Dangerous silence: Why you need to talk to your kids about sex

Published: Saturday, May 26 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Start early. Tell young children in simple terms about the birth of a new sibling or explain how they came to be.

Take advantage of daily teaching moments. The car is a great place to talk because eye contact is not required.

Read a book. If you don't know what to say, talk to trusted family members, friends, ecclesiastical leaders or your child's pediatrician about appropriate books on intimacy to help facilitate healthy conversations.

Dissect cultural messages. When kids see movies or commercials with sexual topics, follow up with questions or express your beliefs about sex as a sacred expression between husband and wife.

Show reverence. While biological understanding is important, help children understand that sex is a sacred gift from God.

Healthy messages. Be clear about the consequences for sexual misbehavior, but don't make sex itself seem like a bad thing.

Share love for your spouse. Help your kids understand that mom and dad are best friends and lovers, not just roommates.

Practice talking. If you can't talk about sex with your spouse, your hesitancy may affect how you can talk to your children.

Don't ignore it. Sex is pervasive in today's culture. Pretending your child won't be faced with pornography, sexual discussions or advances is naive and problematic. Talk with your kids now about how to handle situations they will find themselves in.

Source: Deseret News interviews

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