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Promoting Positive Sexual Attitudes

Promoting Positive Sexual Attitudes: Sex Education From Early to Late Childhood

McKenzie Pediatrics 2012

General Points:

Early Childhood:

Middle Childhood:

You know it’s coming, that dreaded moment when your adorable, innocent, and curious school-aged boy or girl suddenly asks “where do babies come from?” Young school-aged children are learning from and giggling with their peers about “private parts”, sharing “dirty jokes”, and scanning dictionaries looking up taboo words. Asking about sex and how babies are made shouldn’t be so surprising to parents, and yet most are caught off-guard.

Talking about sex and sexuality gives you a chance to share your values and beliefs with your child. Sometimes the topic or the questions may seem embarrassing, but your child needs to know there is always a reliable, honest source he or she can turn to for answers – you (and not the media, or the internet, or friends). You are the best teacher…don’t shy away from that role, else those other sources of (usually bad) information will be your child’s sex education, and how dangerous is that?

The Teen Years

During the teen years, your talks about sex should focus more on the social and emotional aspects of sex, and your values. Be ready to answer questions like:

Answer your teen’s questions based on your values – even if you think your values are old-fashioned. If you explain the reasons for your beliefs, your teen is more likely to understand and adopt your values.

Other common concerns of teens include:

Sex is a very personal and private matter. Many parents find it difficult to talk with their children about sex. Teens may be too embarrassed, not trust their parent’s advice, or prefer not to talk with their parents about it. But sex is an important topic to talk about. The following tips may help make talking with your teen easier: