Age Appropriate Sex Talks
Children are expected to sex talk earlier than you think, via peers and social media. Be the first to inform them.
(0-3) Nice: Name It, Calm, Explain
Begin to use anatomically correct names for all body parts, including genitals, penis, vulva, testicles and even eyebrows. Recognize the differences between male and female bodies. Encourage children to claim their bodies as their own. Explain bodily process such as pregnancy and birth in every simple terms
(3-5) Time For Ask & Tell
Deepen the NICE conversations (Name it, claim and Explain) and add discussions about privacy (sexually is private and happens at home). also start an ask-and-Tell dialogue. Encourage conversations about how their bodies feel to get kids thinking about the goodness of intimacy. Also discuss what doesn’t feel good.
(5-8) Puberty Politeness
NICE continues, including the anatomy of sexual intercourse. Introduce the variations of sexuality: hetero, homo, bi, trans. Puberty can start at age 9, so it’s time to prepare. Discuss basic social conventions of privacy, nudity and respect for others in relationships. Continue the conversation about what does and doesn’t feel good.
(8-10) Less Questions, More Curiosity
A child this age can handle a basic explanation on just about any topic, including rape and abuse. Provide information about sexuality and puberty (for both sexes). There may be fewer questions, but there’s more curiosity. HIV/AIDS, abortion, marriage and sexual abuse. Acknowledge not everyone fits the same gender molds but everyone can experience pleasure… and that’s a great thing! Reinforce healthy boundaries and self-esteem.
(9-12) What Makes A Good Relationship
Initiate conversations if you have to, but make sure they continue. Reinforce what they’ve learned. Teens needs to know safe sex and contraception. Discuss what makes relationship healthy, self-empowered and positive -and what does not. Explain relationship choices and feelings for others, how to start, continue, and end a relationship.
(13-18) The Pleasure Talk
By now, your child has all the facts about sexual interactions. Now it’s time to reinforce safety and discuss the anatomy of pleasure. Whatever the gender your child is attracted to, talk about pleasure. Explore relationships values, asking for help and making choices. Finally, talk about the difference between love and lust.
(18+) Open Up And Make Them Need You
Accept your child is an adult and needs to be treated like one. They may not need you, so make them want you! Continue to offer physical and emotional intimacy, while respecting their need for independence and privacy. Appreciate them. Share your values and experiences in an open dialogue. Facilitate their access to sexual and reproductive healthcare
No Shame, No Blame
It is up to you to continue the sex conversation, even if your child doesn’t ever bring it up. Sexuality and pleasure are healthy and life-enhancing