Kids are curious creatures, and as they get older, they usually want to know more about “grown-up” topics, like sex and reproduction. While this might lead to an awkward, embarrassing conversation, it’s one that you can’t avoid. You might be tempted to say “you don’t need to know about that” or “we don’t talk about that” in order to delay the “birds and the bees” chat, but shutting it down can have a detrimental effect, says licensed marriage and family therapist Jill Whitney.
“Avoiding the question tells your child that they can't turn to you when they need information about some topics, meaning they'll eventually turn to peers and the internet, which is not what you want,” explains Whitney. “Possibly even worse, they may think there's something wrong about asking or something wrong with them for wondering about it. That begins to create shame around sexuality that can cause problems for a lifetime.”
A better approach is to give short, honest answers to any questions your child asks. “You want the answer to come from you, someone with adult perspective who loves them,” adds Whitney. “And remember, if they're old enough to ask, they're old enough to hear the answer.”