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From steamy scenes in films to billboard adverts that you pass every day, it seems like sex is everywhere, so it’s inevitable that your kids are going to ask you about it. Jackie Tolland from Parent Network Scotland spoke to The Hour about how best to explain this most awkward of subjects to your children.
“The best time is probably to start young,” said Jackie. “When children start to ask questions about changes in their body, that’s normally a good indication that they want to know more.”
Although schools will run sex education classes, Jackie believes that these need to be reinforced by chats in the home. Children may feel more comfortable asking their parents and won’t want to be the only one in the playground who hasn’t a clue.
The sexualised images that all children now see on a day-to-day basis can also be a great way of starting the conversation. Jackie said: “The fact that things are appearing on videos and TV programmes [means] parents can say: ‘What would you do in that situation?’ So it helps to raise the subject.
“[But] it can also be a hindrance. It depends on how you would cope with that as a parent.”
The best way to speak to your children is openly and honestly. If you are embarrassed, then they’ll be embarrassed, so speak about it like the normal subject that it is.
As an easy reference, Jackie had five tips to help you get through the inevitable conversation: