Talking to kids about sex. If only our task were as easy as that of the mother in this picture!
Here’s a teaser from my latest article on YourTango:
What your kids know about sex may surprise you.
Our kids’ sex education begins the moment they tune into the world around them. Numerous gateways introduce them to our highly sexualized society: smartphones, tablets, laptops, television, supermarket tabloids, and sometimes our own jokes and language. With so much exposure, not educating our kids about sex is like high fiving sexual standards in the media. And this is nothing new.
Long before the Internet, a kid would discover his dad’s stash of Playboy in the garage while looking for a baseball. These days, a kid might land on a pornographic website or see provocative pictures on her parent’s iPhone while looking for a game app. What happens next depends on the parents’ attitude towards sex education.
When sex education is absent from the home, darkness descends.
My childhood experiences reflect this truth: children are the best recorders of information, but the worst interpreters. I was raised in an uptight religious community that regarded sex as taboo and it was not talked about. So I was shocked the day my playmates gleefully passed around pages from a modern day Kama Sutra. What was I supposed to do at the age of nine with this new information?
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This is very interesting and a great tip! Education on an all-around basis is important at home, thank you for sharing!
This is such an important topic. Kids with less sex education tend to have more confusion around the subject, are more vulnerable to exploitation and being taken advantage of and more likely to have sex underage (at least in Europe where I live.) Taking control of what your kids understand and know can only be a good thing.
I know this is a difficult topic for people. It was difficult for me, but once I opened the door, it was easy. Even now we discuss things that I never thought I’d ever say to anyone. Better to discuss the birds and the bees than the Byrds and the Beatles.
You hit on a good point, Tina: what we think is difficult often becomes easier after we step into it. Plus opening a discussion with our kids encourages them to be more open with us.
These days kids seem to be learning sex education younger and younger…
I agree, kungphoo. All the more reason for parents to separate fact from fiction with sex education at home.
We started talking to our kids when they were little because we wanted them to hear it from us. We wanted to the mysticism out of it and help them understand what it is from what it isn’t.
Kids today in their homes have been exposed to movies, porn, magazines, and even parental lifestyles that other kids are bringing to school and either talking about or sharing.
I want my kids to know the truth from the lie!
Thanks for sharing!
I’m glad you started early, Don. Wanting kids to “know the truth from the lie” is a great motivation for giving them the information they need.
Likewise, Gina. Treating sex as taboo at home only increases the child’s curiosity and worse is, they can do whatever they think possible at their age. being open to them and lead them to the right information may be a challenge but is definitely the way to go.