Here’s yet another thing that we ‘should’ be doing as parents.
According to the Courier Mail, “Parents are being urged to talk with their children about sex from as young as three years old.” The article explains that parents should be more empowered to talk to three-year-olds to ten-year-olds about sex, same-sex relationships, sexuality, body parts, pregnancy and pornography.
As a member of the generation that was introduced to sex by that picture book ‘Where Did I Come From?’ (the most borrowed item in our school library), and as someone who was able to have a frank discussions about sex with my own parents, I can definitely see the value in early sex education.
When you tear away all the layers of titillation and marketing hype, sex is a simple fact of life. I agree with researchers who have found evidence that “open communication with children all the way through adolescence does actually reduce the likelihood of risky behaviour.”
But it’s not a subject I’m going to be bringing up as early as the age of three.
My son is approaching that age now. He is just learning to recite the words to his favourite Hairy Maclary book. He cries because he wants toast, then hurls the plate across the room when I bring it to him. For heaven’s sake, he hasn't even got full membership of Team Potty Trained yet.
The other night he looked down and said to me, “Mummy! My penis! It keeps getting bigger!” And then we ran out to show Daddy this amazing phenomenon.
But what was I supposed to say? “Darling, that’s preparing you for when you grow up. One day you’ll introduce it to a nice girl’s special lady parts!”
WATCH how these parents explained sex to their kids. Post continues after video...
Nope. I’m not going there. Firstly because my son isn’t even old enough to understand how to put his pants on the right way round. He thinks Christmas is a place. Where would I even start explaining sex and all the crazy stuff that goes along with it?
Other than the amazing swelling peen, there are no urges or physical desires that confuse my little boy right now. He is in a beautiful stage when he sees no real difference between his girl and boy playmates. I’m in no hurry to complicate that before I have to.
There’s another reason why I’m not going to explain sex to my child at age three. And that is because he is a question factory. It’s hard enough to come up with the information about where rain comes from, let alone babies! I will spare myself from having to find all the answers, until he is better placed to understand the whole concept of sex.
I am definitely planning to sit down with my son and go through whatever the modern day equivalent of 'Where Did I Come From' is. But not until he’s closer to six, or if he really starts asking.
For now, the idea that babies come from mummies and daddies who love each other is enough. And to be honest my kid is far more interested in watching The Gruffalo on repeat than learning about the birds and the bees.
There are so many complicated things in this world. Sex and sexuality is one of the most complex of all. I don’t want my child to be afraid or confused by it when he hits puberty, but I’d like him to be older than three before we lift the lid on this massive topic.
For the time being, we’ll go back to mastering which shoe goes on which foot.
When do you think is the right time to have "The Talk" with kids?