Discussing about sex

Parents must discuss with their children the differences between right and wrong, and appropriate and inappropriate behavior in today’s society. Although these are difficult themes to tackle, it is equally important to talk to kids about sexual development, sexual identity, and other relevant topics.

Young children are naturally curious and start caressing, pulling, and rubbing various parts of their bodies, including their genitalia.

They will require direction as they mature in order to understand these bodily parts, their roles, safety, and the meaning of privacy and private parts. Here are some tips to help you distinguish between “normal” sexual habits and those that can indicate a problem.

What are ‘normal sexual behaviors’ for a child?

This is frequent and may typically start as early as age two (through to seven years of age). Parents need to refocus the child’s attention when these occur, explaining concepts like “good touch” and “bad contact” in a simple manner. Children need to understand that they should never allow someone to touch their private parts and that it’s crucial to keep them covered and secure in public places (which includes school too). Respect for “body space” should also be taught to children.

If you maintain open lines of communication, your child will be aware of what to do and how to react even when a familiar person touches them: they must report it right away.

The warning signs

* Caressing or showing genitalia in public or in private

* Looking at or touching a peer’s or new sibling’s genitalia

* Standing too closely or acting in a sexually suggestive manner when around others

* Trying to sneak a peek of peers or adults in the nude

Signs that may indicate sexual abuse

* Playing inappropriately or inappropriately sexually with toys or objects

* Having nightmares or sleeping issues

* Withdrawing or becoming overly clingy

* Becoming unusually secretive

* Reverting to earlier habits like bedwetting

* Unaccountable fear of specific places or people

* Outbursts of anger

* Changes in eating habits

* Mention of an older new friend and mysterious money

Physical warning signs

Despite the rarity of physical evidence of sexual assault, you should take your child to the doctor if you notice any. Your doctor can perform a test for STIs and assist you in making sense of what might be going on.

* Genital discomfort, redness, bleeding, or discharges

* Constant or recurrent pain during urine and bowel movements

* Accidental wetting and soiling that is unrelated to toilet training All parties that work with children must address circumstances with tact and consideration.


Awareness always leads to prevention and better outcomes. Sex education only fosters healthy beliefs and normalizes age-appropriate understanding and curiosity about the subject.

How parents can help

* Use terminology that is suitable. Teach them the correct terms for all body parts, such as “genitals,” “penis,” “vagina,” “breasts,” and “buttocks.” Making up names could give a child the impression that the real name is bad. Teach your child the private bits, too (e.g. parts covered by a swimming suit).

* It’s crucial to teach your younger children to respect older siblings’ privacy and their personal space.

* Expect inquiries: Depending on your child’s understanding, maturity, and age, you should prepare to field inquiries from your youngster.

* Refrain from laughing or giggling, even if the question is absurd or entirely based on a myth. Avoid expressing your astonishment, disgust, or shame in response. Never should you make your youngster feel guilty for being curious? Even if a child is showing signs of gay desire, it is important to listen sympathetically.

* Be concise. Don’t give a detailed justification. Make it a practice to respond to these questions succinctly and in plain language. Your preschooler, for instance, doesn’t need to be aware of the specifics of sexual function. Age-appropriate material must always be used when sharing with kids.

* Avoid coercing adoration. If your kids don’t want to, don’t make them give hugs or kisses to strangers. They have the freedom to decline a goodbye kiss or hug from anyone, including grandparents. A youngster may find inappropriate touching, especially when it comes from a trusted adult, friend, or family member, to be highly perplexing.

Good touch vs bad touch

* Explain what constitutes a “good touch” and a “bad touch”. You can define “good touch” as a way for people to express their concern and support for one another (e.g., embracing, holding hands, diaper-changing). On the other hand, a “bad touch” is one that you don’t enjoy and want to stop immediately away (e.g. hitting, kicking, or touching private parts). Tell your child that while most touches are OK or acceptable, he or she must respond with “NO” and promptly inform you of any touches that cause confusion or fear.

* Set some ground rules for safety with them. For example, tell them that it is improper for anyone to gaze upon or touch the portion of their body that is concealed by their underwear. When a youngster is aware of this rule, it is simpler for them to adhere to it and they are better able to identify a “bad touch.” Assure your kids that you’ll respect their opinions, believe in them, and wish to protect them.

* Limit media exposure: Many internet, cable, and satellite service providers offer parental controls. Please be aware that children may observe adult sexual conduct in real life or on screens, and they may not disclose this to you. Peers or older kids may show pornography to a child in class or at playdates. Your youngster should be aware that reporting something to you is required.


Article by

Rose .A. Milani,

Parent Coach and Registered Mental Health Counsellor

Based in Melbourne, Australia




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