It’s Never Too Early to Start Talking
It’s never too early to talk about sex, love, and relationships.
Our daughters are five and three and watching television together is perhaps by far one of my favorite things to do with them. With popcorn in hand, it’s the perfect time to maximize our cuddles. Watching movies together also gives us an opportunity to talk about things we wouldn’t otherwise discuss. These instances make for fantastic opportunities to have age appropriate conversations about important subject matters.
It’s true what they say about kids asking the darndest things. Through their questions, my children make it clear what they’re thinking about as they digest the world around them. For example, in our home we stress the importance of being kind regardless of what’s happening around you or how you may be feeling. We know our kids are listening because it is the first thing that jumps out in movies when characters are not being kind to each other. By far the Mike character in Sing – a salty mouse with a temper and appetite for insults – initiates our chats regarding kindness and respect for ourselves and others even when things don’t work out.
And the same is true for our conversations about healthy relationships. Obviously, my girls are too young for conversations about romantic relationships, but they are not too young to understand the importance of kind friends and standing up for our friends. Albeit, my kids are not always nice to each other but for the most part they know the difference. During our movie time, we try to point out when characters are being good friends as a good thing to emulate. The cruel way Cinderella is treated by her stepsisters and mother provides a conversation opportunity for us to talk about the importance of friends who provide care, support, and kindness. Little ones who want to spend time with kind kids will – hopefully, fingers-crossed – want to have healthy adult relationships.
As parents know, the need to ensure your child is equipped to handle difficult situations is evident the moment they start socializing with other kids. Like most parents, we want to raise strong, smart, and kind people and it all has to start somewhere. The conversations we have now – at ages 5 and 3 – are opportunities for us to engrain in their little mind’s positive notions of love and relationships. By letting them take the lead with their questions, we hope we have paved the way for more serious conversations later in life.
As Talking Is Power Month wraps up, remember to start early and talk often when it comes to talking with the young people in your life. To spark a meaningful conversation today (and in the months and years ahead) take a look at some of the resources below or check out the full list of our Talking Is Power resources online.
- CEO, Gillian Sealy discusses why talking is power.
- 2020 conversation tips and prompts to start talking.
- Thoughts from a sexuality educator on why sex ed is so important for young people to learn.
- Six TV shows that you can use to kickstart conversations about sex, love, and birth control.
- A young person’s story on how her mom used Oprah to make sure she knew all about the birds and the bees.
- Five celebrities talk about their experiences talking about sex and bodies.
- A high school senior explains what she and her peers want from sex ed.