- Start talking to your child about sex in about 5th grade or maybe younger if you have girls that may start their period sooner.
- You need to have the conversation before they start their period not after when they are freaked out and very upset.
- Think of it this way. In 5th grade some of the schools have the “puberty talk” with the kids. They choose that year based on the research that supports most of them being mature enough and the girls almost requiring it even if not mature enough.
- Having this conversation needs to support what the school may be teaching which is about anatomy and physical development.
- You get to follow that up with your beliefs and emotion.
- This is not necessarily the time to give all information about sex but you know your child best and can make that call.
Not talking to them about sex and their bodies or avoiding talking about it tells children very quickly to get their information from others. Then you have no control over it and it’s based on someone else’s beliefs and values about sex and intimacy or lack of.
The other thing to consider is that at this age kids are still listening to you and trusting you. They will interpret what you say as being the best way to think of sex and intimacy and know it to be true simply because you were the one who said it. As they continue to grow your opinion and knowledge is not as important as their peers. That is a normal part of adolescences.
For more information listen to my radio show, Parent Talk with Kary, on www.blogtalkradio.com.
About Kary Valdes
Kary Valdes, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in Tennessee and Louisiana. She is a “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” independent facilitator. She’s a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Association for Play Therapy. Kary received her formal education at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.
Kary has been working with troubled and at-risk children, teenagers and their families, and various capacities, for more than 20 years. She has worked extensively with children and a wide variety of settings including outpatient mental health clinics, residential treatment centers, and hospitals.
Kary maintains a private practice in the Green Hills area of Nashville, specializing in the mental health treatment of children and adolescents.