Children get a lot of information about their changing bodies from many avenues. They learn, for better or for worse, from their peers, teachers and family members…and of course from a variety of media sources. The conversation about sensitive topics is a life-long conversation that starts at any age, by responding to questions and inquiries from your child about his/her observations.
Besides the ongoing conversation with your curious child, and before your child has his/her Sex Ed lecture(s) at school, it is a good idea to talk with your child about their changing body and your family values. By getting to your child before the school program does, your child will have heard it all from you, firsthand. This can feel very supportive and can help your child understand the what and why of your family’s perspective. This way, during the school program, your child will be sitting in his/her seat, armed with thoughtful background information, and will be able to learn more, and more comfortably, about these sensitive topics regarding self-care, self-esteem, and self-protection.
It is not easy to know how to talk to your child about his/her changing body and changing world. It is important to consistently engage in this ongoing conversation to make sure your child gets the facts straight and timely. Dr. Rebecca Unger and Dr. Tim Blegen talk to parenting.com about how to talk to preteens about their bodies.
9 Things to Teach Your Daughter About her Body
9 Things to Teach Your Son About his Body