Yarning Quiet Ways

Yarning tips for everyone

Yarning to kids about sex and relationships can be a bit daunting. It is normal for you to feel unsure about how to begin or what to say. Here are some ideas to help you get started.  

  • Tip 1: Yarn early
      • Yarning about sex and relationships doesn’t mean giving just one big talk before high school - sometimes that will be too late.

      • It is best to teach your kids lots of little lessons as they grow up.

      "I think the first step is...teaching them about their own personal private parts...and I'm already doing that part with my daughter. As soon as she could actually understand and talk I've done it so then she could let me know if anyone has touched her. And then it progresses.. step by step. You can't just throw it all and give it to them all at once at the age of 14" (Perth woman)

      Woman and child yarning on sofa.

  • Tip 2: You can yarn anywhere
      • Some mums, dads and kids can feel shame sitting down for a big yarn. That's normal. 

      • Try and find ways to make you and your kids more comfortable. 

      • If you feel too shame to sit face-to-face, try yarning while fishing, driving or walking with your kids.  

      "I can just talk to the boys in the car...when they are sort of going out to meet with girls. I can say, 'you blokes know...if you ever have intercourse...make sure you have some condoms'. Stuff like that (Bunbury man)Man and teenager fishing

  • Tip 3: Always look for the chance to yarn
      • You can use stories on TV, in the newspapers or in the community to help you start a yarn about sex and relationships. 

      • Don't just wait for your kids to ask questions - they might never ask but they still need to know.  

      "We need to start bringing it up more because people aren't going to put their hands up and say 'I had this experience...' (Mount Magnet woman)

      Family sitting on sofa watching TV together

  • Tip 4: Be open and honest
      • Your kids need to know that they can come to you if they are scared or unsure about things.

      • Tell your kids that you are here to help them and that they can trust you.

      "You've got to have fun with them and explain to them that it's OK to talk about. It's not a taboo - And I just said to them - "You should be comfortable to talk to us about anything. We're not judgemental. We're not going to judge you"." (Perth woman)

      Dad and teenage boy yarning

  • Tip 5: Use friends and relatives if you need to
      • Dads might not be able to talk to daughters and mums might not be able to talk to sons about some subjects. 

      • Make sure your kids know who they can talk to - it might even be an aunty or uncle, a grandparent or older cousin.

      "Especially being a single father - it was very, very hard. The girls' got their needs and the son's got his needs - I didn't know what to do. The only person I could rely on at the time was me mum." (Bunbury man)

                                 Girl cooking with grandmother

  • Tip 6: Leave books around your house
      • There are lots of good books and pamphlets for kids about sex and relationships. 

      • It is good to have these in your house so kids can learn. 

      • Let your kids know they can ask you questions about anything they read.

      "I use pamphlets and stuff. I put them in our toilet at home." (Bunbury man)


  • Tip 7: It's OK to have a laugh
      • Yarning about sex and relationships doesn't have to be scary or 'serious face'.

      • Having a laugh can make people feel better yarning about serious things. 

         Dad and teenage boy yarning