Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

Find out your parenting style with my parent personality quiz!

COURSE LOGIN

Ask Dr. Meg: How Young Is Too Young to Have “The Talk”?

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dear Dr. Meg,

I have two young children, ages six and four. I think it’s too early to give my oldest “the talk,” but some of my friends are already doing this with their six- and seven-year-olds. They say that since our culture is so over-sexualized, it’s important to talk about it with our kids while they are young. But I don’t think my son (the six-year-old) is ready.

How young is too young to talk to your child about sex?

Thank you,

Confused Parent

Dear Confused Parent,

I get this question very often. When it comes to when to give your child “the talk”, the answer is easy: when your child persists in asking questions about it.

When your son asks questions about words like “sex” or “kissing” or things that moms and dads do, he’s ready to hear about sex.

Children typically begin to ask these questions around age seven or eight. This is when they will start hearing things at school from kids in their class who have older siblings, or who have more access to social media and the internet.

If you brush off your kids’ questions about sex, they will look for answers from someone else.

Once your child starts asking a lot of questions and they don’t let up, it’s time for you to have some answers about sex. If you brush them off, your child will think you’re not the one to talk to about sex – and you don’t want them thinking that and then going to someone else.

One thing I think it is important for parents to understand is that while “the talk” is absolutely crucial and inevitable, it will likely not be only “a talk”, as in, one and done.  The sooner you establish yourself as the safe, trusted, go-to person place for your child’s questions about their bodies and sex, the more likely they are to come to you with their questions as they get older and the questions get more complicated. If you’re doing it right, “the talk” will likely be a healthy, ongoing dialogue about sex that your kids know they can have with you.

Parents must use their instincts and judgment to know when to begin talking to their kids about sex

I agree with you that six is too young, and while I believe parents need to teach their kids about sex before the culture can, I also believe you should never parent out of fear. Parents should not have “the talk” with their child when he is too young only because they are afraid of the hypersexualized culture we live in. Instead, they should protect their children from exposure to sexually charged media, movies, etc. Talking to a child about sex when he is too young can be traumatizing, so parents must use their instincts and best judgment to take the cues and know when to begin talking to their kids about sex, letting them take the lead in their own time.

You can expect your son to begin questioning you about sex-related issues in a year or two, so watch for his curiosity to begin.

Sincerely,

Dr. Meg

Sponsors

Skylight-Meeker

Skylight Digital Picture Frames are the perfect bridge connecting you to the special moments of those you love! It’s private, pre-loadable, and you can personalize it! Visit SkylightFrame.com

Crunch-Labs-Meeker

Here’s the perfect gift to inspire and delight that young person in your life! The CrunchLabs build box subscription. Crunchlabs packs the fun into science by sending kids a new toy to build each month. And everyone’s favorite youtuber Mark Rober’s teaches them how! Kids LOVE IT! Go to Crunchlabs.com/DrMeg and get yours today!

Your pet can’t choose healthy, but you can! Choose Whole Life Pet for human grade, freeze-dried, nutrient-rich, all natural food and treats for your dog or cat!

Visit wholelifepet.com

Thrive-Market-Meeker

Thrive Market – the customized and economical way to shop organic, non-gmo, and healthy – for you and your family.
Visit thrivemarket.com/drmeg

Green-chef-Meeker
The #1 Meal Kit for Eating well. Go to greenchef.com/60drmeg and use code 60drmeg to get 60% off plus 20% off your next two months.  greenchef.com to start now! 
Masimo-stork-baby-monitor

Masimo Stork is a revolutionary new baby monitor. SET technology has been in use for 25 years in the NICU units of America’s hospitals – now that same technology is available at home. Masimo Stork tracks real time, with your baby’s pulse rate, oxygen saturation, and skin temperature. While not a medical device, it can ensure more confident and calmer parenting. To learn more, go to masimostork.com.

Website-Dr. Meeker (8)
Feeling a a bit uneasy about having "the talk" with your son or daughter?
Dr. Meeker is here to help! “How to Talk to Your Kids about Puberty & Sex (ages 8-18)” is her most comprehensive course ever and she’ll equip you to have that conversation with knowledge, confidence and sensitivity. Check it out!

More Tools to Simplify Fatherhood