So many parents wonder what age is the right age to start talking to your kids about their bodies or about how babies are made.  Our programs at Turning Teen start at age 8- should you start then?

We believe that talking about your body, puberty and sex should not be an isolated or awkward discussion.  In order to prevent the disastrous “let me tell you how you were made” talk…you have to integrate talks about this subject into everyday conversation.  We believe you should start when your kids are very young.

Here’s our take on the subject starting at age 18 months:

Age 18 months-3 years: start talking to your child about their body parts.  Teach them the name of their parts, including their belly button, eyes and ears and their private parts.  Remember that using the proper words-vagina, penis and breasts-in the beginning will save you trouble in the long run.

Age 4-5: Your child may show more interest in sexuality and their genitals.  They may ask about the differences between boys and girls.  They may ask how babies get inside or come out.  It is important to try not to dread these questions; embrace them at this early age when the conversation is less awkward.  Realize that your child has no premature ideas about sex or sexuality, so all their cues are coming from you.  Be straight forward and remember, less is more.

Consider these answers, short and sweet:

On the subject of babies:

  • It takes a mommy and daddy to make a baby, but only mommies can grow a baby

How do babies get out?:

  • Babies come out through your vagina.  (truth works here, try not to complicate the issue with c-section talk)

On the differences between boys and girls:

  • Boys have penises, girls have vaginas.

School age kids (5-7): This is the time to continue discussing bodyparts but it is really time to step up your game. Consider buying a book to help you. Soon your child will start getting a lot of messages about their bodies from friends and from the media, so make sure they hear your messages FIRST. Start the conversation and let your child know you are a reliable source for honest information.

Ages 8 and up:Easy… SIGN UP FOR TURNING TEEN!Reinforce what you have taught them already, or if you haven’t had any of these important discussions, start now. Teach them to understand and respect their body at a young age.

Hope to see you at our programs soon!

Dr. Carrie