Talking birds and bees: A News 8 roundtable

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by SHELLY SLATER

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaashelly

wfaa.com

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 22 at 2:42 PM

We put together a roundtable to find out how different parents brought up the discussion of sex with their children.

"My kids were like, 'Dad... do we have to have this conversation?'" said John Fraley, a father of two.

“It was a scary conversation," said Julie Easley, who has a seven-year-old boy. "I tried to be truthful with him about everything; there's never been secrets."

So how did she tell her son about sex?

"He came home from school and started pulling up Internet sites. I had to explain to him that the extreme sites he found were not reality," Easley recalled.

But is that too early to have "the discussion" with a child?

"Seven, eight... I think that is a little bit young," Fraley said. "But 14 and 15, I think that is a little bit late."

"Social media... I think that's part of the reason we've become numb to sex as a society," Shelly Koehler said. "So how do you teach your child to stand alone? That is a tough thing to teach."

"You can type in anything and find out what you want to know," Carl Boles said.

"It's not just about talking; it needs to be in your face — like bringing your child to see a live birth, or something that is going to enable them to see this is what happens," Elizabeth Brito added.

"I didn't make up fairytale stories about storks or whatever," Boles said. "I told him how everything was. I was honest with him."

"What is the right answer?" Koehler said. "I had gone all this way so she knew she could come to me and talk to me. It was better to not be pregnant and not have a disease."

"If you tell them, 'Do not do it,' they're going to... it makes it more tempting," Easley said.

"Now I wish I had talked to her more, repeatedly bringing it up where it becomes more comfortable," Koehler said.

In the end, all the parents on our panel were straightforward with their kids... no sugar coating it.

All agreed that their kids knew way more than they had expected, meaning, the conversation probably needed to happen sooner, like in the early teens.

E-mail sslater@wfaa.com

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