The Birds and the Bees: When Is the Right Time To Talk Your Child?

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( The day has come when you realize that your child is growing up.  Your baby is no longer a baby.  They are maturing and coming into their own.  They are also asking questions that you may or may not be prepared to discuss.  The discussion I am speaking of is sexuality. 

I can honestly say that my 11 year old son and I are very close.  He is pretty comfortable talking to me about a number of things.  Our conversations range from gangs, drug usage, being a responsible young man and yes we have touched on the topic of sexuality. As a matter of fact our last talk is what prompted me to write this article.

I can remember the first time he asked where babies came from.  Just as most adults I replied “mommy’s belly”.  He was satisfied with that answer and that  was that.  Of course as the years have progressed the questions have become more specific, which has required me to give more detailed answers?

So this brings me to ask the question.  “When is the appropriate time to discuss sexuality with our children?”  I believe when they become curious and start to ask questions.  However, only you the parent can really determine the appropriate time. 

The experts suggest that we take tiny steps at first.  One must take into account the child’s age and maturity level.   I agree that giving whole blown out details in one conversation is not very wise in most cases.  Depending on the age, most children won’t comprehend it anyway.

Sex education and awareness actually can begin at a very early age.  For instance when you are speaking with your child about their genital, it is suggested and wise to address them by the correct name.  For instance tell the child that their special body part should be addressed as their private parts, penis or vagina. However, wee wee or nookie may confuse them, when the time comes to actually use the appropriate name.  Teach them the correct name as it was given.

When your child approaches you don’t laugh and try not to appear shocked or embarrassed.  I understand this may be a challenge, especially when your child comes out of nowhere asking you a question that may be difficult for you to answer. 

Find out what your child already knows.  You may also want to ask them how they learned about.  This is important so that you are aware of where they are getting their information from.

When dealing with a child that is the opposite sex you may have a difficult time explaining certain things, simply because you have not experienced them.  Some fathers may not be able to discuss the process of the menstrual cycle with their young daughter and mothers may have problems talking with their son about waking up in the morning with an odd feeling.  This is when having both parents or other trust worthy relatives or adults can be helpful.  But it is best that a child has this conversation with his or her parent(s) and/or guardian(s).   The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy is also a very informative website to take a look at.

When you are speaking with your child be sure to focus on the facts.  Explain the anatomy of males and females, talk about how reproduction works, STDs, dating, relationships, sexuality and also carrying one’s self in the correct manner.  Keep in mind that all children are not prepared to discuss all of the topics just mentioned.  You must take into consideration the child’s age. 

I must say again that I am not an expert in the field. However, I am a parent who is concerned with protecting and educating her child, on an issue that cannot be swept under the rug.  I believe that talking with our children is important, since they are surrounded by so much unhealthy information shown in the media.  

Even though we try to protect our children, this is not always possible. They are exposed to much more than when we were growing up.  Therefore, it is very important that they obtain the correct information from the right source.  Learning it from us is better than learning it in the streets.

If you are interested in further information on this topic you may want to look at the following suggested readings and websites;

WEB MD  (—–                                            

Books on Talking to Kids About Sex (——

Talk About Sex (——                                

The National (——

Staff Writer; Eleanie Campbell

For more writings by this sista feel free to visit; SoulXPosed2U.