'Kids Can't Become Sex Addicts'

Do kids need The Talk that early on?

Jada Pinkett Smith was just nine years old when her grandma gave her 'The Talk', the 46-year-old actor revealed in an episode of her Facebook Watch show, Red Table Talk.

“My grandmother taught me about self-pleasuring because she wanted me to know that that pleasure was from me,” Pinkett Smith explained to her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, and daughter Willow Smith.

The trio co-host the show where they share candid conversations with family and friends. This particular episode is called 'Sex Talk! Personal Stories From Three Generations', and oh boy does it get personal.

Pinkett Smith with daughter Willow, 17. Image: Getty.

“She didn’t want me to fall into the hands of a man — and if he gave me pleasure, to think that that was him. And she taught me at 9!” Pinkett Smith said of her gran's reasons for having the discussion fairly early on in her life.

But according to Matty Silver, Relationship Counsellor and Sex Therapist, there's no need to have that particular discussion at all.

"There's no need to formally sit down with your nine-year-old -- absolutely not," she told ten daily after reading Pinkett Smith's revelation.

Why?

"They will figure it out themselves," Silver explained.

Most young boys and girls start exploring self pleasure of their own accord at around nine or 10 years old, but there's no hard and fast rule.

Rest assured that the activity is very, very common in children. Silver has only encountered one male client in her career that reported he didn't masturbate as a boy.

The role parents and caregivers need to play is one of guidance and reassurance, advised Silver.

"Children need to be reassured that masturbation isn't naughty or dirty," she says.

"Never tell them not to touch themselves."

A negative or shameful relationship with sex and our own bodies when we're young can cause intimacy issues later in life. This is a pattern that Silver sees a lot in her line of work.

A healthy relationship with masturbation at a young age is a good indication that the client's problem can be successfully resolved in Silver's experience. 

Silver's only word of caution? She suggests that kids are encouraged to engage in the activity in private. And parents shouldn't be concerned that their child is doing it too much.

"Kids can't become little sex addicts," Silver said.

"They're far too busy these days. There are so many other activities for them to do."

Feature image: Getty.