When this subject was brought up by Barack Obama, I decided to do a little survey. The main stream media has talked this subject out and brought in a bunch of child psychologists to explain the situation. Working at Associated Content, I have access to a tons of parents with opinions on the subject. So I ran a little thread in the forum to get some input from the local experts.
The overwhelming response was there is no proper age appropriate sex education course for kindergarten age children. There is an age appropriate way to respond the sexuality questions from kindergarteners. If they are curious, then answer their questions in an understandable manner. Attempting to teach the subject when they are not curious can cause them to become curious about the subject before they are ready.
Since kids are naturally curious there are plenty of opportunities to explain to them that privates are private. You don’t go grabbing someone else’s privates and someone else shouldn’t be grabbing your privates. Dealing with other issues like why are girls built different that boys can be handled efficiently without bringing it up in class. Doing that would start a show and tell session in class or on the playground soon after the difference was announced. Besides, properly explaining the difference to the curious child, one on one, will lead to fairly accurate information being passed to the remainder of the class.
Parental involvement at this early age is highly encouraged, provided the parents are somewhat on the same page. Judging from the responses in the forum, mothers seem to be better suited for educating children on this subject than the fathers. While the fathers did have an idea of how to handle this type of education, most started with, “Oh My God!! He/She asked…” This lack of a poker face would indicate to the kid that there might just be something more to the story than dear old dad is telling. So dads, if you are going to try and handle your end of “The Talk, version one,” plan ahead or just say, “ask your mother.”
Not hiding the Playboy/Playgirl magazine all that well was recommended by some in the survey, but generally ridiculed by the others in the survey. Fathers tended to favor the magazine method while the mothers unanimously disagreed.
Some of the examples given of questions and appropriate answers in the survey were quite good.
From a mother:“I think the best advice is to never tell a child more than they want to hear. This is especially true when they are young. Although a 5 year old may ask about how babies are born, you don’t need to go into how they got in their mommies bellies.
When my son was 4 he walked into the room while the baby story was on and saw a woman in labor. She was having a water birth and was screaming. He said, “Wow Mommy, she doesn’t like baths huh?” Simply put I answered that she was having her baby and it hurts when Mommies have babies.
A little later he asked me if babies come out of women’s butts. I told him no that Mommies have a special place just for babies. He asked where, I told him that it was just a special place by their privates. He then asked if he could see it and I said, we don’t look at peoples privates do we? He said no, that was true and moved on.
I was scared beyond all belief when my son started asking questions but since I started answering only the question he asked and not delving too deep it has become so much easier.
IMHO, if parents weren’t so scared it would make things easier for children. When my son asks a question I explain it as simply as possible without giving him more information than he can understand. Parents get scared and make the problem worse. If your children know they can ask you anything they want and you will be honest about it, there wouldn’t be so much miscommunication about it.
The problem is that children are talking about it with their friends and being children they have no idea what the truth is and then you end up with 13 year old boys thinking that if they have sex in water a girl won’t get pregnant and next thing you know, you have a 13 year old child having a child herself.
Just reinforce that your children can always talk to you about it, and they will. If you act embarrassed and avoid it, they will get the information elsewhere and chances are, they will end up misinformed.
As for other peoples children, you should ask your mommy or daddy that question is always a good response. I have even told my son to ask his daddy about questions than pertain to his boy parts. I don’t have one so how would I know what he is going through when he gets a hard on? Daddy is always good for those questions.
Okay, I am done ranting. GOOD LUCK!”
Some left something to be desired.
Some fatherly input: “Oh, crap. My kid is almost 18 months. Am I going to have to give him “the talk” before he goes to school? I didn’t hear anything until I was in 5th grade, and all they told me in school was that I needed to use deodorant now.”
And some more fatherly input:“Yeah my 6 yr old has been asking me stuff lately.
He understands not to show his junk off to people or to touch or be touched but I don’t know how to answer his questions about his little sister when I’m changing diaper, etc..
When I was 6 (first grade) I found my first Penthouse or similar magazine. I knew plenty after that as did most kids in my school as it was passed around lol.
I’m a firm believer in “accidentally” leaving a nudie book (mild one) around. Then you should be able to judge sexual preference quickly too. I sure knew immediately that I looooooooved the bewbies.”
As you can tell from the quotes, some dads may not be very skilled in child sex education fundamentals. Then there were mothers that said, “Let the schools teach it.” Now the beauty of AC is that you can leave a brief comment to share your expertise in prepubescent sex education. This could be interesting if the dads get involved.
This article was published for non-payment and does not reflect the views of Associated Content. The names of the parents were withheld for obvious reason in some cases.