An overwhelming majority of parents believe that it is their responsibility to teach their children about sex. But very few actually do assume that responsibility. The problem is not simply in relaying information to our children, but in opening the doors to communication. If you didn't start early, it is not too late to begin.
Usually, the hardest part is initiating the discussion:
- Pick a topic that you feel comfortable discussing.
- You can effectively use TV, movies and other media as a catalyst.
- Start out by sharing your own feelings.
- Talk about some of your own personal experiences.
- Listen carefully to your children.
At this stage of development, children want and need more factual information.
- This is a good time for children to begin to learn more about reproduction. Using other animals as examples is a fun way to start exploring this topic. If you or a friend is pregnant, this also makes a great springboard for deeper levels of discussion. Use this as a teachable moment.
- Children of this age should be aware of, and use the proper vocabulary for both male and female body parts. Children will not always use the proper terminology when talking with their friends.
- Developing and maintaining friendships is a vital life skill that we often neglect to discuss. We assume that it is known intuitively. Help your child to learn the skills that are necessary to make and keep friends. Friends are very helpful to your child's self-esteem.