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How Kids Learn About Sex

Updated on August 23, 2016

Children rarely, if ever, learn about sex from their parents. Their first information about sex comes from conversations they have with their friends on the playground, in the park, at sleep overs or at the corner store. Usually, parents are the last source of information about sex.

What She Knew
She walked into the apartment and announced she knew “how babies are made”. The natural response was how are babies made? At the age of six, her response was hilarious only because babies as per her understanding popped out of mommy’s tummy when they are ready. When asked where she got her information, she said my friends. She explained that they were on the apartment steps talking about sex and one of the boys explained to them how babies are born.

How She Learned It
After listening to her explanation about her friends’ group discussion on sex the immediate reaction was to purchase a children’s book about the human body, its sexual organs and the act of sex. Upon the arrival of the book, it became a part of our daily reading. There was no way her knowledge about sex as per her friends was going to trump the realities of human sexuality.

The True Knowledge
At first there were a lot of uncomfortable smiles, and as each page revealed information about the human sex organs or sexuality, the smiles widen. After months of reading, the smiles disappeared and a comfort zone of understanding seeped in. The goal to give informative knowledge took shape quickly as the book on sexuality was referred to on a regular basis.

Late Bloomer
She never knew about sex, the intimate aspect of it until she was 27. When she experienced her first flow of womanhood, her mother told her, "that means you can have babies now, so don't have sex with boys". Her experience of womanhood did not have a good beginning and continued on a negative spiral throughout her life. Not once did her mother review the basics of sex or human sexuality. It was much later in high school that she eventually learned about human sexuality and ultimately her sexuality.

Brotherly Knowledge
His brother taught him about sex. They hung out together and talked about all things "men". Their dad present in the house worked long hours and when at home did not interact with his boys on a personal level, in particularly, about a man's sexuality. Dad did not feel comfortable talking to his boys about sexuality so he let the elder to teach the younger about sex which extended to the use of condoms and how best to deal with the opposite sex.

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Expert Suggestions
Experts agree the discussion about sex should start at an early age and its content should be natural and honest so that the child can understand and not be made to feel ashamed. Read below the 9 suggestions made by expert on how best to deal with "the talk"

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CC by Flickr | Source

Who told you about sex?

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  1. Whenever you initiate the sex talk make it a continuous one since a good understanding of sex can only occur through the years, and as the child's cognitive abilities develop.
  2. When your child approaches you about sex do not ignore the inquiries. Regardless of the age provide a positive response about sexuality.
  3. As you respond to any sexuality question experts suggest that you "keep it simple".
  4. Be sure to answer the question asked, never go off on a tantrum, it only confuses your youngster.
  5. When identifying, namingly the genitals, call them by their biological name. The correct naming of these parts minimizes the child's confusion and helps him to know that his body parts are a natural extension of himself.
  6. Your child should know while there is no shame in masturbating, it should be done in private.
  7. Help your child understand that the sexual act is a expression of love and affection.
  8. Help your child learn to respect her sexuality and to use modesty when displaying her now matured body parts.
  9. If and when your child walks in on you do not try to pretend that it did not happen, stop and take time to explain what he observed is a natural expression of love. Of course, it will be beneficial to first find out what he saw, could be what he saw was his parents"wrestling".

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As parents, in particular, as single parents there can be little control about how your child learns about sex. There can, however, be control over the proper understanding of sexuality.

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CC by Flickr | Source

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