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I can't discuss this with he , she's too young. But who will she ask if I don't talk to her about it?

You hesitate to respond. Does your daughter really need to know what these words mean, at her age? Maybe it's better to pretend that you didn't hear her or wait until she is older to have this discussion. You feel your daughter is too young for a discussion about sex, but if she's asking you questions it means she's already talked about it with her friends. She has asked you because she trusts you and wants your reassurance.You can respond in this way:“I think you are too young for us to have this conversation, but I want you to talk about this with me and not someone else. It's an expression used to describe a sexual act called oral sex, where you caress a man's genitalia with your mouth. This type of caress can also be done to a woman's gen-

italia. You might not understand it now, but when two mature people have a strong sexual attraction, they sometimes want to explore different ways to give each other pleasure, in private. Not everyone enjoys this type of sex.”

It is always preferable to answer your daughter's ques- tions. If you avoid them she will look for answers else- where.The answers that she finds might be inadequate and incomplete. Moreover, the people your daughter turns to for information may have their own agenda, promoting sexual practices that are questionable, risky and inappropriate for a girl her age. It is therefore preferable that you overcome your discomfort and



I hope she's doesn't feel she has

to do this!

How can your daughter resist pressure from a partner or her peers? You can give her the tools to make informed decisions.Where should you begin?

You can help her recognize that she has choices. “This sexual act should be done in private between two consenting people and for the pleasure of both part- ners. If someone or a group of people ask you to you to perform this sexual act or any other sexual act that you feel uncomfortable doing, it is extremely important to say no clearly.”

Explain to your daughter that this type of sexual act, just like all sexual acts, should be done to please both partners, not out of fear that you will lose your partner if you refuse. Put the emphasis on shared pleasure and desire.

As your daughter grows up she will always be sur- rounded by other children. These encounters will provide her with good and bad experiences and she will be exposed to both positive and negative influ- ences. How will she recognize and deal with the nega-

answer her questions. By talking about the emotions that go along with sexual acts such as oral sex, you can give your daughter an appropriate and complete understanding of sexuality

It's normal for your daughter to ask questions and look for answers about sex. All children do it. They turn to people they feel close to and trust. Sometimes their questions can be embarrassing and awkward, but not responding gives the impression of secrecy and mys- tery and possibly shame. If you feel uncomfortable responding, they will find answers elsewhere, from other children or in magazines or on the Internet.There is a risk that the information they find will concentrate on genitalia or performance. Take this golden opportu- nity to talk to your daughter about the emotional dimension of sex.

tive influences? By setting limits for your daughter, you will help her begin to learn the advantages, disadvan- tages and repercussions of certain acts and behaviours. Give her opportunities to assert herself and to say no to situations that arise in her daily life. Of course, this means that she will sometimes reject your suggestions. Little by little she will develop her own sense of judge- ment and the capacity to make good choices - choices that are right for her and for others.



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