Your Role as a Parent

As parents you want to give your child the guidance and knowledge that they need to become responsible, healthy and happy adults. Teaching your child about sexual health and sexuality is part of your role as a parent. You’re already teaching your child many things about sexuality and have been since the day they were born. They learn from:

  • the way they’re physically touched by others
  • the way their bodies feel to them
  • what your family believes is okay and not okay to do and say
  • the words that family members use (and don’t use) to refer to body parts
  • watching the relationships around them
  • seeing male and female roles

They also pick up a lot from outside the family whenever they watch television, movies, listen to music and talk with their friends.

Sometimes parents feel unsure or uncomfortable talking about sexual health and sexuality because they:

  • aren’t comfortable talking about reproductive body parts and what they do
  • sex wasn’t talked about when they were growing up
  • wonder if talking about sexuality will give the okay for their child to experiment
  • aren’t sure what their child needs to know and at what age they need to know it
It’s a fact that young people whose parents talk about all the parts that make up sexuality with them tend to delay becoming sexually active, compared to those whose parents didn’t talk to them about sexuality.

 

In talking about sexual health with your child, you have a chance to:

  • answer their questions honestly—tell your child what they want to know using words they can understand
  • give correct information—studies show that young people tend to get most of their information (or misinformation) about sexual health from friends
  • start conversations—some children never ask about sexual health
  • share your beliefs, concerns and values—your child needs to know where you stand
  • help your child make good decisions and stand by their decisions

 

Helpful Tools

 

Parent Guide (0-12 year olds)

This resource will help you prepare for the ongoing conversations you’ll have with your child about sexual health. Whether you’ve had conversations in the past or not, it’s never too late to start!

 

Parent Guide (13-18 year olds)

This resource will help you prepare for the ongoing conversations you’ll have with your teen about sexual health. Whether you’ve had conversations in the past or not, it’s never too late to start!

 
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