How do we talk about sex with our children and when should we start talking to them about sexuality? Depending on your age, we offer you tips that will be of great help.
We have our adolescent in front of us and we consider that we finally have to talk to him about sex. But how do we start the conversation? What would be the appropriate time? Should we be both parents and only the one who is of the same sex? All these questions have a quick answer: it is too late.
If your son is a teenager and you have not talked about sex with him yet, it is too late, he has probably investigated and formed many false myths through his friends, the Internet or his own deductions. Children need to be told about sex from the time they are old enough to understand and wonder about their own sexuality.
It is proven that those children who are more familiar with sex have later sex, have fewer and more stable partners and take the proper precautions.
How to talk to my son about sex?
First of all, forget all those stereotypes that many movies have put into our heads: no long and serious talks using technical vocabulary. No, none of that.
Second, you have to be attentive to the signs that your child shows towards curiosity and discovery of their sex and that of others to naturally clarify some terms, avoid confusion and inappropriate situations. You do not need to prepare the talks, simply, when the questions arrive, answer honestly, adapting to the age of your child.
Adapting our explanations to our son
Already at the age of 2 or 3, children already self-discover their own sex and are interested in that of others. They want and need to know why they are boys or girls and what differentiates them. How are these differences physically?
Obviously, at these ages we cannot explain the biology and functioning of the genitals but we can help them to categorize what is a penis and a vagina. Through stories where genitals are seen we can teach them what they are like.
And forget the euphemisms with which we call the genitals: no pee, chichi, little bird …, no, it’s called a vagina and there is no need to create confusion. A clear example: if a little bird flies and is in the trees, why do I have a little bird down there?
At the age of 3 and 4, a key question always comes up: where do children come from? At these ages the terms of conception of a baby are incomprehensible, simply a: “from the tummy of mother” will suffice.
Gone is the stork or the gifts that come from heaven. Be aware that they will see this confusion throughout their childhood. For example, if the stork brings the children, why does mother get chubby and they take her to the hospital? These types of questions will lead to others that are more complex and illusory to answer and in the end parents and children will get lost in the answer.
At 5 or 6 years the questions become more complex, the more understanding the more curiosity. How babies are made? Our son already knows where babies are born, but of course, how do they get there? Do they put them in when they are big? Who puts them?
At this stage, it is enough for the child to understand that a baby is formed through the mixture of cells from mom and dad. We will make it clear that Dad has cells called sperm and that when they unite with Mom’s cell called an egg they create a baby. We do not have to advance information that is not being asked and each child develops curiosity at different ages.
From 7 to 9 and our children have a certain autonomy when it comes to viewing their drawings, games and movies and will have access to many types of images and recordings. In this case they will ask how conception takes place, that is, how dad introduces his cells into mom.
What is the process? In this case the answer is concise, we will only have to physically explain the fact of the penetration of the penis in the vagina as a necessity for the reproduction process.
From the age of 11, the prepubertal and pubertal changes in themselves begin. Your body is changing and the questions will become more specific. We should never ignore the questions, because if we don’t answer them, someone else will and the results can be devastating.
What must be made clear to them is that when two people have sex it is because they love each other.
Some topics that we must not forget when we talk with our teenage children are: contraceptive methods, the possibilities of becoming pregnant, protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
We must create trust so that when they have any questions or are in a compromising situation, they come to us as parents and we can guide them as we do in other aspects of their development.