Sex Education: The Essential Guide to Keeping Kids Informed and Empowered
When it comes to teaching kids about sex, there’s often an uncomfortable silence. Sometimes, parents don’t feel like they know enough to provide their kids with a comprehensive sex education. And that’s understandable. But here’s the thing: sex education is essential.
Sex education doesn’t just provide kids with biological facts; it also teaches them about how to make healthy choices when it comes to sexuality, and how to take care of their bodies both mentally and physically. Sex education teaches kids about consent, healthy relationships, and contraception. It encourages them to have honest conversations about sex, rather than just absorbing the messages from the media or peers that may not be based in facts or in the best interests of young people.
That’s why sex education is so important, and why it’s key that parents are aware of the resources available to them and their children. With the right knowledge, parents can ensure they provide their kids with an education that’s comprehensive, evidence-based, and age-appropriate.
Here, we’ll provide an essential guide for parents on discussing sex with their kids. We’ll look at the benefits of teaching kids about sex, the best ways to do it, and the available resources so that parents can take an active part in their child’s sex ed education.
The Benefits of Sex Education for Kids
Investing some time to talk to your kids about sex education can make a difference. It can provide multiple benefits:
1. It encourages your kids to be open and honest with you: By talking to your kids about sex, you can foster an environment that encourages them to discuss difficult or embarrassing topics with you in a safe and respectable way.
2. It teaches them to make informed decisions: By discussing topics such as consent, contraception, and healthy relationships, kids can learn how to make decisions that are best for them.
3. It decreases risky behavior: Research has shown that sex ed leads to young people making better choices and delaying sexual intercourse until they’re older. For example, a report from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that sex ed classes led to students making better decisions when it came to abstinence and contraceptive use.
4. It equips them with the knowledge they need to protect themselves: When kids understand the facts about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how to protect themselves, they are much less likely to be infected.
5. It boosts self-confidence: Discussing topics like self-image, puberty, and healthy relationships gives kids a better understanding of their bodies and how to feel good about them.
Best Practices for Teaching Kids About Sex
Now that you know the benefits of sex ed for kids, what are the best ways to discuss it with them?
1. Start early: The earlier you start talking to your kids about sex, the better. It’s normal for kids to be curious about sex, so don’t be afraid to start the conversation.
2. Use open-ended questions: Foster a conversation by using open-ended questions rather than yes or no questions.
3. Respect their opinions: Ask your kids how they feel about certain topics and listen to their opinions and perspectives without judgement.
4. Use age appropriate language: Try to use language that they can understand. For example, if your eight year-old doesn’t know the term “STI”, simply explain that it stands for “sexually transmitted infection”.
5. Pay attention to non-verbal cues: As with any conversation, paying attention to body language and facial expressions can be a good indication of your child’s comfort level and understanding.
Resources for Teaching Kids About Sex
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources that can help parents when it comes to teaching kids about sex. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Sex Ed for Parents: This website, created by the Center for Young Women’s Health, provides age-appropriate advice about different topics, from puberty to birth control to anxiety.
2. Bedsider: In addition to providing a wealth of resources about contraception, this website has helpful tools to help you have the best conversations about contraception with your partner, your doctor, and your parents.
3. Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood has an array of resources for all ages, including educational books, videos, classroom curriculums, and even an app.
recommended site https://www.zavita.co.il/
4. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy: This site offers articles, videos, and fact sheets about sex, contraception, and relationships.