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When will you discuss sex with your kids?

Poll Results: When will you discuss sex with your kids?

 
  • 11% (8)
    When I feel they're ready
  • 51% (35)
    When they ask
  • 1% (1)
    Right before puberty
  • 0% (0)
    When they're teenagers
  • 35% (24)
    As soon as they can understand
68 Total Votes  
post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

I'm asking because both my girls know the ALL of it already.  The moment they started asking questions was the moment I took the opportunity to explain everything.  In the beginning I don't really feel they understood much.  DD1 was 4 when our neighbor was pregnant and that of course got the ball rolling.  Now that she's getting older she asks more direct questions and we talk about it.  DD2 listens and asks questions as well.  They don't giggle they don't seem embarrassed.  They seem to think at this point it's just life. 

 

Tonight we talked about menstrual cycles.  DD1 is very interested in it and wanted me to remind her why it happens.  So 30 minutes later DD1 asks " Do you have to wear tampons, or can you wear a diaper.  I think a diaper would be and excellent choice"  DD2 asked if there was something wrong with the sperm or the egg?  I didn't know what she meant at first but then she reminded me that we lost 3 babies this year.  So was it the sperm or the eggs that were bad?  Of course at this point we're not sure what happened but she has been listening and really understands quite a bit. 

 

I do tell them that it's not okay to discuss these things with their friends, their parents may not feel it's appropriate for them to know yet.  They're pretty good about it so far.  However I was lucky to have a friend that told me everything I needed to know when I was a teenager since my mother was not about to say one word about it.  She did give me a book but even that left me more confused.

post #2 of 48

You didn't have the option I would have chosen.  I think that children should have a basic understanding of sex before entering "regular" schooling (not preschool or daycare but elementary school or the equivalent).  Why?  Because I think chances are good that they will hear references to sex within the first couple years of doing so and I don't want my kids to be misinformed.  DD entered school in 2nd grade and I overheard her discussing "sex" with a kid in carpool (had obviously been brought up at school).  I was reassured when DS (then 4) gave a very basic, simple explanation.  None of the kids seemed grossed out or shocked and I changed the subject onto something else.

 

I don't remember when DD learned about periods (definately before 5), but with DS I would say he was two--- he was still following me into the bathroom all the time! 

post #3 of 48

My older one learned about it when she was 4 and a neighbor got pregnant and she got curious and started asking questions. She was very inquisitive. She asked a lot of questions and knew everything pretty quickly.

post #4 of 48

It's a gradual thing for us. With DD, we started discussing sex in a very simple manner when she was around 4, and then got more in depth as she asked based on what she was ready to grasp. At almost 7, she knows the basics, but isn't really interested in much more than what happens once sperm enters a woman's body.

post #5 of 48

I voted "for when they ask" because my guys are always asking questions. They are still toddlers, but do not let me go to the bathroom on my own, and the oldest always ask, "whats that for?" (my tampon, well before I got pregnant again) and for now he gets the toddler appropriate answer ("for my period.") but I can imagine how these things will progress. 

 

And plus, I have many childbirth books out in my bookcase that they have already seen, so I am sure I will get some questions pretty early. 

post #6 of 48

*


Edited by AbbyGrant - 6/23/12 at 9:57am
post #7 of 48
I'll tell him when he asks.
post #8 of 48

Lots of little kids cooperate with being sexually abused because some adult is exploiting their innocence, so I want my kids to know the general mechanics of sex ASAP. I'll probably tell them as soon as they get past that age where they make up stories willy-nilly, just so they don't go inadvertently accusing people of abusing them.

 

Other than that, I'll tell them when they ask (or it comes up) or when it's relevant to them (e.g. approaching puberty), whichever comes first.

post #9 of 48

I have always thought when they ask, but my now 8 yr old has not asked yet and I'm starting to get antsy.  He's not going to, I'm pretty sure. So I'm not sure when or what to tell him.  I am wishing that I had talked to him about it when he was four, but at four, when he also was not asking, it didn't seem so appropriate.  But at that age it seems less loaded somehow, like its just this weird foreign thing they may do in some other lifetime, not as personal to them.  

 

I have talked to him about women having their periods, and related that to pregnancy, but not really sex.  I'm pretty sure he's forgotten it though.  And since I got pregnant when he was almost five, after I got AF back I kinda made a point to not have him in the bathroom when it'll be obvious.  So I doubt he'd remember.  

post #10 of 48
I voted as soon as they can understand, which to me means as soon as they can converse well and ask questions.

I feel it should be an ongoing, matter-of-fact conversation, at an age-appropriate level, just like everything else DS is interested in. He is almost 3yo so we haven't gotten into the nitty-gritty yet. We've talked about periods, about sperm+egg forming a baby, stuff like that, but I don't know that he connects it all yet or understands it on more than a superficial level. We answer any questions he has (sex-related or not) pretty much the same way -- with accurate terminology & as much factual information as he seems to desire, but some of it is playful, too, at this point -- so he has fun pretending to crack out of imaginary eggs, and I'm not going to spoil his fun by correcting him. smile.gif I don't believe in sitting down at a certain age and having "the talk" -- I think this kind of knowledge should be integrated into his life just like information about how clouds form or what different animals eat.
post #11 of 48
Thread Starter 

Eh, I've known people that feel age appropriate means when they're teens on their way out of the house to adulthood.  It's like having a nose and not know what it's for.  Being factual is important when they're young and sharing the information without blinking an eye helps them understand that it's all natural, not shush shush and nothing to be ashamed about.

 

True story, I had no idea what the word masterbation meant,  I was babysitting and the kid I was watching was about 12 and he asked me what it meant.  I think I was 17 at the time.  So we looked it up in a dictionary.  Still were unsure.  His mom was an open person so when she got home... we both asked.  She sat us down and talked about it.  After that if I had any questions I would call her.  I still call her for a lot of stuff.  I couldn't ask my mom that question, she'd make me DRINK holy water! 

post #12 of 48
Some kids never ask. My son, at 16 still hasn't. But I made sure both of them knew correct body terminology and the sex basics by the time they were 5 or 6. Lack of info and misinformation is a tool for predators.
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

Eh, I've known people that feel age appropriate means when they're teens on their way out of the house to adulthood.  It's like having a nose and not know what it's for.  Being factual is important when they're young and sharing the information without blinking an eye helps them understand that it's all natural, not shush shush and nothing to be ashamed about.

 

True story, I had no idea what the word masterbation meant,  I was babysitting and the kid I was watching was about 12 and he asked me what it meant.  I think I was 17 at the time.  So we looked it up in a dictionary.  Still were unsure.  His mom was an open person so when she got home... we both asked.  She sat us down and talked about it.  After that if I had any questions I would call her.  I still call her for a lot of stuff.  I couldn't ask my mom that question, she'd make me DRINK holy water! 



You know, you don't have to be so dismissive of other people.  You could assume the poster above you has the common sense to know her children and answer their questions.

 

As for us, my daughter has learned names for body parts as she's learned the name for all her other parts.  She never asked a lot of questions but when she was three we had two older adopted cousins and one cousin born in the family pretty close together.  Obviously she got curious as to how sometimes you get older kids and sometimes you grow babies.  We talked about it in an AGE APPROPRIATE way.  Amazingly, I was able to be factual while she was young and share the information without blinking an eye, shushing her, or making her ashamed.  Imagine.

post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 

I wasn't.  And I wasn't refering to anyone on this forum.  I'm speaking of people who don't even try to tell their children anything until they're close to adulthood.   The person above me has a 3 yr old.  Nope not getting the connection you're refering to.  Imagine that?  Really I think you made an assumption out of nothing. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiteNicole View Post



You know, you don't have to be so dismissive of other people.  You could assume the poster above you has the common sense to know her children and answer their questions.

 

As for us, my daughter has learned names for body parts as she's learned the name for all her other parts.  She never asked a lot of questions but when she was three we had two older adopted cousins and one cousin born in the family pretty close together.  Obviously she got curious as to how sometimes you get older kids and sometimes you grow babies.  We talked about it in an AGE APPROPRIATE way.  Amazingly, I was able to be factual while she was young and share the information without blinking an eye, shushing her, or making her ashamed.  Imagine.



 

post #15 of 48
By age appropriate I mean using common sense. I don't think my almost 3yo needs to know sex positions or how many days occur between ovulation. That's just way too much info for a toddler, he wouldn't even be able to process it. It's no different than not teaching him multiplication tables when he's still working on counting & basic addition. We start with the basics and expand on it as his comprehension improves, as he asks more questions or shows more interest, etc.

I never asked questions and no one ever sat me down & talked to me about any of this stuff so I have full awareness of what it's like not to be taught things I should have known. Most of what I learned about sex, I learned from being sexually abused.
post #16 of 48



*


Edited by AbbyGrant - 6/23/12 at 9:56am
post #17 of 48
Thread Starter 

BINGO!  ME too.  Age appropriate in my opinion is what is necessary for your child to understand things about their body.  Sex > reproduction > baby  that's answered when asked.  And I do not skirt topics that might bring up something more to be discussed.  And you're right, discussing things in such a way that you're giving pointers to a 5 yr old is not what I mean by sharing information with your kids. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

By age appropriate I mean using common sense. I don't think my almost 3yo needs to know sex positions or how many days occur between ovulation. That's just way too much info for a toddler, he wouldn't even be able to process it. It's no different than not teaching him multiplication tables when he's still working on counting & basic addition. We start with the basics and expand on it as his comprehension improves, as he asks more questions or shows more interest, etc.
I never asked questions and no one ever sat me down & talked to me about any of this stuff so I have full awareness of what it's like not to be taught things I should have known. Most of what I learned about sex, I learned from being sexually abused.



 

 

post #18 of 48

 

My mother told me the basics at a young age (e.g., I knew what went where). In fact I don't remember not knowing the basic facts, which I think is good. I remember many kids saying incorrect things about "where babies come from" in elementary school, but I never corrected them. I did, however, realize they were wrong. Unfortunately my mother and I never had a follow-up talk, so I had to learn the more specific and scientific aspects at school. It didn't really all click until I was in college. 

 

I think, like many things, what you tell a child about sex should be dependent on their individual maturity level. I was obviously ready to handle the information my mother told me at a young age, others may not be. A friend's daughter asked her about sex in 4th grade. After a lengthy conversation about sperm, eggs, and ovulation, her daughter sat silently on her bed with wide eyes. Later my friend found her daughter clutching her baby blanket with an anxiety-filled look on her face. It wasn't until breakfast the next morning that she realized her parents had actually done the things that the two of them had discussed... cut to a melt down.

 

Even though my friend's daughter asked, she obviously wasn't ready for all the information her mother gave her. I think I'll bring the basics up before DS asks, but I'll be careful about going into too much detail before I think he's ready.

post #19 of 48

My older son is 12, and has understood the basics of sex since he was young, and I always answered his questions in terms he could understand based on his age.  He understands that men have sperm, women have eggs, sex is how they meet.  He understand masturbation, and now that he's deep in the throes of puberty, we've discussed appropriate ways to ensure "sanitary" conditions for that (as in, please don't let me find your stuff hidden in the laundry basket.  Just do a load of laundry.).  

 

Also, it was very important for us to discuss birth control long before he has a need for it.  He understands what a condom is and basically how it works.  I've explained the pill to him.  We've talked about basic STD education.  I was pregnant with DS#2 when DS#1 was 10, so we had lots of talks about pregnancy and childbirth.  I'm pregnant again, so he's getting a refresher!  I've also spent a lot of time discussing appropriate ways to treat women, and because I know he'll see porn someday, we've talked about what that is and why it is not realistic.  

 

Our conversations have never been awkward, and I'm glad that we have that kind of relationship.  My parents were also very open with us about sex, so I think this helped make it not such a big deal for me.  :-)

post #20 of 48
I intend to explain things as he asks and when i believe he can understand it. He will always know what he is capable of understanding. I dont think sex or body parts are anything to be ashamed of or held on a pedastool so i hope to teach from the very start that my son be comfortable with himself and knowledgable.


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