From the moment babies are born they are learning about different aspects of sexuality—about their bodies, about gender, about touch, about affection—and this learning continues throughout their life. Parents, caregivers, and families play a central role in this process—the children in our lives are learning everyday from our actions, our words (or lack of them), our values, and our beliefs.
What we say and how we say it—and what we don’t say—all send messages about our values and beliefs. And the messages that we give to our children about sexuality often have a lasting impact. It is vital that communication between parent and child is both open and positive—and that it start as early as possible.
We hope the resources on this page help parents and caregivers in this important—and sometimes daunting— role.
Resources from SIECUS
Parents who have specific concerns about their own children will find that the best source for answers in their child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider. However, kids often ask the same questions and many parents face similar situations with their children. We’ve compiled a list of common experiences and questions that we think may answer some of these concerns.
Families are Talking
Families are Talking/La familia habla is a SIECUS newsletter series written for parents and caregivers. The 12 issues of the newsletter are designed to give parents/caregivers encouragement and support in talking with their children about sexuality. Each issue is available in English and Spanish.
This postcard available in English and Spanish lists ten tips for parents and caregivers for starting and having ongoing conversations with their children about sexuality.
This booklet was developed to help teenagers communicate more openly and effectively about issues related to sexuality and HIV/AIDS. It offers clear, honest, and straightforward information in a very engaging, youth-friendly manner. This booklet provides parents with the basic information about topics such as anatomy, sexual orientation, and birth control that they need for talking with their teens and pre-teens.
There is a lot of information out there on sexuality, much of it is good and reliable, but some of it is not. To help parents find accurate, reliable, and thought-provoking resources, SIECUS has pulled together lists of books written specifically for parents and caregivers.
SIECUS’ Community Action Kit provides parents with the tools they need to become knowledgeable about sexuality education, understand what is being taught in their child’s schools, build support in their community, work to implement sound policies, and institute or defend an effective comprehensive sexuality education program.
For more information about sexuality designed for parents try these links.
Many parents are concerned about sexual abuse and assault. For more information on these important topics, try these links and hotlines.
RAINN also runs the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which is open 24/7. Call 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) or click here for the online hotline.
Stop It Now!
Stop It Now! also runs a helpline is open Monday-Friday 9am-6pm Eastern time, 1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368).
Child Help also runs the Child Help National Child Abuse Hotline, which is open 24/7, 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).