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The Common Questions on Sexuality That Kids Ask at Each Age

As children grow, they have more and more questions surrounding their sexuality. Here are common questions for each age and ways that you can respond appropriately.


Children and Sexuality: Age Birth to 3 years

How Children Understand Sexuality

Young preschoolers have a whole new world to discover. Discovering their bodies is part of that process. Genital discovery is a normal part of a young child’s curiosity. Expect questions such as “What is that?” “Is that a part of me?” and “Why am I different from her?”

Ways To Respond

Above all else, children need to know their bodies are okay. Use the correct terminology for all body parts. Help children accept their God-given bodies. Don’t react squeamishly or negatively when changing diapers or during potty training, because this attitude teaches children that certain parts of their body are shameful or dirty.

Children and Sexuality: Age 4 to 5 years

How Children Understand Sexuality

Children this age recognize and become curious about anatomical differences. They’re more aware that some people are boys and some are girls. They desire more detail to questions such as “Where do babies come from?” “Why am I me?” and “Why are you, you?”

Ways To Respond

Read books about babies and baby animals. Help children understand a family’s love and care for them. Teach children the biblical aspect of sexuality. Explain why God designed them differently so they can grow up to be mothers and fathers. Explain good and bad touches of others. Reinforce correct body terminology.

Children and Sexuality: Age 6 to 8 years

How Children Understand Sexuality

Primary-age children are beginning to reason. Kids are concerned about their bodies and sexual matters. They need honest, accurate answers to their questions. Boys especially have sexual discussions with their same-sex friends. They want to know “why” and “how.” They ask questions such as “Why did God create us this way?” “How do you really make babies?” and “Can I play ‘doctor’ or ‘house’?”

Ways To Respond

Tell primary children that our sexuality is a normal gift from God. Our genitals are just like other parts of our body—brains, arms, legs—and that each has a particular function. Celebrate with children that God made people female or male and establish positives about each role. Give straightforward answers to children’s questions. Remind them that if someone touches them inappropriately, they should tell their parents or a teacher. Introduce sex education resources such as books and videos.

Children and Sexuality: Age 9 to 11 years

How Children Understand Sexuality

Kids at this age are either going through or are on the verge of puberty. They often compare their physical development to their peers’ appearance. Kids often feel embarrassed or abnormal because changes in their bodies make them feel insecure. Older kids have an increased interest in the opposite sex. They ask questions such as “How do I deal with these changes?” “How should I feel about them?” and “Am I normal?”

Ways To Respond

Initiate formal Christian sex education. Help kids and parents build trust and listening skills. Provide parent-approved classes to prepare older kids for puberty. Stress that puberty is normal and occurs at different rates. Balance peer pressure, healthy self-esteem, and self-responsibility. Explain that temptation is normal. Emphasize that abstinence is God’s plan and, therefore, virginity is the acceptable lifestyle. Underline God’s grace and power as well as your availability and support.

Larry Miller, a children’s minister in West Virginia, has developed a sex education course for his church. 

For more great ideas like this in each issue, subscribe to Children’s Ministry Magazine today!


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