Age appropriate sex talks from five to eight years old
In addition to your family values about sexuality, by eight-years-old your child should:
- Have an awareness of the life cycle of humans, plants and animals, including the needs and responsibilities for caring for them.
- Have and comfortably use appropriate words to talk about private body parts, their own and those of the other sex.
- Know they will not be in trouble for asking you questions about sex, bodies, etc. and that you want and encourage them to talk to you about this part of life.
- Have a grasp of and be able to discuss different types of families.
- Know, in a basic way, what it means to be straight, bisexual, gay, gender fluid and
- Be aware of cultural gender roles and know that very few activities are limited by one’s sex or gender.
- Take a fully active role in keeping their body healthy and safe. This means they wash their own private areas, are able and encouraged to say “no” to uncomfortable touch, etc.
- Be well-versed in your family’s body safety rules and know who their “safe adults” are.
- Fully understand that sexual behavior is private, including self-pleasuring, masturbation, sex, etc.
- Understand that people have sex for fun 99.9% of the time because it feels good to their grown up bodies.
- Know people sometimes look at pictures and videos of naked people or people having sex on the internet and this is not for kids. The family rule is to tell you if they see this, or anything else that makes them uncomfortable, on the internet.
- Know what the word “sexy” means, why it’s not a kid word and why it’s not okay for them to use it.
- Be aware their bodies will change from a kid body to an adult body as they go through puberty, which can start as young as eight in girls and ten in boys.
- Girls should know about periods before it starts — why they will have one and that they can become pregnant once it starts. Boys need to know this too.
- Be fully informed about how babies are made, why people have sex, that it’s a natural, normal and healthy part of life and why it’s important they learn about it.
- Be reminded regularly that sex is not for children and that it’s for later in life (much, much later).
Take a breath. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to start these conversations early so you can get it all in before someone else does.
Pick one that seems easier than the others and get talking. You’ve got this!