of the times parents are not prepared for the changes themselves so it is a good ideas for parent to study the changes and help the child learn about the body and how it changes. In the process it is easier to explain as part of the same the concept of sex . You can also refer to youtube videos and Internet reference material for children.
May 29th, 2016 2:00am
Openly, honestly and keep it real! Kids today know more than you think and are more savvy and aware than we give them credit for. Talk to them in an age appropriate manner, but, I think the most important thing is to remember what it was like for you. Just keep it real!
May 29th, 2016 2:42pm
I think you should simply be honest, try telling them the scientific aspect of sex, but then also try explaining that it is an intimate act and how one should share with the one he loves and when the time is right, especially for older kids, because they would be having hormone changes
June 2nd, 2016 6:11am
This is usually never an easy talk for "most" parents. The best thing you can do for your kids is to be as honest with them as you can. Its up to you to provide the best information for them that you can and also want them to have! Its important that this isn't something they are learning from their friends or in the streets somewhere. You have the power to make sure they receive all the best information available and in the right way at the right time. If you find that you are having some difficulties, you can speak with a healthcare provider who can either give you or direct you to the best materials and resources that you can share with your kids. Kids grow up so fast these days and sometimes in the wrong ways. Be sure to just be upfront and "keep it real" with them. On all levels pertaining to sex. (Sexually ,emotionally, physically, mentally) as well as any consequences. They may appreciate your honesty with them and be that much better prepared and armed to make the right choices and decisions. Good Luck!
June 2nd, 2016 9:18pm
It helps to remember that every kid learns about it, and its best if they hear it from you instead of getting skewed info from friends or online. Just let them know you understand it may be uncomfortable for them to talk about, that you feel the same, but that its important to help keep them safe, and so they will understand what's going on when puberty comes. Give them plenty of chances to ask questions, or to just sit for a moment and soak in what you have explained.
June 3rd, 2016 10:38am
Objective, scientific and reassuring - it must be established as a comfortable topic between intimate family members.
June 5th, 2016 9:52am
Start at the very beginning by using the proper words when giving them names for their body parts. There is no difference between nose, elbow, or penis and vagina when learning about their little bodies. If you start off with "wee-wee" or even worse "no no parts", you prevent giving your children the correct terms for their bodies, and if something ever were to happen, they would not be able to explain it to others as well. During potty training, and when normal self-exploration starts, it's up to the parent to remain neutral and calm, not over reacting or worse yet, reacting negatively. Explain what the child is feeling, and where it is appropriate for them to do that (bedroom usually), and begin NOW telling them who can and cannot see or touch their bodies, and why. Also encourage them to give this respect to those around them by not touching others without consent. All during childhood, be willing to discuss pee, poop, body parts, consent, feelings, hormones, menstruation and of course, sexual intercourse and the results. These topics are not taboo! Knowledge is power and results in children who not only trust YOU as a good source of information, somebody trustworthy and NON judgmental they can rely on. Finally, please do not shy away from discussing SAFE sexual practices, and providing teens with access to condoms and contraceptives without judgment or questions. These things do NOT encourage them to go out and have sex - quite the opposite in fact, they feel empowered by knowing, less pressured to give in to urges, and hopefully secure enough to control their behavior in the face of overwhelming primitive urges. If they DO falter, please continue to be supportive or you might find yourself with an angry child who wants nothing to do with you.
June 8th, 2016 9:20am
Honestly. Take your cues from them about what they want to know and let them set the pace, that way you will know you are not overwhelming or bombarding them with too much information at one time. Another important thing to keep in mind is your attitudes, and prejudices and judgments about an issue like sex and sexuality have no place in a frank discussion about what sex is. You need to make sure you defer judgment and allow your child to make up their own mind about what is and what isn't right for them, otherwise you will just be destroying their agency and creating a path to dysfunctional thinking about what is potentially a very loaded topic. By all means give your opinion if they ask for it, but I would guard against volunteering opinions based on beliefs and moral judgments rather than basic facts.
June 9th, 2016 6:01pm
You should sit them down, tell them in a non-serious way. That makes kids feel anxious and embarrassed. Just caution them to practice safe-sex.
June 15th, 2016 1:08am
Let them know the basis of how a baby is made without going to far. Do mention actual names like or is and vagina. Sperm and egg collide then a women gets pregnant.
June 17th, 2016 12:07am
Try to find out what is really being asked. What seems like a straightforward question might not be. To find out the true nature of the question, we might ask, “What have you heard about that?” “What do you think about that?” or “Can you tell me what you already know about that?” Don’t answer with too much information. We can keep answers short and simple and explain new words that our children might not have heard before. After giving an answer, we might encourage our kids to ask us follow-up questions by asking, “Is there anything else you would like to know?” Check their understanding. After answering a question, we can ask, “Does that answer your question?” Some parents worry that they won’t know the answers to their children’s questions. It’s perfectly fine not to know something, or not to have an immediate answer. One of the best ways we can teach our kids about sexuality is to find the answers together and then talk about what we’ve learned. Seeking out information together in books, online, or by asking others can help build a respectful and trusting relationship, as well as model how our kids can seek answers on their own.
July 9th, 2016 11:26pm
It depends on there age and your relationship with them.. First tour need to build relationships with them to talk to them but it important in this era to talk and be clear about it
July 15th, 2016 2:22am
I think when you are talking to your kids about sex the first thing is to let them know about their bodies if they don't know yet and let them know the consequences love sex and why it's important to wait for the right person
August 18th, 2016 11:36pm
Kids nowadays already know a lot about sex so I think it wouldn't be necessary to explain everything from the beggining. Start by asking them what they understand about sex and explain to them things that aren't quite right. Ask them if they have any questions and clarify those for them. Make sure they know sex isn't just what they're taught in sex ed. and let them know that they can be comfortable talking about this with you. Remind them that protection is extremely important no matter what they're doing or who they're doing it with. Do your best to be supportive, this is a very awkward subject for you, but it also is for them.
August 19th, 2016 3:23pm
Always be open and mature. They are looking towards you to provide accurate information and answer any questions they have. Just make sure that they are also ready first!
August 20th, 2016 11:33am
Try to start the conversation by telling them that you want to speak to them about sex because you care about them, not to give them a lecture. Try to make sure that they are not doing something else that seems more important to them (e.g. being on their phone, playing computer games etc.) - they will probably be annoyed then. After that you should start with whatever you want to talk to them about. If you want to talk about protection tell them why it is necessary to have safe sex and which options there are. If it's about the general idea of sex (in a way you would explain it to young children) maybe there is some kind of material like a book or something you could show them.
August 27th, 2016 9:29pm
I wouldn't know, I am not trained to advise you on parenting. If you want to talk to another listener, I can reffer you to someone else.
August 8th, 2017 1:25pm
Sex can be an uncomfortable topic to bring up but it is one of the most important kinds of conversation to have with your kids. The most important thing is to maintain an open dialogue about sex between you and your child. Talk about how their body works and how others bodies work. Talk about boundaries, how to set them and how to follow them. Make yourself someone they will not feel scared asking questions.
May 7th, 2018 10:17am
Depends on their age in an honest way and make sure to use language that they can understand. The most important thing is to make the conversation age appropriate.