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Lifestyle

How Should You Address The Topic of Sexuality With Your Child

Dr. Randi Mozenter, clinical psychologist at Barnes Jewish Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine explains when is the right time to speak to kids about topics relating to sexuality.

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"So there's certainly some age and developmental markers but what we mostly talk about is what your child says to you."

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TRANSCRIPT This transcript was generated by AudioBurst technologies

As a parent of kids and and a parent of maybe not a transgender child but someone who may go to school with someone who is, when do you start talking to kids about this, when are they able to handle this kind of tough question which I think adults struggle with. - Right and we talk about that all the time in terms of giving information to kids, right? We talk about it when something traumatic happens, we talk about it in terms of violence, we talk about it in terms of sexuality, we talk about it in terms of adoption, right? How do you know when a child is ready and how do you know when your child is ready. So there's certainly some age and developmental markers but what we mostly talk about is what your child says to you. - And that sort of drives it if they're asking questions. - Absolutely, and to match the answers to the appropriate developmental stage so you know if a young child asks a question about homosexuality for example, you're not going to want to give them the depth of an answer as if they're twenty years old. - Right. - But on the other hand. - To not address it at all means they'll fill in the blanks. - And that's what happens a lot of times is people feel uncomfortable and so instead of taking the questions seriously, they're joked about, they're laughed off or the subject is kind of changed and really as parents that's the worse thing that we can do, because we're sending the message to our children, no matter what their sexuality or gender might be, that this question isn't okay, this is shameful, this is a secret and we know that kids feeling like they have to keep secrets, is very very unhealthy to their mental health.