Neal D. Johnson,M.D.

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Opening Up a Conversation with Your Child about Sex

Time flies really fast. It seems like yesterday that you were holding this tiny baby in your arms. But now she’s grown, and she’s fast becoming a beautiful young lady. Seeing your child grow can be a bittersweet experience. It’s a joyous celebration of her entry to the next phase in her life, but at the same time, a sad good-bye to her childhood.

To grow up will mean new experiences and curiosities. She will learn new ideas and concepts. She will meet new acquaintances and cultivate close friendship with a chosen few. She will experience joy and euphoria; she’ll experience melancholy and sadness. She will meet a guy; she’ll fall in love. Inevitably, the time will come when they will consummate their love through sex.

Some kids develop awareness of sex at age 9, but some start later at around 11. No matter what their age, it’s better to have “the talk” than not at all.

Before tackling the subject of sex, be sure you know what to say and how to say it. Sex is one of the most delicate subjects that you can share and exchange ideas about with your child. Timing is also everything. When your child expresses interest in the subject, it will be a good starting point for discussion.

To ensure a healthy exchange of ideas, establish an open line of communication with your child. Kids are likely to open up with their thoughts if they feel comfortable sharing them. That way, it will easier to broach sensitive topics like sex.

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