Parenting with Purpose: Talking to Your Kids About Sex


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — May is Sex Education Month. According to Planned Parenthood, kids and teens who have regular conversations with their parents about sex are less likely to take risks with their sexual health. But these talks can be awkward for both parties. It’s a tough topic, but one that shouldn’t be ignored.

And who should teach it is up for debate.

Expert Katie Gallagher says the conversation should start at home.

“We want to make sure that young people are getting sex ed and critical information from trusted sources,” said Gallagher.

But when should you start? You can talk to preschool-aged kids about their body parts and safe and unsafe touch. Introduce the topic of consent to younger school-aged kids. And conversations about puberty, pornography, and sex should ideally begin before puberty hits.

“Generally, we recommend about fourth grade,” said Gallagher.

With teens, you might want to discuss birth control options, sexual health, and relationships. When talking to kids and teens about sex, don’t laugh or giggle. This could make them feel ashamed. Use simple, age-appropriate language. Be honest about all that you share. Listen to your child’s responses and ask if they have any questions. And — most importantly – talk about sex often. Don’t make it just one discussion.

Research shows the average age children are exposed to pornography is 13. But many kids are exposed by age seven.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Bob Walko, Editor

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