SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) It’s a big question – when do you have ‘the talk’ with your kids?
When is too early? How much do you say? How will they respond? Will the school explain everything or just part of it?
These are big questions facing parents.
Nurse Dani from Intermountain Healthcare joined Fresh Living today to discuss the birds and the bees, and when parents should sit their kids down. Here’s some of her advice:
When To Talk With Your Kids About Sex
These days, kids are exposed to so much information about sex on TV and the internet and what they learn may or may not be accurate. As parents, it’s very important to make sure that our children understand puberty and sex and get information from reliable sources.
When is it the right time?
Some say that you should wait until kids start asking questions about their changing bodies or about sex, but they might never do that. Parents should initiate the conversation and a good time to do it is around 8 years old. They should begin to understand the changes that their bodies will go through. The time may also depend on whether you have a boy or girl.
It is vital that parents talk about periods with their daughters before they actually get it. If they don’t know what it is, it can be very scary. Most girls get their period when they’re 12-13, but puberty usually starts 2-2.5 years before that. Some even get their periods as early as 9 and others as late as 16.
Boys usually start experiencing puberty around age 10-11, but can start even earlier than that.
Fifth and Sixth Graders go through a Maturation program, but boys and girls are segregated and often only learn about their own gender and changes they can expect in their own bodies. It is important for girls to learn about changes in boys and boys to learn about changes in girls. Parents should attend these classes with their kids and have follow up conversations to fill in information gaps where needed.
What are a few tips for talking with your kids about sex?
1. Be open and honest, especially when they ask questions. Don’t brush them under the rug.
2. If you need education before talking to your kids, get it so you’re passing along accurate information. This will also make you more confident when talking with them about it.
3. Reassure them the changes they’ll experience are normal.
4. The conversation will only be as awkward as you make it. It might be embarrassing for you to talk to your kids about these sensitive topics, but in reality, they’ll be relieved to know they can talk with you about it.