Health Blog

Talking to Children About Sex

Parents dread “the talk.” Conversations about sex can feel uncomfortable, but remember… if your kids aren’t getting this information from you they are likely getting bad information from friends, the TV or the internet. So, here are some tips for making sure you are prepared to discuss this hot topic with your kids at all ages:

  • It’s never too early to start. Find opportunities to talk to your kids to normalize these conversations.
  • Keep it simple; you don’t have to share it all at one time.
  • Use real names for private parts.
  • Keep your kid’s age in mind.
    • Young kids – talk about how boys and girls are different or name body parts.
    • Older kids – answer questions honestly and in small doses.
  • Look for teachable moments: a pregnant neighbor or a scene on TV can start a discussion.
  • Share with your children what your feelings and views are on sex.
  • Make yourself available; listen more than you talk.
  • Take time to explain what makes a relationship healthy.
  • Find a friend or family member you trust that your child can also go to with questions.
  • If you don’t know an answer to a question, be honest, look it up with your child and learn together.

Lori Nieboer, PA-C, MPH
Physician Assistant at Union High School Health Center