How to speak to your child about sexuality

child-sexuality

There has always been contention about when the right time is for parents  to have the ‘birds and the bees’ talk with children. But in a day and age where technology is more advanced than ever and children are reaching puberty as early as 7, the need to talk about sexuality has become greater than ever.

These days, kids want to know about more than sex. When they’re younger questions will centre on body parts—and as they grow older the questions will become more about puberty. You will have to explain positive self-esteem, kissing, periods, erections, and all sorts of joys with them (including how often they NEED to shower).

Then comes the slightly more awkward topics—Pornography. Sexting. Contraception. Why some people are attracted to the opposite sex, others are attracted to the same, and some people, both.  Transexuality and gender fluidity. Why some marriages work and others don’t. Divorce. Cheating. What sexual abuse is. Rape. Boundaries for safe and consensual sex. STI’s. Understanding their unique sexual identity.

A parent can read all the self-help books in the world and sit their child down in front of any amount of awkward 80’s sex-ed videos, and still not have the answers to these questions. And often, the need to talk about these topics will come up before the questions even do; especially once a child grows older and starts exploring their sexuality on their own.

The need to discuss these topics in a safe and non-judgemental way is essential, because an educated child is prepared when they are confronted with all sorts of situations—especially the ones they may not tell you about. And if you’re not educating them, then you can be sure the internet, TV, magazines and their peers are.

So how do you broach the topic of your child’s sexuality and all it entails? We came across a fantastic article by Danish Psychotherapist and author Iben Sandahl. In it, she details 7 guidelines for speaking to your children about sexuality. She answers questions about how much detail you should go into and when, the language you can use, and takes away the fear factor of these conversations. Read it here and see what you can take away from it.

Does your child or teen have questions about their sexuality? Are you unsure how to approach these topics with them? Watersege has just added a child and teen specialist to our staff who would love to work with you. For more details, contact Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book on our online diary.

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