Help! I've never talked about this before

Lots of people feel embarrassed or awkward when they talk about sex and relationships.

It’s OK to tell your child you’re embarrassed. By saying it you’re being honest. They can learn to trust you and know it's OK to feel embarrassed too.

Don't just give your child a one-off talk, but build on it gradually. This can help your child feel that sex is a normal part of family life.

There are lots of useful books, leaflets and websites available to help you. We sell a range of parenting books and resources written by FPA and others in our online shop.

You can also use everyday situations or TV storylines to start off conversations. Someone is always falling in and out of love in a soap!

The courage to talk about sex

FPA's parenting expert, David Kesterton, and Paula Hall from Relate give you their top tips in the video below.

A transcript of the video (Word, opens in new window) is available.

Start early

The earlier you start talking to your children the better.

If your child is under ten you can start by finding out how much they know already. You can fill in the gaps and correct anything they’ve got wrong.

If your child's already a teenager and you’ve never spoken to them about sex they may not want to talk to you about it. But you can let them know you’ll always listen if there’s anything they need to share. Try and make sure they know who else they can talk to, for example a nurse or counsellor at school or college.