Why Start Early?
There are many important reasons to begin teaching your children about sexual health education early (….and by early, we mean as early as 2 years old). First, education is the foundation for the development of positive attitudes about sexuality. Children are naturally curious and your willingness to discuss age-appropriate material builds trust and open communication. The building blocks of healthy adult sexuality begin in childhood with trusted adults.
"Your open and honest discussions are a way for you to connect with your children and teach them family values, rather than schoolyard ones."
Children gain control of their world by naming it. With each new word, the child grows in understanding and power. Learning the correct names and functions of private body parts enables a child to talk and ask questions about them. Accurate, age-appropriate information is vital to helping a child prepare for adolescence and adulthood.
Your open and honest discussions are a way for you to connect with your children and teach them family values, rather than schoolyard ones. Starting early has also been proven to increase abuse resistance, reduce anxiety and make children more likely to report abuse/injuries to the genitals.
We all recognize the importance of healthy eating, daily exercise, and personal hygiene….teaching young children about the private body part names and their own autonomy is no different. Even though we may feel uncomfortable with these topics, the safety of our children depends on early, open conversations.
Looking for more? If you’ve ever wondered about your child’s sexual behaviour, check out this free guide, Children's Sexual Behaviours - A Parent's Guide.