I am a husband, father of three, and two-time communicator of, “The Talk.” My oldest, and only daughter is now 15, while my middle child, and oldest son, is 13. My first experience of trying to have “The Talk” was more about me “finding an app for that.” I downloaded it to my iPad, had her watch it, then come to me with any questions. Thankfully, I did not have to answer anything too hard. With my son, I felt more comfortable, and it was much easier to discuss . . . at least for me.
I feel like the schools do an outstanding job of teaching them a lot of the information they need, at the Junior High level. Unfortunately, there is much more they need to learn, in this new day and age of internet and devices.
I’ve had many conversations with my daughter regarding chatting with strangers on social media or other apps. I’ve also had to explain to her, beginning in 7th grade, that she has to respect herself and not send inappropriate photos/texts, just because a cute or popular boy is asking for this stuff. Several students in her junior high were busted for sending and sharing nude photos when she was in 7th grade. Thankfully, she was unaware of it and not involved. I do my best to keep an open line of communication with her, and not freak out when she comes to me about any sensitive subject matter.
With my boys, I just want to make sure they know to always respect girls and women in every way. I have warned my 13-year-old against asking for inappropriate images. I tell him not to do or ask for anything that he wouldn’t want asked of or done to his sister. When the time comes, I’ll go through all of this again with my youngest, who is now seven.
There is so much more out there to protect our children from and against than when I was a teen in the early ‘90’s. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with periodically checking their devices or rooms. This is something I am up front with them about. I know one day they will look back and understand why their Dad was so protective and in their business, seemingly all of the time.