Between the age of 3-4 years, children start getting curious about sexuality, i.e., they start understanding something about certain differences between the girl and the boy. However, being too young, they are not well aware of these differences, and as a parent, it is your duty to carefully educate your children about the same.
Tips for educating your children about the physical difference between girl and boy
As a parent, you should begin to teach your children about body safety between the ages of 3 to 5
Use appropriate language1
- Teach your children correct names of all body parts, including names such as genitals, penis, vagina, breasts, buttocks, and private parts. Switching names for body parts may give them the idea that there is something bad about the appropriate names.
- Try to understand why your child uses a special name for the body part but teach the correct name, too.
The questions asked by your child, and the answers given by them will depend on your child's age and ability to understand. The following tips might make it easier for both of you:
- Don't laugh or giggle, even if the question is cute. Don't get angry. Don't make your child feel ashamed for their curiosity.
- Be brief. Don't give a long explanation—answer in simple language.
- Try to understand if your child wants or needs to know more. Follow up your answers with questions such as, "Does that answer your question?"
- Carefully observe your child's responses and reactions.
- Be prepared to repeat yourself.
This can be a great way to know your child's ideas about gender.
Teach them through books2
Read books with your child that explain about differences between a boy, a girl, or explain the difference to them as you read the book together or as a part of the story.
- Sexual Behaviours in Young Children: What's Normal, What's Not?[Internet]. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/preschool/Pages/Sexual-Behaviors-Young-Children.aspx. Accessed on Mar 30, 2020.
- Gender identity[Internet]. Available at: https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/gender-identity. Accessed on Mar 30, 2020.