Today, News4Utah is taking on “The Talk.” It’s the conversation we have with our kids about sex. It is often an uncomfortable talk for both parents and children, but it’s an important one. Uma Dorn, an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, joined Emily Clark with how to begin the discussion.
Dorn says parents should wait to have this talk until children of adolescence bring it up. However, she says it’s never too early to have the discussion. Early on, children talk about their bodies(nose, eyes, etc.), but it’s uncomfortable to talk about their private areas. Dorn says it’s important to engage in that conversation early, but that if you haven’t talked about it yet, it’s not too late. It’s more important that parents engage in conversation when kids bring this up. She says talking if parents talk about it early, it just becomes a way of life.
Dorn says it’s important that kids have these conversations with parents before they hear about it at school or elsewhere. She says studies show kids are actually receiving messages from the internet with porn rather than parents or peers. So if the conversation isn’t had, they’re getting mixed messages.
It’s OK to acknowledge it’s uncomfortable, but by talking about it, and doing it often, kids and parents can become more comfortable. Whether the conversation is being had or not, kids are creating their own stories about what they think is happening. So, Dorn says it’s really important to give them accurate and current information.
News4Utah will continue this conversation on every show today, April 26.