How to Provide Age-Appropriate Sexual Education to Children

How to Provide Age-Appropriate Sexual Education to Children

When it comes to providing sexual education to children, parents often find themselves unsure of where to start. What should be said and when should they begin explaining sexuality to their little ones?

Therefore, let's understand the importance of sexual education for children and how to provide them with understanding according to their age!

The Importance of Providing Sexual Education to Children

In reality, providing sexual education to children cannot be done in just one big conversation, Moms. Nowadays, sexual education for children needs to be given through small, frequent, and repetitive conversations.

According to Planned Parenthood, research shows that children and adolescents who engage in regular conversations are considered to have an open mindset regarding sexual health. This applies to conversations with parents or personal caregivers.

So, what is the function of teaching sexual education to children? Here are 6 reasons to consider.

1. Children Receive Age-Appropriate Guidance

Teaching sexual education within the family is better discussed directly rather than having the little one search for it on the internet and find unreliable sources.

The information obtained may be incorrect, inaccurate, or not suitable for their age.

Through the internet, children do not receive proper guidance, which could lead to misinterpreting the information. This is certainly not good for themselves and potentially others.

2. Parents Get to Know Their Children Better

The relationship between parents and children that has been built over the years certainly helps Moms and the Little One to get to know each other.

Parents who have good communication with their children usually find it easier to talk about anything and be open with each other.

Several experts suggest that children who have a good relationship with their parents tend to think multiple times before engaging in sexual relationships when they become teenagers.

3. Parents Can Provide Protection for Their Children

There have been numerous studies stating that most children acquire information about sex through photos or images in various media they access.

An important thing parents need to know is that teaching sex education to children does not mean exposing them to promiscuity.

Children with adequate sexual education will be more responsible in taking care of their bodies.

Therefore, conveying sex education to children is very important. This needs to be done even though it may feel difficult and awkward in the process of explaining it.

4. Children Learn the Concept of "Consent" for Their Bodies

Teaching about consent for their bodies is also very important, Moms.

Don't expect that something as important as this will be acquired by the Little One from outside the family, even if they have received sex education at school.

Teaching personal education like this requires intensive and regular two-way communication between parents and children.

5. Instilling Family Values

Teaching sex education to children can also be utilized by parents as a means of communication to instill family values.

For example, parents can explain that sexual relationships are only meant for adults who are ready for marriage and have great responsibilities.

Provide guidance that engaging in sexual relationships outside of marriage carries risks.

6. Children Can Embrace Change

Providing children with education about sexual matters can help them understand and embrace the physical and emotional changes that will occur later on.

Many children feel scared about the changes that happen to their bodies as they approach puberty.

If children know that puberty will happen to their bodies and feelings, they may be able to accept the changes more easily.

They can perceive it as a fact of life and not fear or reject the changes.

7. Reducing the Occurrence of Sexual Abuse

Children who have learned about sexual education are less susceptible to exploitation or sexual abuse.

One of the factors that make children vulnerable to sexual abuse is their lack of knowledge on how to protect themselves.

Methods of Providing Age-Appropriate Sex Education to Children

As reported on the About Kids Health website, a child's curiosity about sex is a normal learning stage to become familiar with their own bodies.

Teaching sex education to children will help them become more aware of their body's conditions, functions, and self-worth.

Children usually show more interest in topics such as babies and pregnancy compared to the mechanics of sexual intercourse.

So, what is the guide for introducing sexual education to children as they grow? Check it out below.

1. Infants (0-24 months): Introduce Body Parts

Provide explanations about their body parts' names, including the penis and vagina.

It's okay if children want to touch all parts of their body, let them touch their vagina and penis during bathing or diaper changing.

Start showing the differences between the reproductive organs of boys and girls. Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina.

Begin talking about the functions of body parts, such as urine coming out through the penis or vagina, and waste coming out through the anus.

If the child enjoys being naked all the time, start introducing boundaries regarding nudity.

Explain that there is a time and place for being naked, and of course, being naked is not allowed in public.

2. Early Childhood (2-5 years old): Introduce Reproductive Organs and Teach Privacy

Providing sexual education to children from the age of 2 and above can start by introducing the functions of the body and teaching them about personal privacy.

Understanding the Body

  • Teach the correct names of body parts and their functions.
  • Introduce the reproductive organs of males and females, namely the vagina and penis.
  • Let the child know that both boys and girls have nipples, buttocks, noses, hands, and so on.

Understand that everyone's body is different, and it's okay if they look different, Moms.

Understanding Privacy

  • Some body parts are private and not meant to be seen by many people.
  • There are body organs that have a private nature.
  • Teach the child to follow proper dress etiquette at home and outside.
  • Respect other people's privacy. For example, if the bathroom door is closed, knock before entering.
  • Also, know that others have the right to privacy, like when going to the toilet or changing clothes.

Conversations about the body are personal and should only be done at home with parents.

Let the child know that they have the right to say who can touch their body.

They should not hug or touch someone else if that person doesn't want it (and vice versa).

They can tell Moms anything about things that make them feel bad or funny.

3. Children aged 5-8 years old: Start Talking about Puberty

Sexual education for children aged 5 and above is equally important, including the period of puberty.

Learn the phrases used when talking about body parts (for boys and girls).

For example, penis, testicles, scrotum, anus, vulva, labia, vagina, clitoris, uterus, and ovaries.

Understanding the Body

  • Provide knowledge about internal reproductive organs such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, urethra, bladder, and intestines.
  • Bodies come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. We should respect each other's differences.
  • Both boys and girls have body parts that feel comfortable when touched, but not everyone is allowed to touch these parts.
  • Teach children to be able to reject unwanted touch immediately, such as saying "Stop, I don't like it when you do that."


  • Explain that their bodies will change as they grow older.
  • Let them know that puberty is a period of physical and emotional changes, where they will grow into adults.

4. Pubescent Children (9-12 years old): Explain Sexual Behavior and the Reproduction Process

Now, as they reach a more mature age approaching puberty, sexual education for children becomes a little more complex.

Things about sexual relationships, where babies are formed when sperm meets an egg, need to be explained.

Moms can explain that married people do engage in sexual intercourse, and it is a normal part of life.

In fact, sometimes adults give hugs and kisses to show affection.

Here are some things that need to be known, including:

Puberty Period

  • Sexual intercourse is an activity for adults or those who are married, not for teenage children.
  • Explain the physical, social, and emotional changes they will experience.
  • Girls need to know and prepare for their first period.
  • Boys need to know about ejaculation and wet dreams.
  • Explain that fertility occurs when girls start menstruating and when boys start producing sperm.

Sexual Behavior

  • Explain about sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Provide basic information about pregnancy, abortion, and ways to prevent pregnancy.
  • Instill values from parents about love, dating, contraception, and when it is acceptable for a child to be sexually active.
  • As puberty begins, children will start becoming interested in the opposite sex and have sexual fantasies.
  • Inform them that sexuality is exaggerated in pornography.

Some children will be curious about sex, while others may not be. Both responses are normal.

As puberty begins, children will gradually start thinking about sex as something they may want to engage in someday.

Therefore, start having conversations about sex with your child, and let them know that they can ask anything that's on their mind.

Moms, there you have it, a guide to introducing sexual education to children.

So, there's no such thing as too early or too late to start talking to your little one about sexual education.

Hopefully, the above guide will be helpful for Moms and Dads in gradually opening up discussions about sex education with their children!

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