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Why do we need to talk to our children about sex & relationships? No one talked to us, and we turned out just fine! Well…

Because if we don’t talk openly with our children, they’ll find out another way – and sooner than you think


Sometimes we are not aware of how early our children can be exposed to sex & relationships issues – and sometimes the darker sides – in our digital world. Children might first see porn when they are surprisingly young (at age 11, on average), and an estimated 88% of porn is violent or degrading towards women

Because our children’s mental health is at risk – now more than ever

The number of children and young people with diagnosable mental-health conditions is increasing, with one in eight children and young people now affected. Pressures from the media, social media and the internet are often held accountable for children’s negative body image, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression

Because our children learn primarily from us

“Parents remain a child’s initial and powerful messenger about sex, sexuality and relationships” according to research by Outspoken director Yoan Reed. The Department for Education (DfE) has even called parents their children’s primary sex educators as well as their first educators. Whether or not we have open conversations with our children, we are modelling attitudes and behaviour about sex and relationships long before they start school. But engaging actively with our children’s sex and relationships education can improve…


Helping your child become a critical thinker so they build up resilience and make good decisions in this digital world


Supporting your child to become who they want to be as they balance physical changes and new emotions


Creating an easy, everyday openness with your child by being willing to tackle challenging topics

Because our children want us to – and they have a right to know

Children want parents and school to be their top two sources of information about sex and relationships, according to the Sex Education Forum. And it’s a human right, say the UN and UNESCO, for children to have accurate information and comprehensive sexuality education. Knowing the facts and discussing the issues can enhance children’s resilience, improve their decision-making and give children self-knowledge, self-acceptance and self-confidence

Despite all this, we aren’t having open conversations. Only 48% of young people in a poll by the Sex Education Forum rated the quality of the relationships and sex education they receive from their parents and carers as good or very good. Pleasure, pornography, LGBT+ and healthy relationships were among the least-discussed topics.


We may lack the confidence, knowledge or skills to talk to our children about sex and relationships. We may get uncomfortable and feel open to judgement. But the evidence is telling us that to help our children – and to strengthen our connection with them – we need to try…

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