Sunday, September 25, 2011

Talking with children about sex

Today I sent out a message to the parents of our oldest students concerning the natural and normal talk about sexuality that children this age need to explore. This reminded me that it's a subject all parents need to consider. There is an on-going conversation that happens between you and your child, from the very early questions right the way through to adulthood. I want to encourage all of you to listen to, discuss with and guide your children as they grow.

This web site may be a good resource for you. It has a tab that goes through appropriate subject matter at different developmental stages, as well as other tabs for useful resources. (It is simply a suggestion, one of a host of web sites online.) Please remember that children develop in different ways and not everyone has reached the same stage at the same time. Be sensitive to whatever stage your own child has reached.

Even if your child is very young and you feel that this is way too early to begin to talk about such things, I encourage you to consider it. It is much, much easier to have the more intense conversations later if you've already established an open communication and a foundation with your child from an early age. It's also worth remembering that there is no way to prevent peer to peer talk from happening, or the spread of information (correct, partially correct, or totally misunderstood). It's a natural and normal part of the growing up process. What is important is that you should be part of the conversation. While I know that those of you with older children have probably been doing this at an age-appropriate level for some time, I want to encourage you to talk with your child and make sure that his or her thinking on this subject is approached in a way that you are comfortable with. It's important that you listen to your child, and help him or her to a healthy, positive, respectful start to thinking about this sensitive subject. Again, the web site has a suggested list of appropriate subject matter for different ages.

This can be a fascinating and joyful process with your child. Enjoy it.

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