Initiating Conversations About Sex with Children Aged 8-11
Sexual Health & Wellness

Initiating Conversations About Sex with Children Aged 8-11

Sagiri Ochi
Sex Coach

You might be wondering, "Is discussing sex with children aged 8-11 too early? Could it inadvertently pique their curiosity about sex and pornography?" The unequivocal answer is no. Commencing conversations about sex at this age can yield positive outcomes. It's essential to recognize that natural curiosity about our bodies and sexuality exists. In fact, UNESCO studies reveal that introducing comprehensive sexual education early empowers young people to make informed, respectful, and responsible decisions, including delaying the onset of sexual activity and utilizing contraception.

The Importance of Early Sexual Education

When families lack proper sexual education, discussing this topic can become daunting. Throughout our lives, societal misconceptions about sexuality shape our attitudes, leading to hesitation in addressing this subject. However, it's crucial to recognize that humans are sexual beings from birth to death. Embracing this fact and sharing accurate information equips children with a lifelong tool to foster self-love, health, and happiness.

Top Tips for Initiating Sex Education

  1. Normalize Discussions: Fostering open discussions about sexuality from a young age is pivotal. This normalization ensures that as children grow older, they feel comfortable discussing this topic. Home becomes a safe haven where children can inquire and receive clarifications. Remember, comprehensive sexual education is a right, and numerous opportunities for dialogue arise in our daily lives.
  2. Continual Learning: Comprehensive sex education is an ongoing process. It isn't a one-time conversation, but rather a progressive journey tailored to each child's age and needs. Just like learning a language or a dance, gradual growth is essential. This process encompasses not only factual knowledge but also critical aspects like self-esteem, relationships, and consent.
  3. Stay Informed: To provide effective sexual education at home, it's imperative to stay informed about current knowledge and attitudes surrounding sexuality. Ensuring accurate information is conveyed prevents passing down erroneous beliefs. Children are like blank canvases, and as caregivers, we influence the hues they add to their lives.
  4. Self-Reflection: If discussing sexuality with children evokes discomfort, it's an opportunity for self-reflection. Unraveling why these feelings arise can lead to personal growth. This self-examination extends beyond sexuality, affecting how we treat ourselves and others, fostering respect and love within relationships.

Conversation Starters

Starting conversations about sex with children aged 8-11 requires sensitivity, age-appropriate language, gender inclusive, and an open, non-judgmental attitude. Here are some talking points to guide your discussion:

On Body Changes

Begin by discussing the natural changes that happen as they grow. Mention that just like they've grown taller and stronger, their bodies will continue to change as they approach puberty. Use simple, accurate terms for body parts.

On Privacy and Boundaries

Emphasize the importance of privacy when it comes to their bodies. That they and only they are the boss of their bodies. Tell them that sometimes they may feel the urge to touch their genitals and bodies for pleasure, and it's an act that deserves privacy.

On Respectful Relationships

Talk about what it means to have respectful and kind relationships. Mention that healthy relationships are based on trust, communication, and treating each other with respect.

On Online Safety

Mention that while exploring the internet, they might come across information about sex that's not appropriate for their age.
Encourage them to come to you if they ever have questions or feel confused about something they see online. As a parent, you can also set some restrictions to your family devices if you feel

On Answering Curiosities

Let them know it's okay to have questions about their bodies and growing up. Assure them that you're there to provide accurate information.
If you don't have an answer immediately, offer to research together or find a reliable source to get the right information.

Having Open Communication

Create an environment of open communication. Let them know they can talk to you about anything, and you'll listen without judgment.
Remember to keep the conversation age-appropriate and gauge their reactions. If they seem uncomfortable or overwhelmed, take a step back and approach the topic again later. Reassure them that this is an ongoing conversation and you're always there to support and guide them.

In closing, remember that discussing sex and pornography with your 8-11 year old is a crucial step in their journey toward understanding their bodies, relationships, and the digital world they're growing up in. Approach these conversations with patience, empathy, and openness. Be prepared for questions, and if you don't know the answer, use it as an opportunity to learn together. Your guidance shapes their perceptions and empowers them to make informed choices. By fostering a safe and welcoming environment for discussing these topics, you're equipping your child with the knowledge and confidence they need to navigate the complexities of their changing world. Your willingness to engage in these dialogues will lay the foundation for a healthy attitude towards sex, relationships, and digital media as they continue to grow.

Sagiri Ochi
Sex Coach