Playing doctor

Take a positive approach when talking to your child about sexuality

Q: What’s the best way to react when you discover your three-year-old daughter playing doctor with the neighbour’s son?

A: First, relax. At this age, it’s totally normal behaviour — the children are simply curious about the differences. Distract them with another activity. And, in a matter-of-fact way, let your neighbour know about the game and that you simply distracted the children but plan to speak with your daughter about sexuality.

It’s a good time to start the conversations with your daughter about the correct terms for body parts and about sexuality. Young children are as comfortable learning that they have a penis or vulva as they are learning about ears and elbows. One of the best books you can read your children is Boys, Girls and Body Science by Meg Hickling.