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Your child is a sexual being

Many parents ponder at what age they should begin talking to their child about sex and sexuality. The short answer is, “As soon as they begin asking questions.” The long answer is that the conversation(s) you have with your child about sex and sexuality should be a continuous channel of communication throughout their entire lifetime. As your child hits adolescence if they are quiet about the subject of sex, then it is probably time for you to initiate a conversation. It does not have to be a one-hour power point presentation, but more like a statement reminding them that you are there if they have any questions or concerns. Do not delay opening the sexual channel of communication until your child begins dating. “Parents may delay conversations about sexuality because they are afraid of putting ideas into their child’s head before they are “ready” or because they equate talking about sexuality with giving tacit permission to explore sexual behaviors. In fact, sex education and parent-child communication about sexuality are associated with delayed sexual activity and more consistent contraceptive use. Conversations with parents have the potential to become the benchmarks against which teens measure other information about sexuality and serve as a buffer against early sexual activity” (Ashcraft & Murray 2017). Parents that openly discuss sex and sexuality with their children allows the parents the opportunity to give their children clear and factual information instead of the often times inaccurate information they hear from their peers.

Ashcraft, A. M., & Murray, P. J. (2017). Talking to Parents About Adolescent Sexuality. Pediatric clinics of North America, 64(2), 305–320.

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