Talking to kids about sex and STDs

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Talking to kids about sex and STDs

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Many parents feel anxious about talking to their kids about Sex Ed but I think it is very important to begin once kids can start talking. What are the names of their body parts. What is a good touch and a bad touch. My goal as a parent is to be the first one to cover a sexual topic with my child. And because of the way media is and the way school yard or playgrounds are, that age is getting younger and younger. I wan to call myself first, I want to try to get my pulse at the baseline level before I do it because if my kids think I'm freaked out, they're going to think there is something nasty or wrong about all this stuff. I want to be calm and I want to cover the topic. I think certainly by the time my kid is a teenager, I want to talk about STD's. One of my favorite books is by physician Jill Grimes, Seductive Delusions. It's a book about STD's. And I would have every teenager in this country read chapter 1, on herpes. The majority of people are walking around have some version of herpes even though they don't know it. And when I read Jill Grimes' book, within 10 minutes, I had my then 15 year old daughter read it. And then, I had my 14 year old son read it because I want them being educated about the risk. We don't want kids having sex until they can have a lifelong commitment with someone. That is when their brains and psyches are ready for sex. It's too depersonalized in our culture and we want to begin that dialog that commentary about Sex Ed as early as possible, and have values based on good psychological principles.

Watch David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP 's video on Talking to kids about sex and STDs...

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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University. He is a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist, a past president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the author of over three dozen publications, including two books on promoting resilience in youth, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (true of < 6% of psychologists), the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in youth. He has also given hundreds of workshops on family issues for organizations such as The Navy SEAL Foundation, The Master Therapist Series at the University of Connecticut, The American Psychological Association and the McGraw-Hill Financial Group and completed hundreds of media projects for outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal. David is also a dad of three (two studying at Cornell University and one still in high school) and husband of 27 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and resilient children and teens.

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