Archive for November 9, 2009

Town & Country

OrangeSquareGetting my nails done gives me the pleasure of reading magazines that I would never buy. Yesterday I picked up Town & Country. To my surprise there was an article about how and when to talk to your kids about sex. Of course it got my attention. It was written by a pediatrician, and I was very surprised to find that she advised parents not to talk to younger children unless they ask. I know this was a popular idea for many years, but I think that this approach is leaving a very important topic up to chance. We can do better than that!

We can explain birth, conception, and the design of reproduction in the early years whether they ask or not. If we keep our focus on the basic biology and our values we can introduce the subject of sex without the emotional awkwardness.

When they are young, hearing about seeds and eggs and babies is just a part of all of the other things they are discovering! Let the age appropriate conversations begin.

Town and Country may be very chic, but in this category…so 80’s.

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When Or Who?

ClockAlmost every time I speak to parents, they ask me “When is the best time to tell my children about sex?”. Parents who are conscientious want to get this right. They don’t want to tell their children too early, and they don’t want to be too late. Here is the problem with that question….it doesn’t take into account the fact that children who are the very same age may live in under the influence of different age groups. Let me explain.

I’ll introduce you to two 6-year-olds. Here is William. William is a first-born 6-year-old. He lives in a 6-year-old world, tells 6-year-old jokes, watches 6-year-old tv, and William’s world does not reach beyond the scope of a 6-year-old.

Now I’d like for you to meet Hudson. Hudson is also a 6-year-old, but he is the youngest of  four. Hudson has a 16-year-old brother, and twin 12-year-old sisters. Hudson tells 16-year-old jokes, watches 16-year-old tv, and he doesn’t know who Big Bird is, because his older brother told him that Big Bird is for babies, and Hudson is no baby. Hudson also knows everything that is on his sisters’ Facebook and under his brother’s bed.

Even though William and Hudson are both 6 and are on the same soccer team they are living in different worlds, and they come to first grade with different perspectives and with different information. Our families are the age of our oldest child…and the rest just have to keep up! We are involved in the activities of the oldest child, and our younger children get exposure to things that our first-born wasn’t exposed to. Because of this reality, the big question changes from “When do I tell my children?” to “Do I want to be the one to tell my children?”  If you want to be the one, then telling them will come sooner than you think!

As you follow this blog, I hope you’ll come to understand that this is actually very good news. Giving parents the power of the first impression, and the privilege of these early conversations, is a key to parenting on this important topic.

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