Facts of Life and Young Children

When it comes to discussing the facts of life with your preschooler, find those teachable moments to make it a part of your day-to-day lives together.

If the thought of discussing the birds and bees with your preschooler sends you into a cold sweat, here’s some good news. Sex education can be a lot simpler than it appears at first glance. Discussing sexual health with our children doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down for “the big talk”. There are many occasions in our day-to-day lives that can present ideal opportunities to present the facts of life explains, sexual health educator, Lyba Spring. “For example, if  the neighbor next door is going to have a baby, talk about it. Use teachable moments. Make it part of life.”

If you’re afraid that you’re giving more information than your preschooler can handle, don’t be. According to Meg Hickley, author of Speaking of Sex, your child will take in as much as he or she needs to. “Many parents are afraid that they will say too much, or that they will frighten or embarrass their children when talking about sexuality. My advise would be to begin in the preschool years because then they accept it. You can never say too much as long as you keep it science and health oriented.”

And Spring says talking openly about sexual health with young children sends a strong positive message. “Our children learn it’s okay to talk about sex, that they have control over their body, that our bodies are a miracle and that they should learn to protect them. I think that sex education is a part of a continuum; it starts at birth and it continues through life.”

So don’t be afraid to talk about sexual health and the facts of life with your preschooler. Use scientific terms for body parts, and keep the discussion matter of fact. Kids who feel comfortable talking about their bodies now, will be the teens who, in the long run, will have a healthier attitude and know how to protect themselves.

Adapted from The Parent Report Radio Show. Any advice or information contained herein should never be a substitute for professional and/or medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. For more information please review Terms of Service.

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