Preparing to Answer Kids’ Sex Questions 子どもから性に関する質問を受けたらどうしましょう?

Published on: April 09, 2021

As the first of a three-month series on ‘sex and kids’ by three different experts running workshops on the topic, Aya shares her mindset change on sex education and importance of having this conversation with kids.

By Aya Tanno / Translated by Hanae Matsumura

Have you ever talked about sex at home with your partner and children?

For those who answered yes, well done. Many would agree that we feel uncomfortable talking about it with children and we are not sure how to do it. 

I have an 11-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son. My family has been talking about sex more frequently in the past 6 months—all this started with a question from my daughter.

“Mom, how are babies made?”

Whoa. Do I have to talk about sex? Me? To my daughter? I dare not, I can’t…

I thought and finally, I replied:

“You will learn about it at school soon. Just wait.”

And the conversation ended. I thought that should be fine since my daughter’s school has sex education classes.

Several months later, I happened to watch a TV program featuring “How to talk about sex with your kids.” The key excerpt: 

Parent’s reaction to sex questions from children determines whether your children can talk about sex at home. Children watch their parents’ reactions well. Once they see that mom or dad gets hesitant when they ask particular questions, they avoid such questions. As a consequence, they learn about sex elsewhere, from their friends or internet. It’s fine if the information is correct, but in reality, it often includes false information such as ‘Teens in junior high school will not get pregnant from having sex,’ or ‘when your friend comes to your room, you can have sex with him/her,’ and so on.

Children’s questions such as ‘Mom, why don’t you have a willy?’ or ‘why do adults have hair at the crotch?’—should be treated similarly as ‘why is the sky blue?’ You don’t have to answer all the questions at once. Just say “Good question. What made you curious about it? I’m not able to answer it well right now, I will study and get back to you,” and give your answer later.

Japanese schools do dedicate some time to teach about sex, but unfortunately, they don’t dedicate much time for it and don’t offer much context. In Japanese primary and junior high schools, children only learn about sperm (seminal emission) and eggs (menstruation), but not how the sperms meet the egg or what happen in sex. 

After learning these facts, one day I told my daughter how babies are made. She got really shocked at first but came back with more questions. I tried not to get panicked and answered all the questions in a calm and matter-of-fact manner. 

Someone said that teaching children about sex is equally important as teaching traffic rules. We start teaching traffic rules to our children from a pretty young age in order to protect them. The same thing can be said about sex education. I decided to share my experience of mindset change, and started workshops on sex and kids for Japanese parents with two other volunteers. The sessions started last November, and over 50 people have joined so far. Please feel free to contact if you get interested.

It is never too soon or too late to start preparing for sex questions from your children, which will come one day. Why don’t you start now, in an age-appropriate approach?  





はい!」と言う方は素晴らしいです。もう続きは読まなくても良いです…というのは冗談で、どなた様も最後までお付き合いよろしくお願いします。   私は、11歳の娘と8歳の息子の母です。我が家はこの半年位の間に、家族で性について話をする機会がぐっと増えました。そのきっかけを作ってくれたのは娘からのある質問でした。  

「お母さん、赤ちゃんってどうやってできるの?」 WOW!!でした。これは、つまりSEXを教えるの?そんなことを私が娘に教えるの?恥ずかしいし、言えない!と思いました。








About the Author

Aya moved to Bangkok in August 2014 due to the relocation of her husband. She had difficulties in searching a kindergarten for her son who has an allergy to certain foods, which drove her to establish the “Moms’ Club on Kids with Food Allergies”, the club holds a monthly meeting where moms share their findings and experiences to support kids’ food allergies.

丹野彩  2014年8月から夫の駐在でタイに住み始め、食物アレルギーのある息子の幼稚園探しを始めた時にアレルギーが原因で入園を断る幼稚園があることを知り、涙を流しました。きっと同じ様に傷つくママが沢山いるはずと思い「食物アレルギーっ子ママの会」を立ち上げました。月に1回お話し会を開催しています。

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