Talking Sex With Your Kids: When?
I don't care how liberal the parents are, having the sex talk with children is always trial and error and a touchy subject. Some parents do not attempt it when the middle schooler resists. It is such a sensitive issue the older the children are. It is a taboo subject. Many kids learn via their friends and Internet. They learn it in school as sex education. The best time to begin talking the talk is done in stages, depending on their age:
Preschool - Talk about body parts, if asked, use medical terminology and not slang. Talk about how babies enter the world, the pregnancy and birth. Talk about what is safe to touch and not safe.
Ages 5-8 - Time to talk puberty and how the body changes with age. Make sure kids know that perusing the Internet for nude bodies is NOT ok. Explain, as a parent, your values about sex.
Ages 9-12 - Explain that there are good and bad sexual relationships. Use headline news to open up the topic to discuss, i.e., Penn State Sandusky, date rape etc.
Ages 13-15 - Describe what a safe and good relationship is, having safe sex, STDs, and birth control. As a parent, find out what their peers say about having sex and what are they doing. Tell them it is OK to discuss this. How sex occurs and date rape issues. Discuss sexting and issues with Facebook. Discuss when it is ready to have sex and the difference between love. Talk about what is sex and porn.
Ages 16-20 - Talk about date rape again, how to resist pressure to have sex, how to say No to having casual sex and its repercussions. Find out why it is important.