As a parent, you are the ideal teacher to help your child learn about sex. Open communication about sexuality helps your child understand his or her feelings and encourages a positive attitude toward a natural process.
Your explanations should be honest and simple. Because children's cognitive growth is ongoing, a 6-year-old child often is not able to fully grasp the details about sexuality that a child who is about to enter puberty may need to have explained. A good way to gauge children's readiness for information is to first find out what they think the answer might be to their own question. Then provide as little or as much information as you think is needed. Keep your conversations ongoing, so that more sophisticated information can be given at appropriate times.
Some common behaviours and issues to discuss may include:
Many groups offer classes that you can attend with your older child that address sexuality, what to expect during puberty, and similar topics. Check with your nurse call line or ask your child's doctor for a list. Enrolling in such a class may make it easier for you to start an ongoing dialogue with your child.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsThomas M. Bailey, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofMay 4, 2017
Current as of: May 4, 2017
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
& Thomas M. Bailey, MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.