Talking to your children about sex is very intimidating. One of the most intimidating aspects of talking to your child about sex is knowing when to start. If you were to ask your friends and family they would all give you a different answer, and that is understandable. The reason is the right time to talk to your kid about sex depends on your kid. However, it is never too soon to start introducing the topic. For example, as you teach your child body parts do not neglect to teach them words such as “penis” and “vagina”.
As your child gets older, it is good to look for opportunities to speak to them about sex. This does not mean you should explain to them the inner workings of intercourse. However, general information about how people have children, what sex is, and your personal feelings about it, is important. If in your home, sex is not acceptable before marriage, your child should learn about that when they turn seventeen and have sexual urges, but should be very well aware of that by the time they’re eight or nine. The fact is, the more open your family is about sex and your policies on it, the more likely your children are to follow them. If a child fears speaking to their parents about sex because it is a taboo subject in their home, they will turn to other sources such as their friends, the Internet, magazines, television, media, etc. these are all sources you probably don’t want then turning to.
If your child asked about sex, that is the right time to talk to them about it. If they’re getting older and been exposed to sex on television or movies or with their friends, and that is the right time to talk about it. If you get pregnant or someone they know is pregnant, that is the right time to talk about it. When you start talking to your kids about sex depends on the kids, but it also depends on the circumstances they live in. If their older brother or sister gets pregnant or is sexually active, you want to teach them about it before they learn firsthand or hear things from other people.
Of course, when you talk to your kids about sex, it is important to use age appropriate discussions. For example if your eight year old asked the question about why their body is changing or why girls are suddenly getting breasts, then it is a good opportunity to talk to them about hormones; how they change the body and how they change our emotions and affect people physically and mentally. As you talk to children about sex, discuss the physical side of sex and the changes in the body. Discuss the emotional side effects. Make sure your child understands that sex is more than a physical activity between two people. Anticipate their questions and prepare yourself before they ask so that when you see indicators that they are ready to learn about sex, you are ready to teach them about it.
Most experts agree, that before you allow your child to date, and before they hit the stage where attraction becomes strong and physical attraction and urges grow, that you sit them down and have a formal talk with them about sex. However, they also recommend you talk to them about more than just the birds and the bees. Most children experiencing sexual urges already understand the birds and the bees and need help understanding the more complicated side of sex, including the emotional and mental side.