Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Parent to Parent: Sex Ed. in Kindergarten
Many of us want our children to be able to open up to us about anything, but why is it, when it comes to sex, many parents start to fumble over their own words? Listen up, moms and dads, this entire month we're going to speak candidly, Parent to Parent, about sex. Tonight, Dr. Valerie begins with the little ones.
WSVN -- It's a subject that's whispered about and a topic taboo for many parents.
But, this month, we're devoting an entire month to sex and how to talk to your kids about it.
Lesson number one: Start early.
Just ask Oscar, Sofia B., Sophia E. and my daughter Elle.
These five- and six-year-olds are in kindergarten and already have many questions about sex.
Lynn Martinez: "Do you know where babies come from?"
Kids: "They come from eggs, and some eggs are brown and some are white."
Well, not quite, but it's a good start.
Oscar's mom, Hanita Smith, says that after she got pregnant with her second child, Oscar got extra curious.
Hanita Smith: "He's like, 'Mommy, your stomach is so big, are you sick?' One question leads to another question, and you just want to keep it simple."
Lynn Martinez: "Why do parents have such a hard time talking to their kids about sex?"
Dr. Valerie: "Because we tend to take sex and put it into its own category, and we make it something different rather than just making it part of life."
That's why Dr. Valerie says if your child asks questions answer them but don't overdo it.
Only share as much information as they ask for.
You can use teaching tools or books to do that.
But Dr. Valerie says do not make it a big deal.
Dr. Valerie: "It's up to the parents to teach them about their bodies, about having self-respect."
You can start by talking to your child about their body and about their personal space.
Lynn: "So who knows their private parts?"
Do that by using real words, not nicknames, when describing body parts.
Make sure you teach your child who can touch them, like a doctor when in the doctor's office and who can't.
And teach them to say "no" and ask for help.
Dr. Valerie: "Try new behavior because the whole thing is to make our children safe."
OK, parents, explaining sex may not be as easy as ABC, but it's just as important.
It's a lesson Oscar's mom hopes to ace.
Hanita Smith: "Each stage is different. Each stage is harder, so you want it to be a smooth ride."
Lynn Martinez: "Dr. Valerie says, parents, this is only the beginning. Talking about sex should be an ongoing conversation."
So, next week, we'll show you how to talk to your upper elementary and middle school-aged kids about sex.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH E-MAIL US AT:
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 SW 62 Ave. Suite 203
Miami, FL 33143