2 responses to “BUZZ ON THE BIRDS AND BEES: Parents Say Too Little, Too Late”

  1. Melanie Davis

    Thanks, Karen. I agree that s
    6-year-olds don’t need detailed explanations of topics like abortion and sexual orientation. But kids will hear the words if they’re in the room while parents and siblings watch the news, talk shows, and ads for TV shows. The terms can be overheard in conversations, too.

    Kids can’t put the information into context on their own, so it behooves parents to step in, which is what Advocates for Youth tries to help parents do. Parents could say, “Sexual orientation means the kind of person someone hopes to fall in love with — the kind of person they are oriented to.” And they could say, “Abortion means the end of a pregnancy before a baby would normally be born.” If they wished, they could also add, “Abortion can happen on its own (miscarriage) or with medical help.”

    When parents say any variation of, “We’ll discuss it when you’re older,” kids will seek the information elsewhere. Answering the questions directly and age-appropriately builds trust and lets parents share their values with their children.

  2. Karen Bannan

    Great column, but your source — Advocates for Youth — is not one I would use. I just looked at its advice for kids 6-8. Sorry, but I don’t need to tell my six-year-old about abortion or sexual orientation.

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