How To Talk To Your 10-12 Year Old About Sex

by Linda Shaw, MD What do you want to know? Come ask the experts! A selection of answers to your questions...
by Linda Shaw, MD

What do you want to know? Come ask the experts! A selection of answers to your questions will be regularly posted on the site. For instant gratification, click here to see what other questions have already been answered. Something not here that you want to know? Well come on -- ask your question! The question:
I am a mother of a soon-to-be 10 year old. She is physically maturing and we have had many talks regarding what will take place as she grows into a young woman. I have yet to talk to her about reproduction and am having a hard time even bringing up the subject. I need some advice on how to talk to her about this. - Melissa in Indiana

The Pediatrician Answers:

There are a number of books available through your library (or at bookstores) that deal with menstruation and reproduction. Reading some of these together is a good springboard for discussion. Here are some of GeoParent's suggestions:

  • Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up by Margaret Blackstone, et al

  • Growing Up - It's a Girl Thing: Straight Talk About First Bras, First Periods, and Your Changing Body, by Mavis Jukes

  • Before She Gets Her Period: Talking With Your Daughter About Menstruation

  • Changing Bodies, Changing Lives: A Book for Teens on Sex and Relationships, by Ruth Bell

  • The Period Book: Everything You Don't Want to Ask (But Need to Know)

    Adding to them information from your religious/spiritual organization will pull in the ethical/moral part of this education.

    Letting the discussion flow naturally is optimal; the discussion will likely occur over several conversations. Primarily having an "open door" policy about discussing sexual issues and letting your daughter know you are available for such discussion is vital for maintaining communication as she matures and these issues change for

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    TheHiveQueen March 18, 2012
    Umm what about boys? Only girls go through puberty now. Good to know.
    Amber March 16, 2012
    What's the right age ( these days) to have the sex/ changing body talk..?
    Linda March 15, 2012
    What happened to me was we were in th car and because i knew at school they were talking about sex i just blurted out Sex and he laughed but it opened up a door for him to talk i try to talk to him almost every other day
    Anonymous March 15, 2012
    A very much needed article for our teens and pre-teens today. Loving grandmother.