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Parents, should you be talking to your children about sex more?


Parents, should you be talking to your children about sex more?

Have a question on your mind about sex or seeking advice? Ask us on any topic and we’ll provide you with the answers from an expert. Send them in to

For today’s questions, we touch on a topic related to parenting and sex ed from you and we’re delighted to have sex educator Cath Hakanson share her answer below.

Is there a current lack of sex ed for children by their parents at home and why?

After 20 plus years of talking with people about sex, yes, I believe that parents aren’t doing enough sex ed.

Now, when I talk about sex ed, I’m not talking about ‘the talk’ that happens at puberty. That type of sex ed is common, even though research tells us that it isn’t helpful. I am talking about the type of sex ed that helps kids to develop the skills they need to have healthy relationships.

Every parents dream is that their kid/s will live a happy and fulfilled life. Part of that is the ability to have good friends around you and a loving partner. Sex ed gives kids the skills and knowledge they need as adults to live a happy and fulfilled life.

So why aren’t parents doing ‘sex ed’? I believe that parents struggle with sex ed because it is just too hard.

With a name like ‘sex ed’ , of course we are going to think that it is all about sex. And who wants to talk to their kids about sex?

Your kids might ask you something that you can’t answer? You might tell them too much and they will lose their innocence. And how do you even begin to answer their questions? Then they may start asking questions at the wrong time and place such as at the supermarket, or even at dinner with the in-laws!  You may even be encouraging them to act out sexually with this new knowledge.  Maybe your kids are too young yet, so there is no point in starting just yet. Or maybe you have just left it too late, another reason to not start! Plus, won’t they just pick up what they need to know from school? And talking about sex is just plain embarrassing, so why even go there?

Wow, a hell of a lot of reasons to not do sex ed. And I don’t blame you, as a parent I  also found sex ed too hard! But the reason that I found it too hard was because I didn’t know what I had to do and how to do it! And once I realised that sex was only a small part of sex ed, it became a lot easier!

As parents should make the first move to talk about sex first, at which stage of a child’s life should a parent touch on and which topic?

When it comes to sex ed, it is never too early to start or too late! What you need to talk about depends on the age of your child and their natural curiosity.

Up to the age of 3, sex ed is pretty simple. It is about laying the foundations for lifelong attitudes about their body, gender differences and roles, and how to behave within and outside the home.

Between the ages of 3 and 5, kids are openly interested and curious about their own and other’s bodies. So sex ed is all about bodies, body ownership, genital play, reproduction, feelings, and boundaries in regards to touch, nudity, and privacy.

5 to 8 year olds are often full of curiosity and questions but are starting to be more private.  Sex ed includes more in depth information about bodies, reproduction, puberty, sexual behaviour, friendships, love, families, sexual orientation and personal skills.

Visit Cath’s profile below and all the links to her website and social media. 

Want to learn more about sex ed, sign up for Cath’s newsletter where you will receive regular, tips, practical strategies and encouragement delivered straight to your inbox.. it’s free!


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Cath Hakanson

Cath Hakanson is a sex educator, nurse, researcher and counsellor who is known to her daughter “just a mum who talks about sex” (a lot). Cath’s Sex Ed Rescue is a revolution, an online resource and a service for pro-active parents designed to help parents talk to their kids about sex in ways that make sense and feel natural. Head on over to the website to sign up for Sex Ed Rescue regular tips, practical strategies and encouragement delivered straight to your inbox… it’s free! Access Cath’s free video series to master sex education, make yourself an askable parent and learn how to keep your kids safe. It’s available over at


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