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Talking to Young Children About Sex

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At this stage of life (ages 4-8), children's curiosity about bodies in general and sex in particular is growing. They begin to be aware of anatomical differences--even a trip to the grocery store or the water slide may evoke a discussion. And this is generally the stage where parents are asked about some of the mechanics of making babies.
  • Cultural Influences. The awareness of children to their surroundings begins early and they will start noticing the cultural issues around sex. If Mom or a friend's mom is expecting a baby, there will be an opportunity to talk about how babies get in there and how they come out. They will also start becoming aware of body differences between men and women. This is a good time to give accurate information and to reinforce the messages you hope they get about sex and intimacy.

  • The Mechanics of Sex. When you get the inevitable questions about sex ("How did the baby get in there?"), it's time to start talking about the details of reproduction. It can start pretty simply. For example, you can talk about a special seed that is inside daddies that combines with a little egg that is inside mommies. When these two things combine, a baby starts growing. Then, as questions continue ("How does the seed get from the daddy into the mommy?") then you can get more clinical. You may want to find some good books at your library or local bookstore that will help you teach these principles.

Read more about talking to your children about sex.

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