When To Talk To Your Child About the Birds And the Bees
Having "The Talk" with your child can leave some parents feeling a li'l flustered, but it's always going to be an important milestone in your child's development.
It's important to be able to speak about sex and sexuality in an age-appropriate way with your child, as it helps them understand their own bodies better, as well as feel more comfortable discussing sensitive topics with you.
Birds And Bees & Kids
Here are some tips on when to have "The Talk" with your child, depending on their age:
For younger children (under 6 years old):
At this age, your child is likely to be more curious about where babies come from, rather than the actual act of sex. This is a good time to start introducing the concepts of love, physical affection and families.
You can read books like The Bees Story or The Birds and the Bees with your child, which introduce these topics in a gentle and age-appropriate way.
For older children (6-12 years old):
As your child enters puberty, they'll start to become more curious about sex and sexuality.
This is a good time to talk about the changes their body is going through, as well as how love and relationships work.
You can find helpful resources online or at your local library, which can help you have these discussions in a respectful and open way.
For teenagers (13 years and up):
By this stage, your teenager should have a reasonable understanding of sex and sexuality. But it's still important to talk about things like safe sex, contraception and healthy relationships.
Tips For How To Have The Talk With Your Child:
Make sure you're comfortable with the topic before starting the conversation
If you're not, it'll be harder to talk about if you're feeling awkward or embarrassed.
This could be because there may be some unanswered questions on behalf of you (the parent) as well.
If you're not comfortable discussing sex with your child, there are other people who can help, like a doctor, teacher or school counsellor.
Try to use positive and respectful language when talking about sex - this will help your child feel more comfortable about the topic too.
Choose a time when you're both relaxed and there are no distractions
This way, you can give each other your full attention and there's less chance of the conversation being interrupted. It might be helpful to plan what you want to say in advance.
You could start by saying something like, "I wanted to talk to you about something that's important and private. It's called sex. Do you have any questions about it?"
Be open to answering any questions your child has without judgement
If you don't know the answer to something, it's ok to say so - you can always look it up together.
Remember that these conversations should be ongoing, rather than just a one-off chat - this will help your child feel more comfortable coming to you with any questions they have in the future.
Use proper anatomical terms for body parts
This can help normalise the topic and make it less taboo. It also shows that you're comfortable talking about sex, which will encourage your child to feel the same.
Keep the lines of communication open
Let them know they can come to you with any questions or concerns they have in the future.
It's important to remember that every child is different and will develop at their own pace.
There is no right or wrong time to have these conversations - just try to be as open and honest as you can, when your child seems ready.
What age do you tell kids about birds and bees?
There's no definitive answer to this, as it will depend on your child's age and development. However, it's generally recommended that you start introducing the concepts of love, physical affection and families from a young age (under 6 years old), and then talk about sex and sexuality as your child enters puberty (around 6-12 years old). For teenagers (13 years and up), you should focus on topics like safe sex, contraception and healthy relationships.
How do you explain the birds and the bees to a child?
Again, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. You could start by reading books like The Bees Story or The Birds and the Bees with your child, which introduce these topics in a fun and age-appropriate way. You could also use toys, dolls or pictures to help explain the concepts of love, families and physical affection. For older children, you could watch educational videos together or look for resources online.
When do you tell your child you are pregnant?
You could tell your child as soon as you find out you're pregnant, or you could wait until you're further along in the pregnancy. It's up to you and your partner to decide what feels right for your family. If you do want to tell your child early on, try to avoid using terms like "baby" or "the stork brought me a baby", as this might confuse them. Instead, you could say something like, "There's a baby growing in my tummy!"
So, when is the right time to talk about birds and bees with your child? The answer, like most things parenting-related is, it depends.
Every family will have their own comfort level and each child will develop at a different pace. If you’re feeling unsure of when the conversation should take place, consult with your pediatrician for guidance.
In general, though, we would recommend starting early—around age five or six—and continuing the dialogue as your child grows and matures.
By approaching the topic in an open, honest way, you can help pave the way for a healthy understanding of sex and sexuality down the road.
What are some other ways you feel comfortable talking about these topics with your kids?