A question popular with children, but feared by parents. In principle, however, parents should not be afraid of being confronted with the topic of sex. On the contrary, it’s good if children are curious. After all, this is in line with their nature.
Up to about kindergarten age, kids are content to have babies grow in their tummies when two adults are all lovey-dovey. Later, it’s time to give a more detailed answer to the question of where babies come from.
Question No. 1: Isn’t It Dangerous To Educate Children Quite Directly And At An Early Age?
This question stems from the misunderstanding between adult and child sexuality. Parents basically don’t have to worry about kids wanting to try what they’ve learned afterwards.
Children are hardly concerned with the drive behind the sexual. Rather, they are interested in how adults treat each other. They also want to know exactly how the baby is formed.
Even then, if kindergarten children (dressed) imitate the sexual act, there is nothing to worry about. This is harmless because kids don’t attach the same importance to this behavior as we adults do.
Question #2: What To Do If The Child Is Openly Playing With Himself?
Openly dealing with sexuality can become unpleasant for parents. One should be aware of the fact that despite all openness there are also limits, which have their meaning.
You don’t have to let the children get away with everything just because you openly educate them. After all, adults also have a certain natural shame that kids need to respect.
In addition, kids need to learn that masturbating is something you don’t do in company. What is harmless at home could lead to uncomfortable situations for the child at school or in other public places. A hint like, “This feels nice for you, I know. But I’d rather you do it alone in your room.” is usually sufficient and legitimate.
Question #3: What Details Should Children Know When You Educate Them?
Parents should be the first point of contact when it comes to questions about sexuality. However, in order for kids to approach mom and dad with this, you also need to demonstrate a certain openness and straightforwardness. So signal to your kids as early as possible that they can come to you with their questions about these topics.
How dertaillized you describe the sex act depends on the age of the child?
Toddlers only need brief information about how they get in the tummy. Do not give answers to questions that have not been asked. You would only further confuse the child.
School children already see the topic in a more differentiated way. They know how difficult the subject is and like to test their parents by asking questions about sexuality. They like to provoke a lot. With a little sensitivity, however, they can understand why the child is asking these questions. Kids at this age are often overwhelmed with the information they get from peers or even the Internet. Check in with them, “Why do you want to know this?” or “What exactly do you want to know?”. Try to find out exactly what the child wants to know. If it is simply confused and overwhelmed, then it needs extra tact. Then you can address the topic together, for example with a picture book.
Question No. 4: What Should I Do If I Can’t Think Of An Ad Hoc Answer To The Question About Babies?
Before educating a child, you can take some time to think of the right words.
Calmly explain to your child that you need to think about the answer a little more. In the meantime, you could get a good picture book that illustrates the topic in an age-appropriate way.
It’s also helpful to simply defer the question, “What do you know about this already?” Depending on what the kids answer, you can then build on their prior knowledge.
By the way, the topic is usually more difficult for parents than for kids. That’s why you shouldn’t think too much about what to say and what not to say.
Question No. 5: What Do I Answer To The Question “What Is Sex?”?
The answer to this question is very simple. Because: why make it more complicated for a child than it is?
Describe very matter-of-factly what is happening. For example, like this: “When adults have sex with each other, they kiss and cuddle. They touch each other everywhere it feels good”.
Usually children then don’t ask any further questions and are satisfied with the explanation given.
Question #6: How Do I Prevent My Child From Being Frightened By The Facts?
If you tell the child how it came into being itself, it sometimes reacts in amazement. It can’t believe that babies are created this way and may even find the whole thing disgusting.
You have to be prepared for this. But the child must also feel that his reaction is okay. Explain to him that adults perceive sex differently than children and that they like to do it. Comfort them with the fact that they will think about it differently later and do it too.
With a dash of empathy and love, you can also put it this way: “When we made you, it was a wonderful feeling for Dad (Mom) and me.” In this way, the supposedly disgusting thing is associated with a positive feeling”.
Question #7: What Expressions, What Language Should I Use In The Process?
Of course, it is best to use the simplest language possible. However, in order not to block themselves, parents should remain true to their own expressions or terms without becoming obscene. If you don’t pretend, you can talk much more openly off the cuff.
However, be sure to mention that there are other terms. That way, the child knows that other kids can be just as right with their wording and won’t get into embarrassing situations as easily.
Your personal description can be funny, flowery or quite direct. It is important that you do not overwhelm the child and only tell the most important things.
Question No. 8: What Are The Developmental Phases Of Children’s Sexuality?
Depending on their age, children perceive their own bodies and the bodies of their peers very differently. This means that the child’s sexuality also changes. And this is undoubtedly already present in babyhood.
Babies up to the age of two already touch their own sexual organ “lustfully” because it feels good. But this has less to do with sex and more to do with curiosity and the joy of exploring one’s own body.
Later, from the age of two, they become aware of the difference between girls and boys. Very early on, questions may arise about why a sibling looks different “down below”, for example.
By the age of five, children are exploring each other more thoroughly. This is the phase of doctor games, which, by the way, parents should allow and not interfere with. The popular role-playing game of father-mother-child is also common among children at this age. At the same time, a certain sense of shame develops. More profound questions about pregnancy and birth emerge.
Between the ages of six and nine, kids often reject the opposite sex. They become aware of their role as girl or boy and classify themselves according to gender identity. This is when the above-mentioned provocations towards parents occur. These are then readily confronted with questions about sex. When kids see adults exchanging kisses and caresses, they react with embarrassment.
From the age of ten, children begin to close themselves off somewhat in sexual matters. They hardly dare to discuss open questions with their parents. The media do the rest, so that even more question marks appear in the eyes of the children. In contrast to the previous developmental phase, the opposite sex is now increasingly perceived as attractive. This causes confusion and embarrassment.
Question #9: What Should I Tell My Kids About HIV?
Here, first and foremost, it is important not to stir up fears. Explain gently that it can be dangerous to have sex without a condom. But this is not just about HIV. Other diseases are also transmitted this way.
Depending on the age and experience of the child, you can also address the fact that safer sex should of course also be practiced during oral sex.
Basically, it is difficult for teenagers to talk to their own parents about such topics. If the child does not come to you to ask questions about STDs, you can still remain calm. Comprehensive education on this topic takes place quite early in school anyway.
It’s also easier to point kids to good sources of information so they can figure it out for themselves. Many kids find this easier than discussing everything in detail with their parents.
There are a number of good websites on the Internet that offer free information for young people on the subject of sex and HIV. One good topic site is the homepage of the Austrian youth ministry Rat auf Draht.http://rataufdraht.orf.at/?area=Sexualitaet
Question No. 10: When Should Girls Start Seeing A Gynecologist?
This question is easier to answer the more open you are with your kids. It’s best to make the following agreement: “As soon as you have a boyfriend or want to get intimate with boys, we can go to the gynecologist together. There you will get a suitable contraceptive.”
So girls should go to the gynecologist no later than when it is foreseeable that they will have sex. Explain to your child that there is nothing to be afraid of before this appointment. Usually, there is no examination during the first consultation with the doctor. After some questions have been clarified, the girl will be given a suitable contraceptive or prescription.
Attention: Today it is unfortunately the case that most gynecologists immediately prescribe the pill. However, there are other contraceptives for young girls that are far more tolerable. You as a parent, as well as your daughter, should be aware that taking the pill can lead to thrombosis and, in the worst case, pulmonary embolism or mental retardation. The risk of this is many times higher if a family member has already suffered a thrombosis. Smokers should also think carefully about whether it really has to be the pill.
In our articles on contraception (“Children’s topics”), we present all the common contraceptives. We have devoted a detailed guide to the pill, written in child-friendly language. The use of emergency contraceptives (e.g. the morning-after pill) is also explained in detail here.
Incidentally, there is no minimum age for the pill. As a rule, however, it is prescribed from the age of 14. Younger girls can also get the contraceptive if the gynecologist considers it necessary and useful.