How Young Is Too Young To Talk About Sex?

How Young Is Too Young To Talk About Sex?

As a parent you cannot be so naïve to think that your 13 year old has never heard about sex before.

Recently, an animated short film called “In a Heartbeat” went viral on the internet. The short features a little boy who is struggling to come to terms with his feelings about another little boy. The short does this by exemplifying the juxtaposition between the boy’s reluctance and the boy’s hearts openness. It is a beautifully crafted short that showcases the reality of growing up gay. This short, however, has caused a bit of controversy, especially with parents.

Many parents believed that the short was introducing the topic of sexuality at way too young of an age and that children should not be exposed to such content. After hearing this argument and many others, I became interested with this ideology that children should not be exposed to certain topics like sexuality and gender fluidity and drugs because those are “adult topics”. From this ideology, I posed the question to myself: how young is too young to talk about sex? And not just sex for that matter, but any topic deemed to be too inappropriate for children.

To be honest, I believe that children should not be harshly guarded off from these “adult topics”. I believe this because children are not as naïve as many parents portray them to be. Children are learning about things at a way younger age than ever before. Things that I learned about in high school, my younger cousins are learning about in middle school and in elementary school. Social media and the internet have exposed children to many topics and ideas that before was simply not possible. Along with that, parents are now giving their children electronic devices at younger and younger ages and thus are not fully in control of everything that their child is consuming from those specific devices.

With that said, as a parent you cannot be so naïve to think that your 13 year old has never heard about sex before. Thus, as a parent if you do recognize that your child is being exposed to many different topics on a day to day basis, whether that be through the internet or their friends on the playground, you should also recognize your role in this situation.

Knowledge is power and the best tool that you can provide your child so that they can go about their life being more educated and informed on the real world around them. Raising your child in a bubble does not help them or preserve their innocence in any way. By trying to shield your child from things that are very real to the human experience, you are not allowing them to grow up as informed citizens. Children should know about sex and what consent is and what birth control is because if you don’t educate them, who will? Do you really want the other kids on the playground telling your child what these things are? Or would you rather your child learn about these very intimate and serious topics from you in the way that your household wants them to understand these things.

At this point, I recognize that the fear exists among many parents that by exposing your child to such topics, your child will be influenced in a negative way or somehow change from how they were supposed to be. This fear is completely invalid because with that logic, history should not be taught to children either since many parts of history are incredibly negative and not a good influence on the youth. Your child will not suddenly want to have sex just because you tell them about it because you, as the parent, are not telling them to spark interest; you are telling them to inform them what it is about and that message would be very clear in your delivery.

To conclude, my point in this article is to simply bring attention to the idea that knowledge is power and educating your child is the best thing you can do as a parent. In this day and age, being ignorant is not an excuse that holds much weight to it. Thus, prevent your child from going down that path of not knowing by being the person who introduces these topics to them and steers them between right and wrong. It is better that they understand what things like sex are from you then from their peers or from videos on the internet.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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