Talking to kids about sex

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Kids and sexuality — those words strike fear into the hearts of many parents. But talking to kids about sex is an important part of parenting. Children and adolescents need your guidance to help them make healthy and appropriate decisions about their sexual behavior.

When it comes to talking to kids about sex, there's no standard script for how to approach this topic. Your decision to educate your children about sexuality will likely be based on the child's maturity, as well as your personal goals and values. Look for everyday opportunities and let your child set the pace with his or her questions.

As your child matures and asks more-detailed questions, you can provide more-detailed responses.

It's normal to feel uncomfortable when talking to kids about sex. But remember that by providing accurate and open communication, you increase the odds that your child will understand your values and make appropriate choices about sex.

Aug. 17, 2016