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Anne Cawood


Posted by: Sam | 2008-10-07


What should my child know about sex?

My 5 year old daughter is starting to become very aware of her sexuality. I need advice as to how I should approach the situation and teach her.

Expert's Reply


Anne Cawood Anne Cawood
- 2008-10-07

Children do become very curious about their bodies and the gender differences they begin to become aware of.

The best way to help them develop a healthy attitude towards sexuality, is to be open and honest – but to do this age-appropriately.

There are good books on the subject geared especially for pre-schoolers. Look in the parenting section of a good book shop. The best way to teach her is to give her the basic facts – usually guided by the child's own questions, coupled with firm boundaries about bodies being private and special and that we don't let other people touch us in private places.

Parents need to be aware of the games their children are playing and to monitor who they are with and what they are doing when they are away from parental control.

Reading a book explaining in 5 year old terms about sexuality can be a great help.

Sexuality is part of everything else parents do with their children – it is part of the parent-child relationship and an ongoing aspect of their education.

In the "good old days" parents would grit their teeth and tell their children about the "birds and the bees" as a one-off chore. We now know better – that sex education is an ongoing part of the parent-child communication.

Best wishes!

The information provided does not constitute a professional diagnosis of your problem. You should consult a health care practitioner, lawyer or other appropriate professional for formal advice. Parent24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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