What's the best age to talk to your kids about sex?
I get asked variations of these questions all the time:
What’s the best age to talk to your kids about sex?
Is 10 years old too early?
Is before college too late?
My radical take: It doesn’t matter.
If you’re not ready, then you won’t do it nor make time for it.
Even when people know what age to talk about what with their kids, they still don’t do it because they’re not ready.
So, how do you get ready?
I know there are so many parents out there that want to do the right thing. Some just don’t know what to say/do or when. That’s why you need to have good resources!
There are lots of sex-positive sex educators out there who have answers to your questions. There is an educator for every audience and subject. Sometimes it’s as simple as knowing who to ask. I have a fantastic group of friends in what I lovingly think of as “The League of Sex-Positive Heroes” (listed in an appendix of my book) I go to if I don’t know the answer myself.
The good news? Sexuality is a normal human behavior, like eating. The first step to talking with your kid is resolving the issues you have about sexuality. Whether that’s embarrassment or shame or guilt or uncertainty or awkwardness – it’s super helpful to address that, and then the rest is easy. That goes for talking to your partner too. And remember, shame is a learned negative emotion that makes a person feel unworthy.
Age doesn’t matter as much as your openness and readiness to talk. There’s never going to be a perfect time. Waiting for the right time to talk to your child about sex is sort of like waiting for the right time to have a baby – if you wait too long, it will never happen! Sometimes, when puberty education starts in school, (most often 4th or 5th grade), parents want to coordinate having “The Talk” with their children. Waiting until a child is nine or 10 years old is waiting too long. If you have waited – please start now.
Pro tip: When a child is strapped into seat belts, these children become a sort of captive audience. There are opportunities to chat if you become adept at identifying them.
Still feeling overwhelmed? I’ve got resources for you. In fact, I wrote a whole book, just about this subject alone:
Read Me: A Parental Primer for “The Talk”
Courses + Products
Straight Talk about Menstruation, Period: A masterclass on how to discuss periods and other timely topics with your tweens and teens (And here’s the version for dads!)
Mad Lib Mea Culpa: You + This Script = everything you need to get started for having “The Talk”
I hope these resources will get you started. If you have any questions, press reply or leave a comment below.
Until next time,
P.S. My new coaching program, CurED, is available now. CurED Coaching is a safe, private, zoom-based, 1:1 coaching service that offers personalized guidance to men who are struggling with erectile dysfunction. Check it out here!