How to talk to your kids about sex

Talking to children about sexuality and sex does not result in early sexualisation. In fact, children who receive sex education delay first sexual intercourse by about one year, have less unintended pregnancies and less sexually transmitted infections, than children who have not had education about sex. Bellow are some good resorces to help you talk to your kids about sex.

1. Talking to Small Children About How Babies Are Made

We all want to know where we came from and how babies are made. Young children are especially curious. However it can be hard to find the right words,appropriate for children. The best policy is the truth, with age appropriate descriptions. Click on the above link to watch a free and fabulous 4 minute movie on “The true story of how babies are made” from Sex Smart Films.

2. Talk Soon, Talk Often

Talk soon. Talk often. is a guide for parents to help them talk to their kids about sex and sexuality. It is designed to encourge parents to avoid the big “sex talk” and to talk regularly in small amounts about sexual development in response to kids questions and social events e.g. t.v shows etc. The docuament was commissioned by the Western Australian Department of Health following research with young people that found there is a need for resources to support parents and families as sexuality educators of their children. There is content appropriate for all age groups.

3. Top Tips

A Top tips sheet outlining the top 20 tips for talking and the 10 reasons why it is important to talk soon and talk often is also available. These key messages can also be found on pages 10-11 and 76-77 of the Talk soon. Talk often book.

4. Yarning quiet ways

Yarning quiet ways is based on the Talk soon. Talk often book. and was developed in consultation with Aboriginal families. It gives tips to parents of young Aboriginal people to help make yarning about sex and relationships a little easier.

5. Talking about sex to preeteens and young teens

By Denise Witmer, Guide

It is never too early to start talking to your child about their body and their sexuality. However, these talks need to change as your child gets older and moves towards becoming a teen.

Make sure your teen knows the basics.
If you haven’t already explained to your teen where babies come from, now is the time, as they most likely have heard it from their peers. You may need to see what information they have and then, give them the truth. Young teens are notorious for misinformation on sex.

  1. 6 Essentials Your Teen Needs to Know About Sexting
  2. Teen Dating and Sexuality
  3. Things That Make Talking About Sex to Teens Tough and What to Do About Them

Talk about body image and other issues.

The extent of body dissatisfaction in Australian is alarming, more than 70% of girls wish to be thinner. In adolescence sever dissatisfaction has been reported in girls at about 46% and 26% in boys (Ricciardelli & McCabe 2001). In the most recent Mission Australia Youth Survey of over 50, 000 young Australians 34% of girls and 27.4% of boy indicated that body image was their number one concern. Body dissatisfaction remains high until midlife.

Risk factors for body dissatisfaction and eating disturbance are:

  • Internalisation of the social or media ideal
  • Body comparision
  • Weight and shape concerns
  • Dieting or extreme weight loss behaviours.

The Australian Psychological Society has developed a Tip sheet Helping Girls Develop A Positive Self Image, which can be applied to boy also.

Discuss the consequences of sexual behaviour.
Young teens are learning about Newton’s third law in science class at school: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It is not too far a stretch to relate this to their lives in other ways. Some consequences can be wonderful when they happen at the ‘right’ age. Teens may need to discuss how to know when is the right time for sex, what contraception to use, how to discuss sexual health with their partner, STIs, sharing nudes via Apps. ReachOut has loads of information on these subjects.

Give your teen every possible perspective.
It is beneficial to your teen if they are able to get sexual information and perspective from both a woman’s and a man’s point of view. If you feel uncomfortable – that’s okay. Most likely, so does your teen. Try to keep these conversations short, frequent, light and with some humour.

Tell your preteen that your door is always open.
Most importantly, encourage your preteen to talk to you often about any questions they may have about sex. Remember that you are their person of choice when it comes to valuable life information. Your preteen does realise that they are facing choices and they will come to you with questions. Let them know that you will be there for them. Remember to bring up the fact that open communication with you about sex does not in any way imply that you condone sexual behaviour at their age or maturity. Saying this will clear any confusion your teen may have and calm some of your own concerns.

6. Sex Smart Films

Sex Smart films preserves, archives and showcases films addressing sexual health issues. There are classic and contemporary films. They all have a common theme, providing accurate sex information. There is content appropriate for all age groups.