When discussing sex with the 12/13 year olds, I give them a bunch of statements and ask them to put their thumbs up, down or in the middle to let me know whether they agree or not. There’s usually a lot of discussion that comes along with this and it’s an excellent way for them to share their views, listen to other people’s opinions and maybe even modify their own if they hear something from a point of view they’ve not thought of before.

By this age they’re pretty happy to accept that people have sex for pleasure, whereas younger kids can think it’s just for baby making. I love the answers where the kids bring up consent-“as long as everyone is consenting, it’s ok!”

Here are some of the other statements I use, that you could give a try too with your kids:

-sex is better in a long term committed relationship
-sex is for making babies
-most people have sex regularly
-having sex with someone proves that you love them
-sex is very romantic
-boys want sex more than girls

If you’re not a teacher, you could bring up a statement in a casual way and see what your child says. For example, you could say, “I heard someone on the radio say …X…Do you think that’s true?”

Remember sex ed is never just one big talk. It’s lots of little conversations that hopefully spring up organically where you can talk to your kids about your family values, and give them space to work out their own ideas too!