If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
As a parent, you are the ideal teacher to help your child learn about sex. Open communication about sexuality helps your child understand his or her feelings and encourages a positive attitude toward a natural process.
Your explanations should be honest and simple. Because children's cognitive growth is ongoing, a 6-year-old child often is not able to fully grasp the details about sexuality that a child who is about to enter puberty may need to have explained. A good way to gauge children's readiness for information is to first find out what they think the answer might be to their own question. Then provide as little or as much information as you think is needed. Keep your conversations ongoing, so that more sophisticated information can be given at appropriate times.
Some common behaviors and issues to discuss may include:
Many groups, such as Planned Parenthood or those sponsored by your local hospital, offer classes that you can attend with your older child that address sexuality, what to expect during puberty, and similar topics. Enrolling in such a class may make it easier for you to start an ongoing dialogue with your child.
|KidsHealth for Parents, Children, and Teens|
|Nemours Home Office|
|10140 Centurion Parkway|
|Jacksonville, FL 32256|
This website is sponsored by the Nemours Foundation. It has a wide range of information about children's health—from allergies and diseases to normal growth and development (birth to adolescence). This website offers separate areas for kids, teens, and parents, each providing age-appropriate information that the child or parent can understand. You can sign up to get weekly emails about your area of interest.
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America|
|434 West 33rd Street|
|New York, NY 10001|
The Planned Parenthood Federation of American provides comprehensive reproductive health care and consumer information about family planning, sexual health, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The Teen Talk Web site (www.plannedparenthood.org/teen-talk) has information for teens about dating, teen pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, how teens can protect themselves against STDs, and more.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||John Pope, MD - Pediatrics|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics|
|Last Revised||May 14, 2013|
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