When is too early to teach children about sex?

In today's news from Ontario, the government announced that sex ed will now start in Grade 1. Now there is a big controversy going on. I am surprised, because after all we are in the 21st century on hone hand and on the other hand we are still in the dark ages when it comes to sex ed.

Looking back over the years I have these key memories about my twins (boy & girl, now almost 32 years old) growing up. We were visiting my parents in Switzerland when they were 3 years old and happened to come across a TV show in the afternoon where a woman gave birth. My daughter was very intrigued, my son could not care less. For the next few days our daughter gave us very graphic replays of what she had seen. It was all very natural to her. Then her attention was captured by something else that was it for giving birth.

The twins went to kindergarten in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and they had sex ed. So for the next 3 months my daughter drew mommies with babies in their tummies. Then one nice Sunday morning at breakfast, the two of them must have been talking about it between themselves, they came and asked how does it feel to have sex? Well, my mouth dropped and I had to quickly think how to answer that. I was not going to lie, but I was also not going to tell them too much. So I answered, I will not answer that question as they are just too young, but I also admonished them not to try it. They looks at me with big eyes and asked why? I told them that they could hurt themselves. They accepted the answer and that was the end of it.

My conclusion about sex ed is, if the child can ask the question, he or she has the right to an answer no matter what age. Only answer the child's question, don't give long explanations, the child is not interested in a full birds and bees story. All the child wants is an answer to the specific question. That way you keep the channel of communication open.

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