TEXAS -- Whether you’re comfortable with your kids getting sex education at school or prefer to handle it at home, health experts say a conversation about sex is necessary and that it should happen sooner rather than later.
Researchers estimate that 90 percent of children today first learn about sex through viewing pornography, and it is starting as young as 9 years old for boys and girls.
So, time is of the essence.
Pediatricians say children can begin learning about privacy and safe touch even during the early toddler-hood years.
And while some kids today still see relationships in the traditional boy dates girl sense, others don’t; so don’t use the terms girlfriend or boyfriend assuming you know your child's sexual identity or who they are attracted to.
That’s one piece of advice, and here are few more tips to ensure a comfortable, productive conversation about sex with your kids.
- First, know the language - times have changed a lot and so has the words used for certain things, you need to know what cis-het, heteronormativity, datie, and questioning mean.
- Second, create space to talk - don't be too direct, but instead ease into the conversation, relating it to a topic or television show they are interested in.
- Third, be genuine - our kids are smart and they can sniff out a scare tactic in a heartbeat – take the time to find out how your child self-identifies, what he or she might be going through and how you can help.
- Finally, steer clear of judgment, but do include a discussion on consent: the verbal agreement that two people have to have.
It may feel uncomfortable parents, but kids and teens agree, it’s necessary. By having these kinds of consistent talks, health experts say you’re setting your children up for success when it comes to navigating the ever-evolving world they face.