Little Talks to Have With Your 5- to 8-Year-Old
EDUCATE THEM ABOUT REPRODUCTION.
Teach them the basics. Teach appropriate content for their age and maturity level, but make sure they understand main concepts. Be sure to use appropriate terms when you teach them. As your child gets closer to age 8, you’ll want to teach them about intercourse. This may seem young, but you want to be the one to teach your child, and if you wait too much longer, statistics show they’ll hear about sex from other sources.
EXPLAIN DIFFERENT SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS.
Kids at this age will realize that not all families are the same. Help your child understand the different relationships they may notice. Emphasize respect for all people.
REINFORCE THAT NO MEANS NO.
Whether someone tells them no or they tell someone else no, it needs to be respected. Teach them to respect other people’s boundaries, and allow them to choose their own physical and emotional boundaries as well.
EXPLAIN THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS RIGHTS TO THEIR BODY.
Their body belongs to them and no one else. No one else has the right to look or touch their body without their consent. Tell them that even trusted grown-ups like doctors shouldn’t look at their body without someone they trust present.
TALK ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE.
They need to know what sexual abuse is and what to do if it occurs or has occurred. This can be a difficult topic, but it’s important to address it honestly and openly in an age-appropriate way. Letting them know what is appropriate or inappropriate behaviors between them and older children and/or adults is important at this age.
Talking to Your Kids at All Ages
You can talk to your child about healthy sexual development no matter the age. Below we have links to articles about what you should cover in each age range. Always take the time to think through what you’re going to say and remember to keep your child’s maturity in mind. And remember, every time you have a little talk it makes it a little easier to have the next one.
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