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As a parent, I believe it’s important to be open with your kids whatever the topic. I’ve always strived to have a close relationship with my children where they feel comfortable to come to me with any worries or questions they have about any situation. I’d much rather that, than see them suffering in silence and being unsure where to turn to help.

I’ve always been a boy mum until now, but within the next week I’m due to have our first little girl so I’ll be entering into the world of mother-daughter relationships, which I’m sure brings lots of new joys and challenges!

With girls in particular, there are lots of personal issues that might need Mum’s help and advice, including intimate health. Canesten® believes that if you feel more comfortable with your own body you are more likely to reach your full potential. It’s always a parent’s desire to support their children to reach their full potential and help them become confident and educated individuals, feeling in control in all sorts of situations, and this should extend to intimate health too. This is why Canesten® wants to empower women to feel more comfortable, also when they discuss intimate health, including issues like thrush, with their children.

how and when to discuss intimate health with your daughter

When I was growing up, my mum also raised my sister and I to know that we could go to her with any problems, whether physical or emotional problems, or female issues like periods and hormonal ups and downs. Rather than having a big one off talk about these kind of problems, my mum preferred to casually leave the door open to conversations and naturally deal with any issues as they cropped up – in an age appropriate way. I’m planning to follow the same line of thinking, as this way is normally less awkward! What age do you think is right to start the conversation about intimate health? Let me know in the comments!

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This post has been supported by Canesten® but all thoughts are my own

268 thoughts on “Mummy Conversations with Canesten, and Win £100 Amazon Voucher”

  1. Maybe age 7 or 8 … I’m really not sure. My son is 5 and I’m not looking forward to the discussion, though it’s probably best for his father to have that talk with him at the appropriate time.

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  2. I think having an open relationship with your daughters from a young age is the best way forward. My daughters are 10 and 12 and I have told them what I think I need they need to know at their ages, I would rather speak to them and tell them the truths rather than them get broken or false info from others.

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  3. My Mum spoke to me about periods when I was 9 but that might be a little young for discussing general vaginal health. Maybe about 12? You can tell I have no daughters 😀

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  4. we started when our children were 7/8, before they got to the ’embarrassed’ stage – honest and open is the best way forward but obviously it all depends on the childs maturity

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  5. My grandsons are aged four & seven so we haven’t come to that stage yet but I think maybe 10 or 11 would be a good time. Kids are maturing so much younger nowadays so its important to sit down & talk and answer their questions as truthfully as possible!

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  6. I’d drip-feed them the basics, if they take an interest, until they’re 9 or 10 and then sit them down and explain the rest.

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  7. What age do you think is appropriate to start the conversation on intimate health with your child . . . . .from when he/she begins to ask questions, so it varies from family to family and child to child

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  8. i think between 9 and 11. my daughter was 10 and we had the discussion as her best friend was 12 and started her cycle. it was a little awkawrd to be honest!

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  9. To be honest i dont think there is a specific age it depends on your child. I do think you should be open to any questions your child may have no matter what age they are. I think my mother spoke to both my sister and I when we were around 10 as we had been asking questions.

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  10. depending on maturity about 10-11 unless they ask questions earlier, encouraging them early may help them to be more open later

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  11. i think before secondary school definitely but around aged 10. Its important to be honest and open about tu as theyre growing up and then when you talk about it, it will be more natural and open

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  12. ii have 2 daughters one who is 16 and the other who is 3. ive always been veryopen with all my kids and would suggest around 10, or if they came to me earlier

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  13. I’s say just before puberty i think, You want them to be a child for as long as possible but then they need to know what to expect with things about to change, its a subject that needs parents to be open with there children about x

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  14. It all depends on the maturity of the child. I spoke openly to my daughter from quite a young age, but she did have 3 older brothers to contend with. She was more upset about growing boobs than anything else. I would say around the 7-8 age mark.

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  15. I think just be open to questions as they’re asked and make sure they know the things they need to at the right age. Don’t be pushy but don’t hide things away either. When I was growing up I gradually ended up asking my mum things as I got older and she always answered kindly and frankly. I think it was a good way to do it. Sort of as we went along. Took the worry and embarrassment out of it all. 🙂

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  16. As early as possible. My twins are now all grown up but we have never been shy to talk about intimate things together and if they asked questions, I answered truthfully and factual 🙂

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  17. I’ve been talking about this with my 7 year old daughter Alesha
    She suffers sometimes with thrush and gets very sore, sI’ve had a chat about how important it is to keep that area clean and how if she is worried about anything, to come to me and we can discuss it further

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  18. Probably at about 10 or 11 just before they go to secondary school or reach puberty. Its important as they should not feel scared about talking about such things.

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  19. I really don’t know as my daughter only 2 . I would say about 10 or maybe just before high school. But I plan on having an open relationship with my daughter and will tell her what’s she needs to know am sure she will ask loads a questions as she grows and will tell her . X

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  20. I would say it depends on the child, some grow up quicker than others, but it would have to be when they are old enough to understand which i surpose around 7 or 8, but if questions are asked they should be answered with truth, if a child knows they can talk to you, then it goes along way for when they are growing up

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  21. I think prior to secondary school so around 10/11 I also think it’s important to be open about periods and the like so that it doesn’t come as a massive shock

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  22. When the child shows signs of needing it! I think I got the in-depth detailed talk at 9 and I appreciated it as it got rid of many playground tales!

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  23. I think we should talk to kids about it from when they are little, that way its normal and part of life and not taboo and unspoken.

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  24. I’d say around age 12 but really depends on the individual child. I think a good relationship is needed & think it’s best to just let them know they are able to discuss any private matters with you.

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  25. I had 3 sons but did not think this would be a problem. My hubby of then, thought he would never be able to talk about these things even to sons. I think its so easy, when your kids ask questions answer with straight talk, then i found they went away and thought about things came back and asked more, job done !!!!

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  26. Depends on each child but with my daughter it was 9. I wanted to talk to her before she reached the stage of being embarrassed about it.

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  27. I think around the age of 10 is good. But each child is different so if the child is showing an interest in it then I would talk about it earlier.

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  28. From infancy onwards – age-appropriate information and build on information as they get older – absolutely no good leaving it until the last minute and expecting them to sit and listen to you talking for hours trying to cover everything they do need to know.

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  29. Our son asked questions when he was under 5 about why his dad had hair when he didn’t, so we have been giving him little bits of information for a while. We also told him that the parts of his body which are covered by his pants are only for him to see and touch. He asks questions and we try to be honest without giving information which he doesn’t need at the moment. We hope that being like this means that he will ask the questions when he needs the answers – no matter what his age.

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  30. Around the age of 9-10 is appropriate. It’s very important to talk to girls about this kind of thing as I remember being that age and it can make you fee lonely, you can’t talk to your friends about it and are embarrassed to speak to your mum so if explained properly at a certain age they don’t have to feel bad about themselves

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  31. As soon as they can understand at the level that they can understand; that way it’s not a big deal; just a normal part of everyday life.

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  32. It depends on the mental, not physical age of the child. H was a late developer, so it was early teens when conversations started, even though she wasn’t all that interested! She still liked playing with a bucket and spade when she was 15 while all her friends liked posing in bikinis, but she’s a fine young woman now!

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  33. When they are starting secondary school, but have conversations throughout childhood, it’s awkward to store it all up for one “talk”

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  34. Children mature at different ages so it is impossible to say an age – as a parent you should be able to judge when your child is ready ….

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  35. I think the younger the better, by the time my mum broached it I was 13 and the embarassment/cringe factor was high because we didn’t have that kind of relationship. With my daughter I want open & honest conversations from at least 8 so she realises early on there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.

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  36. On average 10-12 years old, but it really depends on the maturity of the child – everyone is different and you can’t really generalise.

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  37. I really think it depends on the child, looking at my own siblings, my eldest sister still wanted to deny it all when she was 15, my older brother learnt about it with my Mum when he was 11 and about to learn about it at school, I sat with them and learnt about it at the same time and I was 8. My younger brother was about the same age as me when he learnt about it all because I bought a book at a jumble sale when I was 11 called ‘How a Baby is Made’ because the pictures made me laugh (they were genuinely funny, they still make me laugh now!) and he looked at it with me, so my Mum came and sat with is too!

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  38. u personally think start talking about it from when they start asking questions, my daughter has seen me taking sanitary towels out of the packet and she 7 started asking questions about what’ they were for , so I had to tell her and as I told her she was asking more and more questions so I tried to explain the process of periods in an easy to understand way. I want to make sure that my daughter feels she can come and ask me about anything without feeling embarrassed.

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  39. My daughter was around 7 when she started asking what my sanitary towels were for and I told her but tried to explain it in a way that she could understand as best as she could. As I told her she started to ask more and more questions. She knows now that when she is between 10 and 15 it will happen to her. I want my daughter to feel comfortable in coming to talk to me about anything

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  40. Probably 8 or 9 when her body is starting to change. It’s so important to talk to them about these things. I have a cousin who’s period started when she was very young & it was such a scary time for her.

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  41. I personally start bringing it up when they are around nine or ten as i feel they should be mature enough to start talking about it and to prepare them as really it’s something they need to know about.

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  42. I like your mum’s approach, as and when things come up rather than one big official talk. My daughter’s 25 now, so we survived somehow.

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  43. I’d say when they bring it up, my mum always said if you’re old enough to ask you’re old enough to know (not all details but basics to begin with!)

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  44. My little girl is 8 & i don’t believe she’s ready yet. Maybe in a year or 2, if she starts asking questions, I’ll discuss it with her

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  45. I think as a parent when your child is ready to discuss these things, if my children ask I will tell them whatever their age, it may not be everything in all its glory but a age appropriate answer because my husband and I feel its important to be open so they don’t feels its something to be ashamed of

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  46. I think around 8/9 – girls seem to develop earlier these days and some even have their periods by 9 It would be really scarey to not know anything about them

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  47. I think it should be talked about from day 1. This helps prevent children from being abused. This subject should never be shyed away from!

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  48. Always! Open and honest conversations about everything and anything should happen as soon as the child can communicate/understand.

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  49. when the child asks the questions, the answers should be provided..making the information easy for them to understand. I was told from the age of 5 or 6 so grew with the information with it expanded on the older I got.
    Each child is different though..

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  50. i think the best time is to talk to them when they can understand you and you can talk about mature staff.i think around 5 and over its a good start

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  51. I think you have to be guided by your child and just be open and honest with my daughter it was about 8 but my son was earlier at the age of 6 because he askedlots of questions

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  52. 9 years old. Some children start puberty early and kids talk at school. Just make them feel relaxed and comfortable when talking about personal things

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  53. I think around 10 is the perfect age, so they are old enough to understand but not to get embarrassed about it, so that it becomes something completely normal to discuss.

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  54. My daughter had a talk and slide show at the end of middle school. They all came out of school talking about it and I just dealt with questions as they were asked

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  55. I think every child is different and i think if you know your child you know the right time, as a mum of 4 i found my eldest would shy away from speaking about things and only feels comfortable now at 13 but my daughter talks bout things at 8 and my youngest 6 so it depends on your situation.

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  56. I think around 9/10 is the right age! I was raised by my dad and I lived with my 2 brothers so I was very confused when things started happening and changing in my body! I couldn’t ask them for advice and until we got the internet, I thought I was sick/dying/not normal! I definitely think it should be normalised and talked about.

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  57. I would say, when they start to become inquisitive asking questions and only when you know that its right for your child. Obviously starting with very short answers and not going into alot of detail, just enough for them to understand x

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  58. I believe that the right age to discuss intimate health with your children is about 8/9 years old as knowledge is power and being informed will ensure they made hood decisions in the future.

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  59. I am very open with my children so if they ask questions I will tell them age appropriate answers. My youngest has done a little bit of sex education at school already and she is 6 now (just the basics, proper names and the pants conversation). I am very calm and relaxed about the whole thing.

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  60. I don’t think there is really a “right” age, I think it depends very much on the individual child. Some will be more curious than others, and of course they all mature at different rates!

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  61. I think you can tell by the sorts of questions they start asking so it’s probably a good time as soon as you know they have some knowledge. It lets you diesperse any myths and be open and honest with them at a stage when they’re ready.

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  62. think it depends on the child but say around 9 or 10 yrs, think its good the understand how/why their bodies changing so they don’t worry needlessly

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  63. My daughter is 8 and I’m beginning to prepare her for periods, intimate health should be taught around this age so they are aware. Sex and sexual health will be waiting a while yet though!

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  64. In some ways, I think it should start from birth. While changing diapers, talk about how you’re wiping in order to keep her clean and healthy (and use anatomically correct terms). Continue with this focus when toilet training (still working on good wiping with my 4 year old, but she’s getting much better). Talk about how some parts of the body are private in an age-appropriate way. And let her see you getting dressed and managing your health. My daughter has a vague idea that women bleed sometimes because she’s seen me change my menstrual cup. And she knows I have breasts and nipples. I’m hoping this knowledge will make discussions about puberty easier.

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  65. Depends on the child and the situation. My 3 year old knows I have a period as she walked in on me once. She doesn’t know a lot but she knows it’s nothing to be scared about and all ladies get them. I hope she’ll be closer to 10 when she learns about sexual health

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  66. as soon as they start asking questions my eldest was 9 when he came back from school asking. I think someone in his class had said something and they were looking things up in the class ditcionary

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  67. I think you’re never too young to be taught proper hygene and how to look after yourself and it’s best coming from a source that you can trust like your parents before rumour and gossip colours a young person’s thoughts on what is the correct way of dealing with such issues.

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  68. I think probably around the time they start going through the changes, it’s a confusing time and it’s important to have clear and structured advice!

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  69. I would think maybe around 10 or 11 but it really depends on the individual child, they all mature at different times. But whatever age , if they ask questions, answer as honestly as you can

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  70. probably around age 8 or 9 although i don’t think there is a ‘right’ age as such – just being always there to talk to and keeping communication open is best.

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  71. I think talking to a child about intimate health is an ongoing process, for me it is something that is done from when they can understand, in an age appropriate way continuing as long as they want. I think this helps to keep the communications open

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  72. depends on age my daughter is 9 her nan and great uncle have had breast cancer so i have talked and she watches me check myself

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  73. I think every child is different so it’s a hard question to answer, when the parent think it’s the child is ready then that is usually the right time

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  74. I think it depends on the child, their maturity and ability to understand and handle the information. If they are then I think it’s best to answer any questions honestly and sensitively and in a way that they can understand and process the information depending on their age and level of understanding. I have two daughters of 19 and 20 and fortunately we have a close relationship and I made it clear to them that they could ask or tell me anything, so they felt able to ask me about any queries or concerns they had about their intimate health. However just in case a child doesn’t feel able to talk to their patent or the parent doesn’t feel comfortable talking to their child about such matters then it is best to also advise them who else they could ask about such matters, or provide them with a book which explains these matters to them in a sensitive and age appropriate manner.

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  75. I think it’s good to instill good intimate hygiene habits from an early age, so would talk the basics any time between 5-7 and then add more in-depth information as they are growing up.

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  76. I have no experience on this but i would like to think that i would have had the talk with my children before they start secondary school

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  77. I think around the age of 8 and over when they need to know the facts, otherwise whenever they start asking questions as I think it is really important to be honest

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  78. Age 12. By then their perceptions of the world have started to develop, and you can simplify certain aspects of the discussion if necessary, to get the points across 🙂

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  79. I honestly don’t think there is a specific age as every child is different, but I don’t believe it should be before they are around 10-11 years old and they need to be aware of the changes puberty could bring.

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  80. I think around the age of 9 or 10 and certainly before going to secondary school as information and misinformation is talked about a lot there 🙂

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  81. I would not put a number to it.
    As soon as the child washes on his/her own; they should let us know if they notice changes to their intimate parts.

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  82. It’s definitely a tricky one. I’d say it depends on the maturity of the child, but around 10 is probably a good time. Definitely before secondary school.

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  83. I think for a girl you need to be looking at around 10… so many are starting to develop earlier, I think its important to discuss before it happens and they have questions. It may help alleviate fears.

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  84. I suppose its down to relevance, my daughter (6) often complains about being itchy down below which is why ive already had to stress the importance of wiping front to back and tell her about how bacteria can ‘get inside’. She knows her privates are exactly that and obviously the older she gets, the more I’ll have to explain, she’s also already asked what sanitary towels are for so I’ve told her that she’ll need them when she’s older

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  85. BEING A SINGLE PARENT TO 2 GIRLS I HAVE ALWAYS TOLD THEM THE TRUTH ABOUT EVERYTHING AND I THINK ITS A GOOD THING AS THEY ARE BOTH AWARE OF CHANGES WITHIN OUR BODIES AD ALSO DANGERS THAT THEY COULD FACE BUT IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW COMFORTABLE THE PARENT AND CHILD AM.

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  86. I think for our family so far the best age has been 10, after they have had their talks in school about puberty and relationships. They have so many questions that it opens up the doors to more discussions.

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  87. AS THEY APPROACH SECONDARY SCHOOL
    but each child is different they develop at different times
    so its hard to know what age , when a child starts asking questions
    is a good opportunity ti sit and talk

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  88. I think before starting secondary school around age 10/11. My daughter started her period early at age 11, so I am glad we had already discussed the subject the previous year.

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  89. I think for around age 3 as they will start to understand and becomes 2nd nature to them. Obviously use age related terms but the earlier the better

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  90. About 10 plus regarding puberty as was age I was told. However I have had the PANTS talk with my 8yr old about our private areas what’s appropriate and what’s not, some useful advice about it on the NSPCC website.

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  91. I just think that whenever you feel your child is ready is when you should take to them. Just the basics to begin with as you also add more

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  92. I think it depends on the child really. All children mature at different ages but if I had a daughter, I would want to ensure she understood about periods and puberty before that happened so maybe around 11 for this but I don’t necessarily believe that this would be the right time to discuss sex.

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  93. I’m really on the fence with this one, i think as children grow they begin to ask questions which i answer truthfully although i would settle them down for a chat when they hit puberty

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  94. I think it very much depends on the age and maturity of your child. You are the one who knows them best and just how much info they are ready for.

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  95. I think it depends on the child, but definitely before they go to secondary school. Maybe around 9 or 10? My Mum never gave me the talk as such, but I always knew I could go to her with any questions I had 🙂 x

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  96. It depends on the child, and when they start asking questions. Just remember that honesty is best for answers, but dont give too much information, only answer what they actually ask. I had a horrid experience when I reached puberty and didnt know what was happening. So it is important to educate as they grow.

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  97. I have a 4 year old daughter, 5 in january, and she is well aware of how to take care of her intimate area safely, I don’t feel it’s a conversation that needs to be had, it’s just general discussion while bathing while will get more detailed in the following years.

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  98. I talked to my girls from around age 7-8, we’ve always talked very openly about intimate issues and it has helped them as they’ve got older and they’ve reached puberty. It meant there was no embarrssment surrounding talks of this nature

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  99. I think it’s important before they start secondary school. They will come across these things then, if they haven’t already from friends, TV, internet etc.

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  100. I have always followed the rule if my daughter asks a question I would answer it but I explained in more detail when she was 8

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