Most children and young people will grow up to have romantic or sexual relationships. Talking with your children as they grow can help them to be more informed and confident about themselves and their sexual health if and when they do start sexual activity. Evidence clearly states that children and young people want parents and carers to talk to them about sexual health and relationships and help them with the skills and knowledge they need to grow up safely. Research also shows that kids who are better informed take less risks.

This video HERE has some lovely tips around positive communication


Speakeasy is a free course provided by trained facilitators which helps parents and carers of children of any age to tackle the difficult and often confusing issues of growing up, sex and relationships. The project provides information, resources and support to help parents/carers to confidently chat about these things at home.

Parents and carers take part in a group work programme where each session lasts 2 hours. They will also receive age appropriate resources to encourage discussions in the home and put learning into practise. Courses are delivered in various locations.

We cover lots of topics covering all age and stages of children and young people’s development.

If you would like to find out more about the Speakeasy project please contact Linzi McKerrecher (Speakeasy Co-ordinator) on or on 07817 085977. Information about the project can be found at our Facebook page

For more details on what we offer watch our video HERE or read our Newsletter below:

Speakeasy Newsletter 2022


A parents/carers role in educating children is a vital one. For many parents and carers these conversations may feel worrying or uncomfortable. Some concerns might include:

  • “Getting it it wrong”
  • That having too much information might encourage young people to experiment
  • Feeling like you don’t know enough about some topics
  • Stories in the news that scare you or suggest our young people already know everything

Informed young people are more likely to delay first time sex and to use contraception when they do. It helps them to make healthy decisions about sex and relationships. Ultimately positive and appropriate communication around these topics helps our children to grow up safely.

Children and young people want to learn about more than the “facts of life.” They need guidance to manage feelings, develop assertiveness and negotiation skills and form their own values.

If you don’t talk to them someone else will. Being proactive with these conversations means you can choose some of the messages you want your children to hear.

Whether we like it or not children and teenagers receive messages about gender, sex and relationships on a daily basis. They are bombarded with images of sex and sexuality in films, magazines, adverts, television and the internet. Many of these can be confusing, contradictory and inaccurate. This can be tough for children to make sense of.

We can’t, and shouldn’t, remove our young people from their culture and the world they’re growing up in. But you can choose to talk with your child and make sure they get balanced and honest information. If you don’t they may get it from less reliable sources.

Try not to see this as a one-off chat but as an ongoing process. Start when children are small (and naturally ask lots of questions) and continue into adulthood.

Every young person is unique. As a parent or carer you are best placed to work out how to explain things. The age of your child and their ability to understand will impact on what conversations you have when. It’s best to start early, but it’s never too late!


The following is a guideline of how children develop and age appropriate topics for discussion:

Teens may hold back because they are embarrassed, feel your embarrassment or think they know it all (or should know it all.) They may be aware sex is not discussed in family or worry that they’ll appear to be sexually active by asking.

You or your children may have questions around sexuality and gender identity. Below is some useful information around language and definitions. You can also get up to date and helpful information at LGBT Youth Scotland.

Some young people may need extra support or a different approach to communicating about sexual health and relationships. All children learn in different ways. Repetition and using various resources can help.

Young people with additional learning needs or who have missed some schooling may need extra input to ensure they understand. Your school have a role to play in this too, if you’re concerned about your child’s learning in any area let them know.

HERE is a list of available resources to support you.

Many of these resources can be borrowed by parents/carers and professionals for free from the Public Health library in Dundee. You can register a the following link:

There are also a range of online resources HERE that you can access at home.

Children and young people spend a lot of time online, and as a parent it can be really hard to navigate what is going on. The key here is to be informed, keep the conversation going and remember the positives.

Remember that the online world has many benefits for young people – even if something’s gone wrong they will still want to be part of it.

Young people’s personal and sexual development may be influenced by the online world – what they see, the spaces they visit and the behaviours and expectations from celebrities, friends and strangers.  As a parent/carer you might worry about things like pornography, young people sharing intimate images and general online safety.

Sexual behaviour online often mirrors sexual pressure in the real world. Try having open and honest discussions around sex and relationships at home, including issues around consent and respect.

It can feel overwhelming – but there are loads of things you can do to support children online, including being part of their world. Check out the Resources section below for helpful information.

The age of consent in Scotland is 16 for girls and boys, whether straight, bi, gay or lesbian or trans. This means that if they are both over 16 and want to have any sexual contact then they will not be breaking the law.

Young people have the right to access sexual health services, including condoms and contraception, before the legal age of consent. Under 16’s have the same right to confidentiality as adults. However, workers in all services have a duty to make sure that young people are safe and not in any kind of abusive situation. If there is a child protection concern they have to report this.


There are lots of useful resources to help support communication around sex and relationships at home.

We’ve pulled some together HERE for you to look over, including our free Speakeasy E-learning units that are open to everyone.