. Sexual Health | Health & Well-Being | Early Years | A Parent or Caregiver | Manitoba Parent Zone

Early Years Children - Health & Well-Being

Sexual Health

Around eight or nine years old, near the end of the early years, some children might show signs of entering puberty. Girls usually begin puberty a year or more before boys, and it is important that parents talk to their children about possible changes in their bodies. Letting your child know she can talk to you about any of the changes she or her friends may be going through is the first step.

Talking to your child about sexuality can be embarrassing and awkward for both parents and children, but it doesn't have to be. How we discuss sexuality with our children will set the stage for further conversations. Try to be honest and open with your child, even if she asks a really tough question.

Many children will touch their bodies as a way to relax or explore. It may be a good idea to let your child know that it is okay to touch herself and that she can do it in a private area such as her bedroom or a bathroom. It isn't a good idea to hit, yell or tell her that she is bad for touching her body; this is a normal part of healthy child development.

Some children at this age may not be interested in sex or their bodies at all. But the truth is your nine-year-old child has most likely heard older children talk in different ways about sex, puberty, periods and erections. While these topics might make us cringe, we should be comfortable discussing sexuality with our children. This way we know that our children have the facts and our children know they can come to us about anything.

Manitoba Education - Sexual Health

Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC) Resource for Parents

Communication Tips for Parents