Having “The Talk”

Posted on June 26, 2013

Many parents have some reservations about talking to their kids about sexuality. This article offers advice for talking with your child about the nature of relationships. Sex education is an important part of successful child development.

Especially, in this increasingly media saturated society; the truth is that every child will learn about sexuality somehow and from someone.  Will they learn about sex from the internet, their school, a friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or from their parents? While many parents do not want to think about this fact, every parent should prepare for this part of their child’s sexual development. And, depending on who teaches your child about sex could determine if they have a healthy view about sexuality or not. So, every parent should ask themselves, “Who can teach my child a healthy view of sexuality?” And, even though some teens may not seem to act like they care what their parents think, parents are still the primary influence for their lives.

The problem with “the talk” is that many parents assume that it is a onetime event. Some parents may have difficulty with talking to their child about sex because they may have the fear that their child’s innocence will be broken, and so they may never ever actually talk with their child about it at all. But, know that children will learn about sex from someone; they will learn about it sometime. Instead of “the talk”, think about your child’s sexual education as an ongoing conversation.

Of course, there is an appropriate time for having this conversation and age appropriate ways to approach it. Here some useful approaches for having discussions with your child about sex:

  • Between 8 and 10 years of age, a parent can start having the discussions about respecting the differences between sexes.
  • Between 11 and 13 years of age, a parent can talk to their child about male/female anatomy along with the act and purposes of sex.
  • Depending on when your child starts having adolescent relationships, it is good to talk about healthy ways to have a respectful relationship.
  • Some parents choose to have a “date night” with their child to discuss these matters and for other parents these discussions about sex are more impromptu questions arise.

To conclude this article, every parent needs to assess the most appropriate ways to have discussions about sex. But, it is important that parents remain open to address their child’s questions and concerns as they arise.  A person’s sexuality becomes an important part of their development into adults. Having ongoing discussion about sexuality will help children feel safe in exploring appropriate and healthy sexuality.

Written by: Chris Denzler, MA

Chris graduated from Liberty University, in Lynchburg, VA with a degree in Licensed Professional Counseling. He also has 6 years experience in youth ministry working with children and teens. His passion is for helping children and adolescents develop into healthy adults. He offers professional counseling services to children, teens, adults, and married couples. Contact Chris Denzler for more help in these areas.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==