I met Jay when he was four years old. He came into my office because he said, “She’s a bitch and I would like to fuck her” to a preschool girl.
He was four.
I truly believe that he had no idea what he was saying and what the actual words meant. However, he had been exposed to these words and had even witnessed many things that he never should have. Jay had been recently removed from his parents custody and sent to live with his grandfather.
Why am I telling you this? Your kids are going to school with other Jays now. He’s the little boy with behavioral problems. He’s the grade-school kiddo who french kisses girls on the bus. He’s the sexually promiscuous teenager.
It is not Jay’s fault that he was exposed to such vile things at a young age. It will take a lifetime to rewire and “fix” his brain connections around the concept sex and what it means. And unfortunately, Jay is not alone.
There are hundreds of kids walking through my office door … and most of them are aware of sex or at least know “what boys and girls do.” So, it is crucial that parents start getting comfy with the notion of talking about sex with their kids. A recent article in USA Today says “teens are even less comfortable talking about sex with their parents than parents are.”
Kids are going to learn about sex whether parents talk to them about it or not. As a professional, I believe in having kids learn about sex from their parents instead of their friends and sex education courses. With that in mind, here are some simple tips for talking to your kids about sex:
1. Establish trust. You need a relationship with the children before discussing sex. So begin building one if it hasn’t already been established.
Kids do not want to talk to people who are just going to lecture them or tell them what not to do. Spend time listening to your kids’ life and what’s happening in it before you have “the talk.”
2. Gauge maturity. The talk you have with them depends on their emotional age. You definitely are not going to go into a detailed discussion about sexual intercourse with a kindergartner. However, you can have a chat about boundaries and private parts…
Read more: Psych Central