Dear Dr. Bill,
I’m concerned about what my young son is already hearing about sex. He’s only a 2nd grader, but he’s starting to hear certain words from other kids, and the TV is worse! So-called “family” shows will talk or joke about anything! I didn’t think my son is mature enough for the sex-education talk . . . but I’d rather he hear it from me first than anyone else. Do you have any suggestions?
Unfortunately we live in a sex-saturated culture. Kids are bombarded with sexual messages on television, in music, on the internet, on billboards, even in the mall at clothing stores like “Abercrombie and Fitch.”
Our society is forcing kids to grow up way too fast. Young children aren’t emotionally ready to handle sexually charged music, images, or conversation.
One of our major responsibilities as parents is to protect our children, both physically and emotionally. One way to do that is to carefully monitor their use of media and the internet.
Second graders should not be watching television shows that feature adult themes, even if they are billed as so-called “family shows.”
You’ll also need to guard your son’s use of the internet and as he grows older, the movies he attends and the type of music he listens to.
Since it sounds like your son is already asking questions about sexuality, you shouldn’t be afraid to answer his questions. Use child-friendly, age-appropriate explanations.
Be honest, open, and direct, and don’t overload him with information he hasn’t asked for.
A series of books that I love to recommend to parents is called “God’s Design for Sex” by Stan and Brenna Jones. You can learn more about the books at any online bookseller.
Thanks for writing, Kristine. I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.