Sexual development is one important part of child development. Yet, some parents are in a panic at the thought of talking sex – or masturbation – with their children. Chill out Mom and Dad!!! You are putting way too much pressure on yourself. Sex talks with children can be relaxed and simple.
Check out some effective strategies for how to discuss masturbation and self-touching with your child … and open the door to important conversations in the future about safe sex. Remember that a positive family culture about the body and sexuality is valuable in maintaining open and honest conversations with your child through the teen and young adult years.
1) Remain relaxed and confident – you are the expert in this conversation!!!
2) Speak to your child in direct and simple terms
3) Explain that the body is wonderfully made
4) Talk about how touching feels good, and it is part of the body’s plan
5) Explain that private parts are … well … private
6) Discuss how touching private parts is something that your child can do in the privacy of the bedroom or bathroom
7) If you like … discuss that when your child becomes an adult and finds a beloved, that special touching may be part of that grown up relationship (but not now)
8) Encourage your child to ask questions … now and later!
The truth is that the sooner you teach children about privacy concerning their genitals and touching, the easier it will be in the future to have many important conversations.
Plus, if you open the door to healthy sex talk today with your child, you may be the one to educate your child about important things like sex – rather than the kids on the school bus!!!
Take heart, Mom and Dad!!! The more comfortable and confident you are in speaking with your child, the more natural and relaxed your child will feel about the topic of sexuality and touch.
Parents who practice a natural or attachment parenting style will find this positive approach consistent. Children who are raised in a nurturing and loving environment need to learn that their own body is a place of love and joy, not shame and embarrassment.
The positive messages you share with your child today are going to support your child through many years of growth and exploration on the journey to adulthood.
Darleen Claire is a Parenting Expert with a background in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Exceptional Student Education, and Brain-Based Strategies to promote learning and development.
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