“THE TALK!”

This will be the first in a series of posts about “THE TALK”!

 

TODAY’S TAKE HOME MESSAGE ABOUT “THE TALK”!

 Information your child needs and issues you need to discuss are much too complex to cover in “A TALK”.  

There is absolutely no way a parent can say everything they need to say or a child can remember or hear everything they need to know in “a talk”. Sexual learning occurs from “womb to tomb” and should be treated age appropriately during that same time frame. My standard answer to EVERYONE when asked “when should I begin” is begin as soon as a child begins to discover their own gender differences and feelings, hears or sees sexual references, or is curious about themselves and others. Jemeille Ackourey, MC, National Certified Counselor, who has worked as a family and children specialist for over 30 years makes this point: “As parents, caretakers, counselors, teachers and mentors, we have a responsibility to listen to and provide children with as many answers as they have questions.” Talking with children is an on-going process that should begin early and stay late! 

Every day brings another article, talk show or book about sex and young adolescents. The buzz word “tweens” now denotes a loosely defined age group somewhere between 8 and 13 that are not yet technically teens but are facing many issues that their parents faced when they were a few to several years older. Hence, parents are constantly wondering “what do I say and when do I say it?” If parents are perfectly honest, most of them did not get the information they needed related to these subjects as early as they had thoughts and questions. Parents are failing to recognize that their children need information even earlier than they did because their world is very different – they are bombarded with sexual images and messages from a very early age and they are making some very bad choices because they don’t have a healthy dialogue with adults around them. When a parent tells me their child doesn’t have any questions, it usually means the parent isn’t open to or listening for the “cues” that signal the child has questions but isn’t comfortable asking. 

The major problem as I see it is that the world has changed drastically in terms of what children hear and see about sex and other sensitive issues and parents and educators are still thinking about “when should I have the talk”. 

Within the next couple of weeks, the book 101 Questions Kids Really Ask….and the answers they need to know! will FINALLY be published and available on our website. I encourage each of you to order a copy and I can assure you it will be $19.95 well spent. Whether you are a parent, educator, or just interact with young adolescents on any level you will find this an invaluable resource. During the coming weeks, I will be referring to various sections of 101 Questions on this blog as I post at least one blog a week on this topic of ‘THE TALK”!

 

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