How To Talk To Your Child About Sex Education

In the age of the internet, it is more important than ever for parents to ensure that their children are educated on the facts of sex and sexuality.

Sex education is often a difficult topic for parents to broach, but it is essential that your child receive accurate and comprehensive information at home and at school.

Teaching your child about sex education empowers them to make informed decisions and creates a safe and healthy environment in which to do so.

This blog post will provide guidance on how to talk to your child about sex education in a way that is approachable, informative, and effective.

We will discuss how to create a safe space for your child to ask questions and become informed, as well as some tips and tricks to help make the conversation more successful.

Start early and be age-appropriate

When talking to your child about sex education, it is important to start the conversation early and be age-appropriate.

It is better to begin the discussion at an earlier age so that you can build a trusting and open relationship with your child and help them understand the changes they are going through.

Moreover, by being age-appropriate when discussing sex education, you can ensure that your child is able to understand the information you are providing in an appropriate way.

This means providing information that is tailored to their level of understanding and maturity.

Set the tone with open and honest dialogue

The conversation about sex education should begin with an open and honest dialogue. Let your child know that it is okay to ask questions and that no topic is off-limits.

Show them that you are comfortable discussing sex and that it is a normal and natural part of life.

Make sure to create a safe, judgment-free space, where your child feels comfortable to speak candidly and ask whatever questions they may have.

If they bring up topics you are unfamiliar with, don’t be afraid to say so.

It is important to be truthful and open about sex, so you can provide your child with the best information and resources available.

Educate your child on the biological facts

Before discussing the more nuanced topics of sex and sexuality, it is important to provide children with age-appropriate biological facts.

Explain to your child the reproductive systems of both males and females and what their functions are.

As they get older, you can go into greater detail and discuss the hormones associated with puberty, the process of ovulation, and the development of secondary sex characteristics.

Teaching children the biological facts of sex can help them better understand their own bodies and become more comfortable talking about and exploring their sexuality.

Discuss the importance of consent

Teaching your children about consent is a critical part of sex education.

It is important for them to understand that their bodies belong to them and that they have the right to decide what touches feel good and what do not.

They should know that they can say “no” to any kind of physical contact that makes them uncomfortable and that it is never okay for someone to pressure them into doing something they don’t want to do.

Explain to your children that consent is necessary for any kind of physical contact and that both parties must be comfortable and willing for it to be consensual.

Introduce safe sex practices

As part of comprehensive sex education, it is important to talk to your child about safe sex practices.

Explain the importance of using barrier methods, such as condoms and dental dams, when engaging in any kind of sexual activity.

Explain that this is the only way to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and protect oneself from unplanned pregnancy.

Also, talk about the importance of getting tested for STIs regularly, even if they are using protection.

Explain the differences between positive and negative peer pressure

When talking to your child about sex education, it is important to discuss the differences between positive and negative peer pressure.

Positive peer pressure is when a group of peers tries to encourage someone to make a positive decision, such as joining clubs or taking part in activities.

Negative peer pressure is when a group of peers tries to encourage someone to make a negative decision, such as using drugs or alcohol.

Explain to your child that it is important to be aware of both types of peer pressure and to make decisions that will benefit them in the long run.

Discuss potential risks associated with sexual activity

It is important to discuss potential risks associated with sexual activity when talking to your child about sex education.

These risks can include unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and emotional distress.

It is important to explain to your child that sexual activity has the potential to have consequences and that it should not be taken lightly.

Additionally, it is important to talk to your child about contraception and safe sex practices.

It is essential to remind your child that they need to protect themselves and their partner from any potential risks associated with sexual activity.

Be available to answer questions and validate emotions

As you talk to your child about sex education, it is important to be available to answer any questions they have and to validate any emotions they may have.

This is a very sensitive topic and children may feel overwhelmed, scared, or confused. It is important to acknowledge these emotions and help them work through them.

Show them that you are there for them and are open to talking about the topic whenever they need to.

Make sure that your child knows that they can come to you with any questions they may have, no matter how uncomfortable they may seem.


Having open and honest conversations about sex education with your child is an important part of parenting.

You can use age-appropriate language to explain the basics of reproduction and healthy relationships.

It is also important to emphasize the importance of consent, respect, and body autonomy.

By providing your child with accurate information, you can help them to make healthy decisions and foster a healthy relationship with their sexuality.

Antoinette R. Burton, MSW
Antoinette R. Burton, MSW
Antoinette is a Michigan-based MSW Sexual Health Educator with 10+ years experience. She received her Master's from University of Michigan and specializes in inclusive sex ed for youth, LGBTQ+, college students, and adults. Believes access to accurate sexual health information is key to overall well-being.

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