It's the conversation that as a parent you feel you have to have but don't want to. Essentially, talking about sex is awkward for everyone but it is impossible to ignore, 74% of UK parents talk to their children about sex by the age of 11. But this is still too late, argue the experts, when one in three ten-year-olds have seen explicit material on the internet.
Becky Broadhurst is a This Morning viewer who wrote in as she was finding it impossible to have the conversation with her seven-year-old daughter. We sent Child Counsellor and sex education expert Anna Williamson to coach Becky how to have the conversation, and they're both in studio now.
Anna's top tips
Be as open, calm and approachable as you can. This will really help your child feel comfortable when coming to you with any concerns or queries they may have.*Broach the topic when they are young, as playground myths and tales can leave children feeling confused and/or scared.
Let your child be in control of the conversation as much as possible. Avoid a 'formal talk' around a table and instead choose a time which is mutually relaxed… in the car on the way home from school, during bath time, whilst cooking the dinner.
Choose something as a 'springboard' to start the chat. Maybe your child has been talking about sex and bodies recently and there is a natural starting point such as the difference between boys' and girls' genitals. A book, a TV show, a storyline, a magazine article can help as aids to get the conversation going.
Be real. If you don't know the answers to what your child is asking you, suggest you could 'look it up together'. It's okay to not know it all!
Make sure you are as honest and straightforward as possible, and use the correct names for actions/body parts. If needs be, explain it to them in their 'pet' way and then explain the real word for it and what happens when puberty hits. Help your child feel comfortable and proud of his/her body.