Sex-Positive Parenting in a Nutshell

By Kendra Holliday | March 19, 2013

Here you go.

Here you go.

My daughter is 12. I’ve raised her in a sex-positive, body-positive environment all her life. I haven’t had “the sex talk” with her – I’ve had many matter-of-fact conversations with her along the way, from anatomy lessons when she was three to discussing the fact that grownups have toys when she was seven.

I am educating her about sexuality in a shame-free manner. I had to learn about the harsh truths of life as I went, and sometimes I had to learn the hard way. I don’t want that for her.

If your child asks you a question, it means he or she is ready for the age-appropriate answer. Think ahead and be prepared!

The lessons I teach my daughter combat all the twisted views our society spreads like cooties. As a parent, it is my prerogative to teach her things that will help her instead of hurt her, and offer an antidote to those toxic messages.

Since she was about 7, I’ve taught her repeatedly:

Get to know your body and love it for being so awesome.

Do things on your own terms.

Be assertive.

Be open and honest.

Respect people for who they are – including yourself.

Take ownership of your sexuality.

Figure out your preferences and turn ons.

Actively choose who you want to be with – don’t let them choose you.

These important lessons will equip her with the tools she needs to make good choices for herself.

Another good lesson to teach children is about consent. There are some things they may not yet understand, but they are naturally tuned in to social justice and protecting loved ones. That ingrained inclination they have for others to be happy can easily be transmitted from their core family group to the general population

We often underestimate children – just as we teach them about eating well and being kind to others, those teachings should extend to the core fundamentals of self-care. Kids came about because of sex – shouldn’t we honor this gift of life in a respectful, open, honest and positive fashion?

I offer sex-positive parenting consultations. In addition, here are some great sex educators who specialize in kids and parenting:

The Sex Positive Parent

Dr. Logan Levkoff

Birds + Bees + Kids

The MamaSutra

What resources should I add to this list?


penny karma 2013-03-20 07:07:47

Wasn’t there a story you told her about a mango that wasn’t ripe yet? I loved that.


John Grigas 2013-03-20 07:47:23

Since the day my girl was born, my only wish is that “she’s the one calling the shots” when it comes to her own sexuality when she grows up. (I’m lucky that her mom has always been assured and secure in her sensual life, too.)

So, “do things on your own terms” is probably my favorite of these very good, fundamental lessons.


Literalman 2013-03-23 07:18:49

As my daughter was growing up, I taught her one all-encompassing rule: “Don’t date an asshole”. Of course, now that my son is also growing up (four years behind her), there more of a corrolary “don’t be an asshole” implied as well.


Dr. Lanae St.John 2020-06-10 16:18:59

thank you for the shout out! I have a new parenting book out; lmk if you are interested in a copy to review!


    Kendra Holliday 2020-06-13 12:19:35

    Excited to feature your new book on my blog, thank you for covering these important topics!


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