The curiosity of children is usually piqued when they notice differences between the bodies of their parents. Girls see that the body of dad is different from the body of mom or of her. Boys note that the body of mom differs from their body and that of dad. It is necessary to speak frankly so that they can counter falsehoods with the truth when they encounter myths and stories from their peers. What is the right age for the birds and bees talk?
Starting the Birds And Bees Talk
Most parents start talking with their children around the age of 8 0r 9. When a child hits puberty, they are more likely to be told what happens in their bodies and miseducated by their peers. It is therefore imperative that parents talk to their children before their friends do so. We live in a society that is uncomfortable talking about the body, creating vagina and penis euphemisms, caricatured and leading to misinformation.
From where do babies come?
It’s important to reinforce that children are not afraid of their bodies. It is also essential, to be frank for young children who are curious about the origin of babies and to use the correct anatomical terms when talking about sex or reproduction. You may say, for example, something like ‘Daddy’s got sperm in her body; Mum has eggs. When papa meets mum’s baby’s eggs, they will probably want to know how the sperm meets egg as they get older.
If you inquire, answer the question factually, but emotionally not. Say something like that: the penis fits inside the vagina and the sperm springs from the penis. A sweetheart is made. The baby begins as a small cell, not more significant than a centimetre, and the small cell becomes a bunch of grapes!
This is all about tone.
What you are saying is as critical as how you are saying it. Speak quietly. Do not act as if sex is an offence punishable. Explain that it’s healthy and normal when two mature people agree to have sex. In this context, the distinction between healthy and unhealthy physical relationships is essential for discussion. If you talk about sex in the right situations as healthy and natural, you should also discuss safe sex, but it is usually a discussion between older children.
Ages 0-3: Age For Birds And Bees Talk
Kids get to know their bodies. As kids, they are gender-conscious and curious about the differences between boys and girls. Set a serious yet low and open tone on sexuality. Babies and infants are usually affected by diaper changes and bathing, and babies frequent erections.
Seek to be cool about the contact of your child with his genitals rather than attracting attention to your child by smiling or making funny faces. Teach your child the correct names of body elements since your child was born — without rattling — so you don’t have to switch from nicknames to proper names later.
Making body parts names can give the idea that the name of the body is terrible. Using proper terms can help your child speak about medical problems freely and learn about sexual abuse and report them without feeling abused.
Ages 4-5: Age For Birds And Bees Talk
In pre-school years, the general curiosity of your child about gender probably grows. She perhaps also asks: Where do babies come from? How did I get out of the tummy of Mommy?
Don’t overthink about the curiosity in the sexuality of your preschooler. Age 4 and 5 may touch their genitals and show interest in the genitals of other children. These are not adult sex, but signs of regular interest. While it is normal for pre-school students to hug and kiss friends and to play with peers, calmly explain to your child that touching others in private is not OK. Find toys and books that will redirect the attention of children to a play.
Tell your child that nobody else, including close friends and family, can touch her private parts. Only doctors and nurses can influence their genitals by physical tests, and you (his parents) can touch their genitals while attempting to locate or relieve genital pain.
Try appropriate “teachable moments” to explore the issue of sex. Talk at bathing time about genitals and explanate pregnancy when you or someone you know is waiting for a baby. But don’t take the facts overboard.
Ages 6-7: Age For Birds And Bees Talk
Your early school child typically seeks to gather additional information about everything: how male and female bodies are precisely different, how babies are made and what happens sexually between adults. He also learns to set boundaries for his own body.
Keep answering the questions of your child simply and truthfully without going too far. Switch to children’s books ideal for ageing to help illustrate issues. The different parts are the parts that make each one of us a woman or a man. Some of these sections are outside our bodies. Some of them are within our bodies. Also, some parts — when the body of a person grows up — can make a baby.
Let your child know how to guard against sexual abuse and let her establish boundaries for her body and personal safety. Enable your child to make the rules and say ‘no’ to something when it comes to his body if he hates tickled or seen nude, even immediate family members.
It is natural for the children to become more modest in the way they get older and more independent of themselves, but it is good to teach them that nothing is disgraceful about their bodies. It’s still nice if parents play horseplay, cuddle, take the kids on their shoulders, and teach kids to shower and bathe if the kid’s all comfortable.
Age 8-12: Age For Birds And Bees Talk
Sometimes the years that lead to puberty may feel like the calm before the storm. Children can be more relaxed and calm about sex-related issues than younger children. Or, they may be even more curious and less tentative about the subject. In any case, your tween machinery is turning, and your transparency and integrity are more important than ever.
Use TV-watching and media time to find out sex-related questions about your tween. Children who say, “eww — gross!” when they see characters in films express curiosity about sex, so ask your child if they have any questions. Discuss the depiction of the role of sex and gender in the media and the importance of distinguishing media portrayals from reality.
Get your child ready for puberty. Don’t leave it to school teachers in health and sex education — their details might not be too early, too late. Puberty usually begins between 8 and 13 years of age in girls and 9 and 15 years of age in boys. Early adolescence is increasingly healthy, so it is prudent to let your old elementary school child know the horizon’s physical and hormonal/emotional changes before he (or any of his friends) starts to encounter them.
When you think about puberty, you may have to answer the fundamentals of sex, but unless your child has any particular concerns, you will likely postpone deep sex discussions for early teens. Have separate talks about puberty and sex rather than a “big talk,” which can disturb your child. Let him digest the information at a time, one subject.
Daughters and Menstrual Cycles
Girls now begin their cycles even as early as fifth grade, so while your daughter seems as though she is nowhere near puberty, the stories of her colleagues could confuse and disturb her if you don’t show her the basics first. She wants two things from you: firstly, the menstrual information, and, secondly, the protection that, at the beginning of her cycle, she can tell you without shame or embarrassment.
Sons and Erections
Boys will observe other boys’ erections (even babies), wonder about their own constructions and physical reactions, and early hear “boner” or other explicit referrals. It is also a good idea to describe erections even to young children in a low-key way to ensure that they understand that the normal body reaction, which they still don’t regulate, is nothing shameful.
This should be easier if you have used the correct terms for body parts from the start; if you have never, begin to make your child comfortable and easier to say “penis” and to avoid the euphemistic terms it has been used to date.
Talking About Masturbation
Talking about masturbation is embarrassing, but it’s important to let her know that sexually stimulating herself is nothing disgraceful or abnormal. Your child should be in public for many years now, but both boys and girls can continue to masturbate, some of them very often. Your child may feel guilty unless you reassure her that sexual feelings are not just normal, but healthy and that everyone masturbates, although not mentioned.
Education is the best defence against misinformation, leading to unfortunate results. Information never leads to misconduct. Children want to think about cause and effect and how to make rational choices in any other ability in life leads to positive outcomes; making poor choices leads to negative consequences.