Around the end of 5th grade, schools start showing
kids the sex education film. I had first heard about this happening when my son was in 3rd grade, and I've been panicking ever since. The thought of my innocent boy
learning the facts of life so soon! We've always talked about the scientific aspect of it; a sperm enters an egg and they become a baby and the mom
carries the baby in her stomach. Tada! But the human facts, the details, I'd left
Now that he's in 5th grade, I could tell by the things he was
saying that his friends were talking about sex, or at least pretending they
knew. Since I didn't want him to learn the wrong things from other 5th grade boys, I decided I'd provide him with the correct information.
we've handled "the talk" and what I'd recommend.
1. It's not one talk. Once you notice your child bringing up words like sex, hump, boner (yes, boner), it means they're
talking about it with their friends. Let this be a lesson that it's time to
slowly get your feet wet on these topics. I asked him if he knew what
these words meant. He usually tried to pretend like he did. But if he wanted to
learn more, I would proceed with caution and only provide what he was ready
2. Your son will let you know if you've gone too
far. For instance, when we first started talking about the actual act of sex, I
explained it in a very textbook way. I asked if he wanted to hear more, and a
panicked 10-year-old replied, "NO!" I knew that was all he was ready for. Let
your child be your guide.
3. The more you talk to your son about sex, the
more you'll notice he feels comfortable talking to you about other uncomfortable topics. My son is
not afraid to ask me anything now. My goal is to continue this into high
school and beyond.
4. Teach him that sex isn't a dirty word. Since we
can talk about it as easily as we discuss his favorite cartoon or what time his soccer
game is, he's learning that it's OK to bring it up when he has questions. The
human body is a beautiful thing, and I want him to be comfortable with it.
Explain that without birth control, sex can make a woman pregnant.
5. Treat facts about a woman's body and the
way it functions as a normal thing. He's always seen feminine products in the
bathroom. He's finally learning what they're for. At first he thought a
menstrual period meant I could bleed to death. Now he gets that it's completely
natural. And I'll be fine!
6. Talk about birth control options. I
haven't gone into too much detail, but at least he knows they exist. As an only
child who loves not having siblings, he's grateful for it and thrilled I have
7. Explain that without birth control, sex can make a woman
pregnant. If you're not ready to have a baby, you're not ready to have sex.
8. Choose your morality lessons. Of course someday he may want to have sex before
he's married, but right now, I've told him it's for people who are married.
Hey, I can hope!
9. Respect women you have sex with, no matter what. I told him that
a woman can sometimes have sex with too many men because she doesn't feel good
about herself, but that doesn't give a man a right to abuse that. I want him to
realize that every woman he sleeps with someday deserves his respect, and if he
can't give her that, then don't do it.
At his age, we haven't spoken much more than
that. I'm sure as he starts to want a relationship with a girl, not just a
crush, but a real relationship, our conversations will develop and grow. But
I've set the groundwork for open communication. In the end, only you know what's
right for your family. But so far our talks have opened up a beautiful
dialogue between me and mine. And isn't that what all parents want?