MAYDAY MOMENT
“What's this?

 

Your 6-year-old finds your vibrator and wants to know what it does

Expert Response #1

Describe

Ahh, you have found the [or my] special massager! This massager is just for adults
but you can try it on your hand/arm. It tingles and feels nice.

Yoan Reed, director of Teaching Lifeskills and Outspoken Sex Ed 

Expert Response #2

Request privacy

That's something private that belongs to an adult. As it is private I would not be happy for you to talk to other people about this.

Josie Rayner-Wells, national PSHE/RSE adviser

Expert Response #3

Distract and delay

Oh this? It’s a mummy thing. Something for grown ups. You don’t need to worry about it now… we can talk about it another time. Let’s put it away and go and have a snack!

Alexandra Fryer, partner,

It Happens... Let’s Talk About It

Whatever you say next, keep these things in mind…

  • This is one of the more personal scenarios that our parent community has come up with, and there's no right answer

  • Some parents will want and feel able to address pleasure by talking about self-care and nice feelings. Family Sparks' Dr Jillian recommends that you describe a vibrator as simply "something you use during sex to make the experience more enjoyable"

  • Others will want to save these discussions. Sex educators It Happens say "early sex ed is great. Pleasure is something to talk about. But vibrators and complex for little heads. In the same way we would manage what they watch/read we should also keep things that are confusing or mature for young children out of their reach"

  • If you do want to put this discussion off until later, ask yourself: when will be the right time to talk with your child about pleasure and bodies? The truth is, sex and touching feel good, and if we can manage to tell our children this without shame, they might feel more able to stand up for themselves and say what they do and don't want later in life

CRISIS NOT AVERTED?

More help with questions about babies from younger kids…

HEY SIGMUND  |  Age by age guide

Sex ed rescue's Cath Hakanson cameos on Hey Sigmund with an age-by-age guide to sex education   Go to the age by age guide >

CARE.COM  |  Resources for parents

The agency Care.com has a series of parenting guides and articles including 'difficult conversations with kids ' Go to Resources >

brook.jpg
BROOK  |  Sexual Behaviours Traffic Light Tool

Brook's Traffic Light Tool is aimed at professionals: helping them decide on an appropriate response for sexual behaviours at each age  Go to the Traffic Light Tool >

More Outspoken advice on #Consent&Pleasure

The full guide

Tips for this age

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 all need different support.

 

If you’re in doubt about your child’s emotional, physical or psychological development, please seek the advice of a professional

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