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Sexual and Reproductive Health

Talking to children and youth about sexual health

Talking with Children  
​​​​You are the most important teacher in your child's life. Talking to your child about sexual health and sexuality is part of your role as a parent. And talking to your child about sexual health is not just about sex. Sexual health includes things like healthy relationships, sexuality, consent, and personal hygiene. It's never too early or too late to talk to your child about sexual health.

Even if you don't realize it, you've been teaching your child about sexual health since the day they were born. Children watch and learn from you. From how you talk and interact with family, friends, and strangers, to the choices you make and how you treat others. All of this information helps to form your child's values and beliefs.

Your child sees you as an important source of information that they can trust. They want you to be a source of health information because you have a loving and trusting relationship with each other. One way you can prepare yourself for talking to your child about sexual health is by reading about topics such as puberty, consent, and sexual and gender diversity. Visit Teaching Sexual Health to learn about these topics and more.

As your child enters their teen years, they start to look for answers and information about sexual health from their friends and the internet. But remember, they still care about what you say and do, even though at times it may not seem like it. Having open communication with your teen will let them know that they can come to you whenever they have questions. Talking about sexual health with your teen will help them make healthy, informed decisions now and later on in life.

For tips and information on sexual health specific to your child’s age and stage of development, visit Teaching Sexual Health.

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