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Tips For Communicating With Children & Young People
- 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.
- Start early – it’s never too early to talk about things like body parts and safety
- Encourage a two way conversation – check out their existing knowledge and what they think or feel about things
- Reassure them that it’s okay to be curious
- Don’t assume – asking about something doesn’t mean they’re doing it or are planning on doing it
- Don’t wait for them to ask – use everyday opportunities such as real life relationships or the media to start conversations
- Answer questions honestly in relation to age and stage – you can read more about development in the next section.
- 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
- Check understanding
- It’s okay not to know – you can look for information together, look at books, leaflets and websites and ask local services for support
- Communication should always be inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation