Parenting: When to Have the “Sex Talk” with Your Kids

By June 16, 2020January 14th, 20214 Comments
when to have the sex talk with your kids
When to have the talk with your kids

Talking to your kids about sex can be both awkward and embarrassing for you and them. Even so, it is your God-given responsibility to guide your kids through most of these things.

“Sex! Sex! Sex!” My elder brother, John, heard me shouting as I ran across our upcountry home compound.

I vividly remember this particular day because of the way John shouted my name. “Muthoni!” He shouted in a loud voice accompanied with a stern look on his face.

I had never seen him look so serious, yet so concerned. I wondered what I had done to earn such a stern look.

Sex. I had read that word in Sunday’s Daily Nation in the lifestyle section that was found at the center of the newspaper.

The word sex was new and had a rhythm to it. That’s why I memorized it and ran across the compound shouting it over and over again.

My brother beckoned me to walk over to where he was standing and I immediately obliged.

“Don’t say that word again. It’s a very bad word!” he said with seriousness in both his eyes and words.

I was only 10 when that incident happened.

3 years later, I came across the word sex again in science class lesson under the topic Reproduction.

My parents, like most African parents, avoided the sex talk with me and left this crucial talk for my teachers to handle.

While most of our parents left this talk to our teachers, I feel like teaching sex in a class environment isn’t personalized for the curious minds the little ones have.

Most of us had to discover sex all on our own without much or any guidance from our parents.

Times are Changing

Unlike the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s, information on sex and all kinds of topics are too available in this day and age. I say too available because of the many platforms our kids are exposed to.

These days, kids have access to the internet where all sorts of things are available.

Sex Talk
A child using a tablet

As a parent, therefore, you should always strive to be a step ahead of all other sources of information when it comes to the sex talk.

So when should you get started?

To be honest, there isn’t a right time to have this conversation, but, starting as early as possible is always the best thing to do in this case.

By starting when they’re young, you have a chance to ease into things and make sure your child has the information they need when they need it.

Kids need to feel safe and comfortable to open up about certain things. Therefore, it’s important to create a safe space for the sex talk.

How to Start the conversation

If you find yourself struggling on how to get started on the sex talk and finding the right words, worry not. Many parents find this kind of conversation very awkward.

However, making use of educational videos and books can be a great start. These can help you explain this topic to them in a way they’ll understand.

Benefits of having the sex talk

You might be wondering, “Why do I need to have this conversation with my kid? Is it really necessary?” The answer is yes. The sex talk is very necessary.

First and foremost, creating a safe space for your kids where you can talk about sex can help reduce the risk of sexual abuse. I have heard stories from my peers about how they were sexually abused by their relatives but couldn’t talk to their parents because they didn’t know how to tell them.

Another benefit of talking about sex with your kids is that they get the right attitude towards sex. Growing up, I had this misconstrued attitude towards sex, as did almost everyone else who was born before 2000. I grew up seeing sex as something dirty and not right to talk about. Therefore, talking about sex with your kids will allow them to be able to talk freely about what they are going through concerning their sexuality.

Additionally, having the sex talk with your kids helps prepare them with the right information in the event they are faced with a situation involving sex. In such situations, you can rest assured that your child will make the right choices without being taken advantage of by their peers.

Have you talked to your kids about sex? Let us know your experience and how you went about it in the comments section.


  • JP says:

    Such a nice and easy read on such an tricky but important topic. Kudos!
    I’m a mom of 3 boys, including a teen and a toddler. I’ve talked to them about sex and it wasn’t one big talk, but rather several small ordinary discussions. Started with teaching them the correct names of their body parts, including the privates. Giving them the vocabulary removed taboo from the topic, allowing us to have further discussions with them trusting me as a credible source of information.

  • JK says:

    I was taking care of some younger relatives when I found one watching porn on their phone. At 11 years I was only getting curious about magazine cover models, but here we are. I immediately knew it was up to me to give “the talk” I started it off slowly giving the names of body parts, differences between males and females and the act itself. Then the long talk about how our bodies are the temple of God and should be taken of. When I was done, I felt so relieved that I had pulled that off and knew so many young people deserve the same talk.

    • Mercy Jerono says:

      Hi JK, that was a good move and you handled it well. At the end of the day, evasion or lying to them does not help.

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