Serena Malcolm

I’m a 30 year old wife and mother. My two great loves are my family and writing, and blogging allows me to combine the two.

ID 10043767 e1368889494575 Sex Education: Lets Talk About Sex, BabyLast Saturday our cat was, for lack of a better word, violated but a local tom cat. They were ‘doing-the-do’ all day and, inevitably, my son spotted them. Naturally curious, he asked me what they were doing. I always thought that, faced with that question, I would be the cool mother and just tell it like it is; but he caught me off guard and I panicked.

I told him they were playing!

Rather embarrassed by the lie I had just told my 7-year-old, I confessed to my husband and we decided that, really, we should sit down with our son to tell him the truth.

Then on Monday, as if by psychic trickery, we received a letter from our son’s school informing us that they would be giving lessons on sex education in a few weeks time.

Even though my husband and I had already agreed that we were going to talk to our son about our cat, it was still a little unsettling to find out that his would be getting the official talk.

My son may be 7 but he’s still my baby and I wasn’t sure I was ready for him to know everything. And then it hit me.

I wasn’t ready.

My reservations were nothing to do with my son, who will probably take it all in his stride, and everything to do with me.

As adults we have been exposed to stories of rape, child abuse, horrific diseases, unwanted pregnancies and more. Some of us may even have experienced some of these things ourselves. The idea of our young children being educated about such things can be scary, but we need to remember – I need to remember – that there are benefits to children learning about sex early and that, by being aware, the scary aspects of sex can actually be avoided.

There are 3 main benefits of early sex education that make the whole thing a little easier to swallow:

ID 10051027 Sex Education: Lets Talk About Sex, Baby1) Awareness

Teaching young children about the body parts of the opposite sex makes them more understanding and respectful of the difference. Also, teaching them what is acceptable behaviour – and more importantly what is not acceptable – helps them to identify any adult attention or touching that may be considered inappropriate or abusive.

2) Responsibility

Unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are very real and very possible – this is arguably one of the most important points we need to get across to our children. Younger children are more receptive to this message than tweens and teens as they receive it with a more open  {and hormone-free} mind.

3) Communication

Children who learn about sex early, grow up knowing that it’s a subject they can broach safely and without shame or fear of repercussion. It makes it easier for them to talk with the grown-ups in their lives about questions they have or situations in which they find themselves. Open communication leads to better awareness, which leads to better responsibility.

So, with the above in mind, I just have to take a deep breath and prepare myself for the questions my son will inevitably have in a few weeks time.

When did you / do you plan to talk to your child(ren) about sex? Do you think 7 is too young, too old, or just right?

Share your views.


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What do you think?

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