Saturday, April 18, 2009

S.ex and the Kiddies

Over the last week or so Op.rah has had a couple of shows with Dr. La.ura Be.rman discussing how parents should be talking to their kids about sex. It's interesting how strongly and differently some parents feel about this subject. It's the age old argument about whether or not a parent is condoning the act or not when they provide their kids with information and/or access to protection from disease or pregnancy. I think the big issue is that some parents are just not really ready to address these issues with younger (pre-teens) as if they are exposing them to new information that will encourage their behavior. Many parents, in my opinion, seem hugely uninformed about what some of the youngest of kids are really talking about with their friends. I know its a sign of getting older when you start to recall the past as being so much more different( i.e better) than the situation today, but I truly believe with the internet, you tube, se.xting, etc, at their fingertips, these kids have way more opportunites to get exposed to alot well before they should have to lose their innocence. Even if you are a parent that limits your childs exposure to such, you can't insulate them from their friends, and the hours upon hours that they spend at school with their friends & thus getting information from their friends about s.ex. I'm on the team of "more information is better" school of thought. I know that children are precious, and we all love that innocence that kids possess, but the reality is that life is complicated. Kids are going to be naturally curious about taboo subjects, especially if they sense that parents are reluctant to discuss things with them. I think keeping it a mystery to them, makes it that much more intriguing. My mother was pretty open with me & I was a very inquisitive child. I do recall her seeming embarrassed and uncomfortable about some of my questions, which is only natural, but I do remember her allowing me to ask her whatever question I wanted & this built alot of trust between us over time. I read a lot as a child which is how I obtained alot of information but sometimes I needed her to fill in the gaps. She tells this story all the time about one day when I was about 13 or 14 years old, sitting in the kitchen with her and my grandmother. I actually remember this too. I could usually tell when my mother was in the right mindframe and mood to approach her about certain subjects. My grandmother was telling my mother, " go ahead, answer the child's questions, she needs to learn everything from you and not in the streets". So my mother was like, "Ok what is it ? what else do you want to know ?". So I looked them both square in the eye and said " OK, so I've been reading about this and I just don't really understand, what is an Or.gasm ?" LOL! My grandmother spit out her orange juice ! My mom's mouth just fell open for a moment & then they both just burst out laughing! My mother was saying " see Mama I told you this child can come up with some questions !" My grandmother was outdone ! After they collected themselves, they were able to explain it to me in a way that I could somewhat understand it. Although it is definitely awkward, I think its important to have these discussions as early as is needed because kids of all ages are being exposed to misinformation and confusion is being spread from their peers.
What age is appropriate to open the discussions with kids ?

What do you think about how parents should approach the subject of s.ex with their children ?

Were your parents or other relatives open with you about it ?

How/where did you learn what you needed to know ?

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