Originally posted 07/06/2015
General Tips For Sexuality Conversations With Kids:
Keep it simple - Strip back (excuse the pun) the layers in your mind of your own adult sexual journey. Your thoughts, desires, fears, pleasures, needs, experiences are not relevant to the simple questions that a child is asking, or the conversation you need to have with them.
Be positive - your reaction can be worse than your response. e.g. Walking in on pornography viewing:
"Oh! I'm so glad I have seen those images on your screen, it gives me the opportunity to explain to you what they are and why they are there..."
Walking in on 'normal' childhood imagination play:
"Oh My goodness!! Oh! I'm glad I saw you playing Drs with your pants down, it reminds me to explain to you both about our private parts. Pop your pants back up Johnny and we will go out to the kitchen and have some cookies and have a chat about it..."
A Guide to identify, understand and respond to Sexual Behaviours
Buy yourself some time to think up an answer, when asked a confronting Question, while exploring what they already do or don't know:
"That is a great question! What do you know about that?"
"Glad you asked me about that! Who told you and what else did they say about it?"
See PRAISE for more ideas
Always let them know they can come to you about anything, nothing is off limits. This needs to be actually said to them - frequently.
"It was great having our little chat, I want you to know that you can ask Mum and I any question about sex or anything that you hear, or want to know about, even if you think it is rude or disgusting.
We will always answer your questions, you will never be in trouble."
Basis of all conversations should be about Respectful Relationships.
Other key themes we need to put into our conversations are; pleasure, fun, fulfilment and the good parts of intimate connections and partnerships. Not just always focusing on the negative things like, diseases, pregnancy and safety stuff.
Younger Kids Sexuality Conversation Examples:
How did that baby get in her tummy?
"Thats a great question, I have been meaning to talk to you about that. She had a special egg and when that egg met with a special seed a baby started to grow from it."
Where was her egg?
"All women have special eggs that can start growing a baby, the eggs live inside a woman’s tummy in a special little sac called an ovary"
Where does the seed come from?
"It comes from a man. Men have the special seeds that are also needed to grow a baby, these live in their bodies in another special type of sac called a testicle"
Wow! How did the seed meet the egg in her tummy? Did she swallow the seed?
No wonder many of us avoid it all together!!!! Come to one of my presentations to see how this and many other stories end happily ever after :)
Older Kids Sexuality Conversation Examples:
Does everyone have periods?
"Yep all girls and women have periods. All women have a uterus and periods are part of the changes to the uterus that happen every month. It 's the amazing way that female bodies get ready to make a baby every month."
What is a wet dream?
"At night boys might notice a fluid that comes out of the penis. When a boy's body develops into a man it starts producing sperm in the testicles, this sperm comes out in a fluid called semen. If he has a sexy dream, some of that fluid might come out of the tip of the penis. It's easily wiped up with a tissue and pjs go in the wash. it's really normal for this to happen to all males."
"Girls also have 'wet' dreams they too have sexy thoughts and dreams when they are asleep and the vagina can become lubricated but it is not as obvious."
Consider being gender neutral when asking about their relationships, avoid saying:
"Do you like that girl?"
"How do you feel about relationships or do you feel attracted to anyone in that group?
Don't tease kids about their friendships. Young kids don't relate to the girlfriend/boyfriend thing your 'adult' opinions are suggesting - you might confuse and embarrass them, avoid:
"Ooohhh is that your boyfriend???Whoo Whooo!"
"Dave is a great kid, you and him seem to have a strong friendship?"
Older Kids Sexuality Conversation Examples:
With 23 years experience as a Sexual Health Nurse & 15 years as an Educator, I'm delivering information & support to Parents, Teachers, Health Professionals and Young People with the aim of encouraging essential conversations about all aspects of Human Sexuality. Hope you find it useful to your situation. Good luck with your conversations, Vanessa x