How do I teach my daughter sex education while under lockdown?

I want her to understand the ‘mechanics’, but also to understand that it’s about love and fun. And I don’t want to just give her a book

As a consequence of the lockdown, my 10-year-old daughter, who is in year 6, will now not be getting her first sex education talk at primary school. I remember mine being excellent. Other parents have been giving their children books, but I am reluctant as many seem to present a “lie back and think of England” approach to sex for women. I’m happy to discuss things with my daughter (she already understands periods). I really want her to understand the “mechanics” of sex, but to also understand that it is about love and fun, not just procreating. I don’t just want to give her a book and tell her to ask questions later. I want her to develop a healthy and fun approach to her sex life as she grows up. I’d really appreciate a little advice on how to start the conversation and make sure she understands on a scientific and emotional level.

Don’t fret about this. And don’t feel pressured by knowing she is missing this formal discussion. The timing of such events is, through necessity, planned to accommodate the school calendar rather than an individual student’s readiness to receive such information. You know your daughter best, and intuitively understand how much information is appropriate to share with her at this time or any other – perhaps a lot, and perhaps nothing. Sex educators usually agree that instead of trying to explain everything all at once – which can cause great anxiety and embarrassment for both parent and child – you would be better off creating an atmosphere in which she feels safe and comfortable to ask you questions as they come up. This strategy, combined with using “teachable moments” (times when something she might see on TV or internet sparks a question followed by a calm, naturally timed answer from you), can be the best approach.

Written by