There comes a time in every parent's life where they have to have the dreaded talk about the birds and the bees with their kid. To make it a little less awkward, sexoligist Robin Millhausen has some great insight on how to approach the topic.
Kids become curious about their bodies even before they're born
Even in the womb, babies can be seen touching their genitals, and toddlers can often be found exploring their bodies when a diaper is removed. These behaviors aren't sexual - they just reflect a natural curiosity. The important reaction is not to shame the child for this behaviour.
Don't use nicknames for private parts
Using the correct name for body parts communicates to children that these parts are not silly or shameful.
Books can help communicate on the topic
One great way to make sure kids get good information is to leave sexuality books around the home. If you have a sex book, your kids will find it.
Both parents don't have to be present for the talk
Whichever parent is most equipped and comfortable on the topic should do the talking. However, it's important for kids to know both parents are there if they're needed.
Kids should also know that they won't get in trouble for asking questions, and that curiosity is natural.
Boys and girls require same information
Boys typically get information and messages about exploring sexuality, while girls get more risk and danger messages. This can lead girls to fear sexuality or feel ashamed.
The moral of the story? Provide balanced information to both genders.