I find that kids – some as young as 7 – who come to my office have no hesitancy in talking about sexual topics that they have picked up from their parents, their older siblings or the media. That doesn’t mean they understand what they are saying, but they experience no taboos in talking about boobs, penises and making out. As parents, we are proud when our kids are inquisitive and we consider it being a good parent to find answers for them. And sex is no different from understanding why the sky is blue or why mommy and daddy don’t live together any more. Talking about sex doesn’t require a special presentation; it needs to be as much a part of daily living as any other topic parents educate their kids about.
All the research tells us that kids are much less likely to act out sexually when they know their parents’ values and expectations. And the best way to learn their parents’ values is through conversation. Kids are always curious about their friends’ mothers’ pregnancies or the pregnancy in their home, if that be the situation. They may or may not ask, but this is a perfect opportunity to begin educating. The old story of a seed which began to grow is no longer the answer for our 21st century kids. And remember the best way for this discussion is like any other one, on the go. No sitting down and “now we will talk about pregnancy.” Pregnancy can lead into birth control, sexually transmitted disease, the appropriate age for sexual activity and why. And like any other topic, sex needs to be talked about throughout your child’s development; from simple facts for young children to more sophisticated discussions as the children get older.
Regarding the recent Philadelphia Daily News article about making condoms available to boys as young as 11, from what I know about middle-school boys, they will order condoms and then blow them up like a balloon and have a great time playing with them. Come on, get real! That’s no solution to a serious problem. Appropriate education is!
Margery Fridstein, MA, LPC, is a Denver-area psychotherapist who counsels children, adolescents, and adults, and specializes in parenting, grandparenting, divorce, remarriage and grief. She is also the author of Grandparenting: A Survival Guide: How Better to Understand Yourself, Your Children, and Your Children’s Children
For more stories:
Want more genConnect?
- For more daily expert updates, follow genConnect on Twitter and Facebook
- To stay on top of genConnect experts’ latest posts, as well as the latest contributions from other experts on the site: Sign Up for genConnect.
These are one expert’s views on the news. Share with us your thoughts in the comments box below.