What to tell your child about sex-“hello -the truth” ..and not all in one go, please

It’s important for your children to hear from you over their lifetime that sex can be fantastic, that it’s a good thing, but unfortunately it can be abused.

Your body language, the approachable you and the example that you are, all combine to empower your child.

 We often teach our children the fear of sex predators, STDs, early pregnancy and stranger danger but not celebrate reproduction, bodies, (differences and similarities), feelings, intimacy and relationships.

Sex is not just about the nuts and bolts, puberty, menstruation,

contraception, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, childbirth, hygiene, and general health care, gender identity, anatomy and reproduction. It is so much more…

Keep remembering to tell your child that they are loved and that you are proud of them, even if they do not agree with you or always make the right decisions. Tell them that you will always be there for them no matter what, that they have the right to feel safe all of the time and that there is nothing so awful that it can't be talked through with someone especially you.

Sex involves so much more than just sexual intercourse. It also includes emotional, spiritual, and intellectual dimensions as well as the physical. Research suggests that all of these are required for a healthy, fulfilling relationship. Discuss the importance of responsibility for choices and decisions as sex requires care and consent. Teach them that they can hurt themselves and others. Relate sex to love, intimacy and respectful relationships.

We need to talk to them so that they respect their own bodies, their identity and feelings. Talk about sex being not just about how you look on the outside it’s more about the inside. Clear messages from you about your values, beliefs and expectations are really important when making sexual decisions. They need to know the consequences of sex such as STDs and pregnancy. With this information, our children are better prepared to resist peer pressure and other influences and to ultimately make healthy wise decisions.

This really is a life-long conversation.

So, when your 11 year old child comes up to you and says what is sex?

You can say in one breath…..

Sex is so much more than you may think, it includes, anatomy and reproductive health. It’s not just a penis in a vagina. It’s about our values, attitudes, feelings, interactions and behaviours and it is emotional, social, cultural, spiritual and physical.

Your child will probably NEVER ask you again but hey you’ve done the sex talk in 10 seconds!!! (NOT)