Pre-Teens: Curiosity about Sex
Pre-teens develop a natural curiosity towards sex. This is the age when children start sharing jokes and information related to sex and sexuality. They begin to explore pornography and erotic content. They are also starting to fall in love and develop crushes and infatuations. There may be sexual experimentation. It is also the age when children are forming their values.
It is now time to address sexuality directly.
- As conveyed above, the ‘talk’ can start with a discussion on puberty and the changes that they can expect during that phase.
- When talking about sex and sexuality, maintain a balance of joys and the risks. This will help the child develop a healthy attitude. Eg:- tell them about unplanned pregnancy, but also tell them about protection.
- Be straightforward about both – good and bad consequences. Explain to them both appropriate and inappropriate sexual relations.
- Tell them that they must never be coerced – physically or emotionally into sex. Tell them that sex is pleasurable only when one is physically and emotionally ready and prepared.
- Emphasize the notion of mutual consent and of respect in relationships.
- Talk about your values when it comes to relationships but don’t attempt to force it on the child. They may disagree with some of what you have to say. But it is important that they form their own opinions and ideas.