As parents, we must be ready to face any sort of questions from our children that may leave us wondering “where did they hear about this?”, “It’s too soon for them to know about this or to express this way”. However, we must be alert on how much or how little our children should know about sexuality at a certain age. Here, you’ll find some tips by paediatricians of the American Academy of Paediatrics on what’s normal for children to know and speak about when they reach a determined age in their lives:
Touching and masturbating are normal and very common practices. Still, those are practices that should always be done in private. When a kid starts rubbing himself against others, or asking an adult to engage in specific sexual acts, you should talk to them and let them know that it is inappropriate and that it shouldn’t be done again. Also, as parents, we have to start finding out where did they get the idea of sharing their privacy and intimacy with others, as these sort of behaviour is not taught in schools or in any other academic entity.
When a kid refers to adult-topics with security, fluency and through crude mimic movements, its when parents should bring the topic into discussion on the next chance they get to talk, as it is very unusual for a child to have a wide range knowledge on sexual matters, specifically on topics merely based on sexuality in a non-educational way.
Children simulating sexual acts, physical aggression, and inappropriate vulgar names for body parts. Let’s keep in mind that in schools, as well as at home, children are taught body part names through their proper names, such as penis, vagina, breasts, testicles, etc. Calling these parts through offensive names is a sign for parents to step in.
When at home, try to talk about sexuality as a normal topic, because it really is. Do not speak with taboos and prohibitions that may leave your children confused and wanting to know more. They probably will try to look for the incomplete information online and with friends, and these sources are clearly not the most accurate and educational ones.
Teach your children to respect their bodies and their friend’s, as it should be a rule to learn which body parts are ok to touch and which aren’t. Teach them that a hug and a handshake are ok to share between friends, but that genitals and buttocks are private parts that nobody, but themselves can touch them.
It is a matter of communication, speak to your children about sexuality and you’ll give them the tools to develop on an environment that will allow them to grow free and secure on what’s right and what has crossed the line of privacy.