Remember back when you were young and your parent sat you down to talk about sex? Remember how awkward that conversation was? If you were lucky, your parents talked to you about sex. If you were really lucky, it was more than a one-time conversation where you felt comfortable talking to them about any questions. Otherwise, you were left to finding out what sex was from friends, and who knows where they received their information.
Today’s children are even less prepared for the topic of sex than they were years ago. Most parents are surprised to find out that children as young as 8 have sex, and that children as young as 12 become pregnant.
Think this cannot happen to your children? Think your children are not exposed to sex? Chances are you are wrong. With today’s influence of TV, movies and Internet, most children are exposed to sex one way or another. Even if you, as a parent, do your best to eliminate these at home, think about all those other children your child is around at school or daycare. Are you sure that their parents do the same?
Now, take a deep breath. You do not need to have a birds and the bees talk with your kindergartener. However, before children go into preschool, you should talk to them about the differences between boys and girls, and good touch versus bad touch. As the child begins pre-teen years, talk about the changes in puberty, and a few years later, have the birds and the bees talk.
The more often you talk with your child, and the less awkward the conversation is, the more likely your child will be protected, and will come to you with questions rather than relying on peers. These talks are the best way to ensure your child knows your family’s stance on sex, and to ensure you child is protected. Without these talks and this information from parents, children can be at risk. With most schools starting up again, it is a good time to talk with your child again (or for the first time) about this.
For those parents who are unsure where to start, there are many free resources available in the internet which can help parents. Doing a simple Internet search for sex talks with children will result in valuable information.