Parents should begin talking to toddlers about sex from the age of two, according to a new sex education guide, Talk Soon. Talk Often published by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at LaTrobe University. The recommendation from the author of the study, Jenny Walsh, is to not have the single and daunting ‘birds and bees’ talk, but a series of discussions.
“Parents might be relieved to know that helping their child towards a happy, healthy sexuality does not come from ‘one big talk’ that has to be perfectly scripted. Nor does talking with children about sexuality make them go out and do ‘it’. In fact, talking about sex with young people has the opposite effect.” says Ms Walsh.
You can download the Talk Soon, Talk Often booklet here.
Freelance writer and mother of twins, Josie Gagliano writes:
It’s the moment every parent dreads: the sex talk.
When I had my twins three years ago, I figured I had, oh, a whole decade before I even ventured there. Phew, lucky me!
And yet, I am surprisingly calm when it comes to contemplating ‘the talk’.
Probably because somehow it seems to be working itself out – at a frighteningly quick pace.
You see, when you become a parent, your body parts become someone else’s. Starting with your vagina. Heck, there’s no point being coy here.
Suddenly, it is the receptacle from which baby/ies emanate. Everyone – in the delivery suite at least – has a good look.
Then your boobs. Many women will recount how their maternity ward nurses yanked their breasts like a child snatching a cookie – there’s nothing personal nor precious about your ‘girls’ from that day forth.
The your-boobs-aren’t-sacred-anymore thing continues at home. You relax a bit about who sees you breastfeeding. Sure, it’s still muslin-wrap-central, swathing bits of the flimsy fabric as best you can when visitors pop in. But mum or mum in law or friend in the tit-precinct? No worries! You find yourself saying things like, “We’re all the same, anyway”, when mere months before you were all cagey Miranda-style: nobody was ever even allowed into the department store change-room.
Babies tug and chew and guzzle on nipples as if they’re life depends on it (well, for some, it kinda does) and soon you’re undressing in front of your infants. Hell, they’ve seen it all before and they don’t seem that impressed. And then suddenly, they reach that age when you notice they stare a little too long; their gaze doesn’t turn away. No, this time, they study. And you panic.
This started happening to me when my twins were two and a bit. Sometimes, when I am bathing my kids, I really gotta pee. And so I, y’ know, do my thing and finish my thing and barely a teeny eyebrow is raised. But one day, my daughter watched me. Intently. And she noticed I looked different to her… down there. I made sure that from then on, emergency pees were as concealed as midnight snacks.