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Children aged 6 to 10
“What is sex?”

“Why do other people look different?”

“What is ‘being gay’?”

The facts
  • Between ages 6 and 10, your child will lose the simplistic perspective of a toddler. Their thinking becomes more logical and complex, and they’re able to take in several aspects of a problem or situation at once


  • But children this age usually still prefer concrete things that are “real” rather than concepts and ideas, and still need clear and consistent rules


  • This stage, sometimes described as “middle childhood”, is when crucial social attitudes are formed, and friendship and teamwork skills become important. To stand children in good stead to withstand social and sexual pressures later on, it’s especially important to teach them about boundaries & personal safety now

Top tips


Promise yourself never to shy away from questions. If you want to be your child’s first source of information, respond positively rather than shutting down their curiosity. If the timing isn’t right, agree to come back to the subject another time or in a different way

Strike a balance between honesty and what is age appropriate. It’s really about stage, not age. Take the lead from your children: go into depth if they ask questions and go at a pace that suits them. If they don’t ask, you can bring up topics if you feel they are relevant



Don’t be put off by negative response or body language. Even if children seem unreceptive and give no indication that they are listening, they may be taking in what you are saying on some level. Don’t be afraid to repeat things over time

The more everyday the conversation feels – the more matter-of-fact and confident you are – the more willing your child will be to talk. If there are words or topics that make you feel uncomfortable, practise phrases that work for you


Top phrases

“It’s OK to feel embarrassed. Keep talking and that might change!”

“This bit is important so I’m happy that you’re interested”

“You look… ready!”

“What do you know already about that?”

More help with ages 6 to 10
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RUTGERS  |  Spring Fever – approachable sex ed

Holland’s Rutgers Foundation exports its world-renowned Spring Fever relationships & sex curriculum all over the world. Now the resources are available in an online app – a great place for parents of primary school-aged children to start  Go to Spring Fever >
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AMAZE JR |  Video advice for parents

Amaze Jr brings parents age-appropriate sex ed resources about talking to kids ages 4-9. Access bitesize cartoons on questions like “What if my kids don’t ask?” and “How can I teach my values?” (Amaze, for tweens, features cartoons too)  Go to AMAZE Jr >

CHILDNET  |  Family Agreement 

As your child begins to explore the online world independently, it’s a great idea to use Childnet’s Family Agreement together. Resources also include Being Smart With your Smartphone (ages 8-11)  Go to Childnet resources >

Remember: every child is different. Adjust these suggestions for the age and stage of your child. Children with special educational needs and disabilities, looked-after children and children who have experienced abuse may also need different support.

If you’re in doubt about your child’s development, you should seek the advice of a professional

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