It's time to break down the importance of teaching healthy sexuality.

What is so important about teaching your kids about 'the birds and the bees'?

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average age for children to participate in sexual activity is 12.

I'll wait a second while you are digesting that.

Yes, there is a problem in our nation. Our children are getting sent the wrong message — that in order to be accepted or of value they have to be sexual creatures. Girls have to be sexy and boys have to be sexual.

This message somehow needs to take a dramatic halt. It needs to stop.

The most effective way we can begin to change that message is through you — their parent. Their loving, aware, knowledgeable parent.

Parents are the most effective way to stop the negative sexual message of the media.

You need to take action and be proactive about what you are teaching them, about what influences they have in their lives, and about whom they are becoming.

So, here are my top seven reasons it is so important for you to talk to your kids about healthy sexuality:

Knowledge is power

Young adults who have knowledge of topics regarding their sexuality are more empowered to make good decisions.

To reduce the spread of STDs

The higher amount of children and young adults who are aware of the risks that come with sex are more likely to avoid and prevent these consequences, such as sexually transmitted diseases.

To lower the rate of unplanned pregnancy

We must teach our children about sexuality — which is an ongoing process — because our bodies have the ability to create human life. That is serious. That is not something to be taken lightly.

To set proper boundaries

Children need boundaries at every age. Boundaries will change and adapt as the child does; but children need to understand boundaries. When you teach about healthy sexuality, boundaries need to be a part of this — from teaching "Don't touch someone else's private parts," all the way to the benefits of not having sex until marriage. Other healthy boundaries are important as well — drugs, finances, the importance of an education, etc.

To strengthen family bonds

Something happens when you are able to talk to someone about something so sacred. Trust is built. When you spend years talking to your kids about healthy sexuality, you set the stage to help them know you care, you are aware, and that you are there for them. That process strengthens family relationships.

Human sexuality is a normal part of life

At some point your child will be interested to learn more. If you haven't been the one "setting the stage," they won't turn to you.

It should be you

You can't keep your child in a bubble; there will be something or someone, somewhere, that introduces your child to sexuality. It should be you.

This article was originally published on HappyMamaTales It has been republished here with permission.

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