When is the Right Time to Have ‘The Talk’ With Your Kids?

By Contel Bradford

Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on how to handle the sex talk with your child. Part 2 addressed the “On the Brink of Rebellion” (ages 11-13) and “Horny Little Devils” (ages 14-18) phases. Click here to read Part 2.

There are a few moments in life that fathers, make that all parents, don’t look forward to. Perhaps the one moment they would like to avoid most is when the time calls for the dreaded sex talk. Going over the proverbial birds and the bees with your kids can be downright uncomfortable to say the least, but it is one talk you can’t afford to evade.  If you don’t speak to them about it, you better believe a friend, relative or someone else will.

Sexuality is everywhere making it possible for children to pick up on it by watching television, jamming on their iPod, or just sitting at the lunch table.  Because young people are so impressionable, it is crucial that parents deliver the facts before the exposure comes from another source.

 

Adopting the Appropriate Approach for the Appropriate Age

How you approach the sex talk is just as important as actually having it.  Above all, you need to make sure the discussion is appropriate for the child’s age.  You don’t want your son who is currently engulfed in the world of Dragon Ball Z (or whatever kids watch these days) to suddenly develop a curiosity for pornography all because you put it in his head.  I’m guessing the ages of your children vary greatly so the following tips are composed accordingly.

Little Sweethearts (Ages 5 – 7)

So how early is too early to talk to your kids about sex?  Well, there is no certain age etched in stone, but starting at five to seven years old wouldn’t be a bad idea.  Don’t worry.  It isn’t necessary, nor recommended to get too deep at this stage.  Simply letting them know that babies come from mommies and daddies would probably suffice when they’re around this age.

I was forced to endure sex education in the first grade and from what I remember, I must say that some of the words Coach Jones used to describe the male and female organs were very inappropriate for a kid my age.  If your child’s elementary school offers such a course, you definitely need to monitor the situation to make sure they aren’t learning more than they should.

Little Menaces (Ages 8 – 10)

Kids are a lot more advanced than some of us think at this stage. Not all, but some of them are already cursing like a veteran sailor and engaging in all sorts of sneaky things they have no business doing.  Some are even aware of sex, understanding that it can lead to pregnancy and that pleasure is somehow associated with “doing it.” If you haven’t broken the ice up to this point, now would be a great time to start.

Around this age, kids begin to become aware of their body and the changes it endures. Boys start getting erections, and some girls even experience their first menstrual cycle. The discussion you have should be along the lines of these topics.  It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to explain where babies come from. You could go with the “when two people love each other” routine, but they may already be hip to this and just throw you a look that has “spare me” written all over it.

Note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on how to handle the sex talk with your child. Part 2 addressed the “On the Brink of Rebellion” (ages 11-13) and “Horny Little Devils” (ages 14-18) phases. Click here to read Part 2.

 

Contel Bradford is a professional freelance writer, journalist, and published author of multiple books. He specializes in many areas, including legal, divorce, and family-related topics. You can learn more about his services by visiting www.contelbradford.com.

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