Early Sex Talks for Grade-schoolers
Prepare yourself for “The Talk” with these guidelines for discussing puberty, privacy, body parts, sex and babies.
By: Gregory Germain, MD
The first discussion of puberty and sex should be rudimentary but straightforward. Your child will definitely ask you, “Where do babies come from?” at some point, so be ready. You may be afraid that you will sound silly or say the wrong thing when you have “The Talk,” but don’t. Your child just wants the facts, and you should give them to him.
When talking, use the correct names for body parts—“penis,” “vagina”—and not euphemisms. Tell your child that when a man and a woman, like his mother and father, love each other, they want to be close. They do this by getting close to one another. Then explain that a man puts his penis into the woman’s vagina and the sperm can join with an egg to make a baby.
Sex: A Continuing Conversation
Don’t worry about going into all of the physical and sociological implications of sex at one time. Your child will asks lots more questions as he gets older and sees more on television and in the movies and talks to more friends. Ask your child what he knows and wants to know from time to time, and answer his questions honestly and openly. Kids get a great deal of misinformation from other kids, and if your child knows you are there for the difficult conversations, he will get proper information from you. You can always get books to help you fill in or illustrate details.
You should also discuss privacy issues with your child. Let him know that although it is normal for kids to be curious about bodies, self-touch should only be done in private. If you catch your child playing “doctor” with another child, explain that big kids keep their bodies covered in front of each other. You can set an example by asking that your child knock on the door before coming into your room and telling him that you will extend the same courtesy.