One of the challenges that come with raising children is deciding how and when to talk to them about sexual health. While it may be universal information, the talk can vary greatly by the child. It is a series of topics that can be decided by personal choices by the parent on how to best go about the conversations.
Teaching Your Child About Sexual Health
A conversation about sexual health with your child may present itself at different times. Whatever the situation may be, going into it already prepared can be helpful. Keeping these six tips in mind can make any conversation easier and promote a sense of trust with your child to continue these conversations when necessary. At HealthPark Pediatrics, we know that some discussions are more difficult than others with your child. So, we are here to help along the way.
Find The Right Time
The right time to talk about sexual health with your child can look very different for anyone. It could present itself as a conversation stemming from a question your child asks you. On the other hand, it could be that your child reaches an age where those topics would be talked about more often in a social setting, and you want to set the stage of the conversation before that. The right time does not have to be universal, even between your own children.
Sexual health does not have to be a topic that you feel the need to tip-toe around. The more real and accurate you are about the subject, the less chance your child has of believing false information. If they are old enough to be having this conversation, then they are old enough to hear the true business behind it.
HealthyChildren discusses the importance of not talking down to your child about sex and respecting their intelligence. While using simple language may be usual, don’t assume that things will go over their head.
Your child may find they take in more information when it comes from outside sources. Sometimes, hearing information from a parent about something that makes them uncomfortable may not stick as well. Finding resources online or even offering for them to talk to a medical professional could be a great way for the child to get even more education about sexual health.
The Society For Adolescent Health and Medicine details a list of resources for parents of adolescents as well as the adolescent themself. These resources are provided by healthcare providers and professionals to give you peace of mind knowing that the information is accurate and useful.
A conversation with your child means hearing what they have to say as well. While it may seem like a time of teaching, they could have a lot to say and that means listening. Most information you seek from your child comes from them telling you things rather than answering your questions.
Find Out What They Already Think or Know
Understanding the information that your child already thinks or knows can be a great place to start. If they already have ideas of sexual health, making sure those are accurate can help your child continue to only believe useful information.
Let Them Know You Are There To Help
The first conversation about sexual health does not need to be the last one. Let your child know that any problem or question that may arise is completely okay. It is not a topic that can be entirely covered in one conversation. There are always going to be new topics depending on the age and social situation of the child.
Talking to your child about sexual health does not have to be difficult. While it may seem like you do not know where to start, it may even present itself naturally. These tips are a great place to start. Taking each of these into consideration may make your situation much more manageable. Are you struggling with talking to your child about sexual health? HealthPark Pediatrics is here to provide insight and even more resources for you to use. Check out our website or give us a call at (919) 896-7066.