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Mom's Talk Q&A: What's the Right Age for "The Talk?"

Kids are exposed to a lot in today's media-saturated world. When is it the right time to have "that" conversation?

Kids these days are exposed to a lot at a very young age. Photos on the cover of magazines in the supermarket checkout line can be racy—and that doesn't even come close to some of the things that go on during the "family hour" of nighttime television.

But what is the right time to talk to your children about sex? By third or fourth grade, children are surely getting information (and misinformation) from classmates and friends.

So when is it the right time to have "the talk" with your child?

Is it different for boys than it is for girls?

Do you give them all the information at once, or in a series of conversations?

Jen Reilly April 06, 2011 at 02:24 PM
Hi Michelle, I think a little bit at a time starting as early as 4 or 5. Basically, you don't touch other people's private areas, and you don't let anyone touch yours. Keep in mind age appropriate explanations and don't be "serious" when you talk about it. Commercials and TV shows are good for opening dialog. When my son was preteen I told him that he needs to respect a girl he cares about. Now that he's 14, I've told him about actions that I wish I could change. He knows that God views sex outside of marriage as a sin. I connect the sin to my own regrets and tell him that God only wants what's best for us. I hope this helps. Jen
Heather April 19, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Honestly, I think that in today's day and age, it should be done earlier than it was with perhaps when we were young. My child is in 5th grade and started to ask questions last year. I decided to take a multi-part approach to the subject. I was vague with her last year and not very descriptive, however, this year, I did go into more detail. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't graphically explain everything but I think she has enough of an understanding that next year in middle school, she won't be shocked when they learn the info in health class. I think it really boils down to the individual child and their maturity level. I think we are "forced" to have some sort of conversation with them at an earlier age now because of outside influences such as television, internet, etc. I know that from watch certain shows with my daughter, i.e. Hannah Montana, iCarly, etc. they have "boyfriends" and even do some kissing so the subject is finding it's way into children's programming.
Dematos.grace@yahoo.com May 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM
I would hate of someone touched me in a bad way anywhere

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