Sex is one of those things that is actually pretty easy to discuss with your kids. I am not screwing with you, it really is. What’s hard is all these adult thoughts we have in our heads about how uncomfortable it is or realizing how little we actually know when it comes to explaining how to be sexual with one’s self and people we are attracted to. Lets face it, if you grew up in the U.S., you probably had mediocre sex education, at best… and now you’re expected to explain the ins and outs (no pun intended) of sex, reproduction and sexuality to a tiny human?! No wonder you’re stressed! But as always, I am here to guide you through the process (you can think me later!). So first up, Birth-Age 4!
The Importance of Sex Positivity With Littles
You may think that you’re in the clear and have practically forever before you have to address anything remotely close to sex, and in some ways that may be true, but I could argue that during this stage of development, sex positivity is actually the most important.
As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is stress the goodness of physical touch and body love. Teach these little munchkins about how special their bodies are and encourage them to ask questions. Make sure that you reward their curiosity with factual information; and don’t be afraid to use ACCURATE names for body parts, such as their genitalia. Say penis instead of “weenie” or vulva instead of “tulip.” Not only is this just good practice and helps a child understand their body, but it is helpful for a child to know accurate names in the case that they are touched inappropriately and need to tell someone (see also my blog post on child safety).
Around the age of 3, children begin to become curious about where babies come from, but don’t panic! When my 3-year-old has asked, I explain that a man’s sperm squeezes inside a women’s egg and then a baby grows. Does he have any clue what that actually means? Nope. But it’s true and it answers the question. I also show him my belly, stretch marks and all, while I explain that he lived there for a while until he was ready to come out and I pushed him out of my vagina. After that he proudly exclaims that he used to live in my belly and usually makes up some sort of story about how the whole family lived in there together (it’s truly adorable). It satisfied his curiosity and as he gets older I will explain to him, in more detail, how babies are created. Remember, there is no such thing as a fucking stork, so don’t tell that to your child. They deserve an honest answer and it will make things much easier when they are old enough to really understand how the entire process works!
Tip: Try using a garden metaphor with your little ones when it comes to pregnancy. Ya know: seeds, fertilizer, water, blooming flower, etc. That may make you feel a bit more confident in your explanation and can give your child a positive visual!
Did you like this article? Then take a look at my other child-focused posts!