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Tips For Communicating With Children & Young People

  1.  Communicating with children around sexual health and relationships should not be a one off conversation. This can be uncomfortable for everyone involved and often happens too late in relation to children’s development. Keep talking.
  2. Start early – it’s never too early to talk about things like body parts and safety
  3. Encourage a two way conversation – check out their existing knowledge and what they think or feel about things
  4. Reassure them that it’s okay to be curious
  5. Don’t assume – asking about something doesn’t mean they’re doing it or are planning on doing it
  6. Don’t wait for them to ask – use everyday opportunities such as real life relationships or the media to start conversations
  7. Answer questions honestly in relation to age and stage – you can read more about development in the next section.
  8. As young people grow they may become more secretive or want more privacy. Spending some time alone with them (making a meal together for example or going for a walk or a drive) can create a safe space for any questions or discussions to happen
  9. Check understanding
  10. It’s okay not to know – you can look for information together, look at books, leaflets and websites and ask local services for support
  11. Communication should always be inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation