What age is too early?

Posted on: 02/16/16 2:38 PM | by Jonathan McKee

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-father-son-jetty-sat-image31379935When is it to early to talk with our kids about sex?

This morning I received the following question from a concerned parent:

Dear Jonathan,

A few days ago my 8-year-old son was playing on a playground when another elementary-aged child told him a story about oral sex. The young boy saw a girl and boy in a bathroom engaging in the act and he described it to my son in vivid detail.

Astonished at this, my son asked his school friends about it, they said something to their parents, and the assistant principal brought it to my attention that we now have 2nd graders asking questions about oral sex. My son is so young and we haven’t had many talks, if any, about sex or oral sex.

I was shocked at the phone call I received this morning and I am now grappling with how my husband and I are to approach this with my son this evening. How do we talk to an 8-year-old boy about oral sex, keeping it developmentally appropriate and keeping inline with our Christian values? Please help!



Great question. Here was my reply:


So sorry to hear about this. I know these situations are difficult as a parent, and the temptation would be to freak out! It’s a blessing in disguise that you heard this news while your son is at school. This gives you time to scream, pull your hair out and throw things across the room before your son gets home. Rule No. 1: don’t freak out.

Realize you are not alone in this situation. Many parents are experiencing these kinds of struggles. In fact, your situation confirms a couple realities about our society:

  1. We live in a world where our kids have easy access to sexually explicit material, and sadly, many of them are acting out as they process what they have seen and heard.
  2. Your son is like so many young people today. When they hear something they might perceive as “naughty,” they often go to friends or the Internet for answers, not to their parents.

So realize that one of your primary goals in this situation is to…