|View Poll Results: When will you discuss sex with your kids?|
|When I feel they're ready||8||11.76%|
|When they ask||35||51.47%|
|Right before puberty||1||1.47%|
|When they're teenagers||0||0%|
|As soon as they can understand||24||35.29%|
|Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll|
When my dd was little I answered the questions she asked to the extent that I felt she was engaged in the answer. If I went on too much she got bored and checked out. We didn't go into the actual mechanics of how the sperm and egg meet until she was almost seven and as part of a conversation where I was telling her uncle to watch his language because she didn't know what sex meant she informed me she did. At that point she gave me a good description of oral sex and I realized we had to have the talk. If I had to do it over again I definitely would have the talk before elementary school if it didn't come up naturally.
We also started talking about puberty, the changes she would go through, and menstruation at that point and those are talks we continue to have. I definitely wouldn't wait much past seven to talk about possible changes because normal puberty can start anywhere from 8-12 and often nothing to do with when the mother went through puberty.
DS asked at age 4, and his questions got more and more in-depth until I had told him everything.
DD is 3, and just 2 nights ago she asked how babies get into mommies' tummies, so I gave her a very basic explanation and she didn't ask further questions. Both kids knew the names of their body parts from babyhood.
My kids know a little.... they know about their bodies etc. Ds knows about puberty... the other day he came running in and said mommy I have hair on my penis! He had a little blonde hair on his scrotum- he thought he caught puberty. these are the times we discuss things.
I've told all of mine as they asked questions. I've been pregnant a total of eight times (ds1 was the first, and dd1 was the fifth), so that's definitely triggered some of the questions. If my kids didn't ask, I'd probably start telling them at about four. I tend to hold off on the more complicated stuff until I can tell reasonably well how much they're actually taking in, but I don't want ot make sure they don't have a major knowledge gap, just from not getting around to asking any questions, yk?
DD1 knew all about where babies come from, how they grow inside the mom (and could recognize pics of the inside of the uterus and of a placenta, and how menstruation works, by the time she was four, for sure. Sex itself we've talked about with a little less depth. DD1 is now almost nine, and I'm going to pick her up one of the books about the body, puberty, etc., let her have it, discuss it with her a little, and then just let her know she can ask me any questions she might have.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
Dd is almost 12 years old and is informed.
I voted when I feel they are ready but it was more than that really. I wasn't going to wait for dd to ask every question but I didn't just explain all about sex in one go when she was 4 years old.
I started talking to her about body parts when she was 3 or 4. We talked about birth when she was 5 or 6. When she was 8 to 10 years we got into details about the actual sexual act, different relationships, sexual transmitted diseases and what will happen to her body as she matures.
I think we'll have more conversations but it is harder to get her to talk now that she is older and gets more embarrassed. I'm glad we covered stuff before we got to this point.
My parents did not talk about sex at all.
Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)
I really like that pretty much everyone is giving their kids the information as they grow. I really think that helps so much. I feel confident that my girls have a firm understanding at this point and really have no qualms about asking me anything. One thing I do every year on their birthday is hold them and tell them the story of their birth. That usually brings out a few more questions. As they get older things will come together more and more for them.
I voted as soon as they can understand, but it really is so much more than that, isn't it. When my dd was 4, I was pregnant with ds#2 so we got books and had discussions. I'm not sure how much ds1 got at 2. Then when she was 6 she started asking questions, in the car with her brothers. She got answers. So ds1 would join in on the "puterous" discussions, not sure ds2 got at 4. I got her a book in 3rd grade, maybe because I knew of some of the 4th graders getting their periods and I wanted to solidify the info. We added in the boys if they had questions. Because I also wanted them to have the info my way, not the schools I continued to have open discussions as they do human sexuality units in 5th and 6th grade where they separate the genders and they also have a unit in health in 7th and they don't separate. I did not want that to be the first time they got info, but a place they could either ask questions to a neutral 3rd party or come to me for clarification.
There were no male teachers when ds1 was in 6th grade so I know the mom that gave the boys talk. She said it was obvious some of the boys knew very little, but were having sex.
I voted "when they ask", though that's not the whole of the story. They haven't asked any more questions for a while. My daughter is 7, understands periods (open-door bathroom) and doesn't want it to happen to her. Doesn't want babies, either. She's decided that her little sister will have all the babies in the family.
So, I also am thinking I need to bring the subject back up. But when? Of course, I could ask. She knows a lot of the basics, the vocabulary, but doesn't know specifics about the actual intercourse. I think it's time we get that book. If she's not interested, well.... I suppose I'll figure it out if it ever comes to that. Great thread, because I was just thinking about this.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
I feel like I've just always known. It was talked about and I have no horrifying memories around it.
I think the best thing my mom did for me was to buy me books. I had the "What's happening to my body?" book and it had so much information and pictures. I reread it, even, when I was about 14 and highlighted funny things - but I think that's really good. She also had another book that was more cartoony.
Books are good because kids can look through them as they're interested and then know what to ask if they're curious - or just get the knowledge if they're shy. OR avoid it until they're ready.
He's only 5months old right now, so it's not come up, but I figure he'll know all his parts (he's already in love with his penis) and we'll talk about touch in general. I'm a massage therapist, it comes up. Conversations about touch are more general, but address good touch, bad touch and give a language and comfort in talking about anything that happens to them. I hope. :)
And then anything he asks about, I will answer.
Married to Dusty
Mama to Charlie - born August 15th.
Waiting on number two, due March 17!
With my oldest, who's now 7, I waited til he asked or it was obvious he had questions which was as early as about 3 years old. We only give him as much info as he asks for, not going into more detail than he's ready for. He takes his time, processing the info, and asks us more in depth questions when he's ready. He's always been open with me and comes to me first with any questions. We want our kids to feel comfortable with their bodies and to stand their ground against sexual abuse or overly-curious older children. It is so important they understand enough to stand up to it, because it can be so damaging (coming from someone who was sexually abused, at as young as 3 years old, for years). At 4, my oldest knew enough he stood his ground, saying "no" to older kids who wanted to play the "sex game", and came straight to me and talked with me about it.
with my second, who's 4 now, she's more shy and would rather find things out on her own before discussing anything with me or her dad. So I approach her first, reading her cues and signs of being curious and ready for info, even if she won't be open with me about it, because I want that same trust with her that my oldest son and I have, but its harder with her.
I have a 2 year old and another on the way and I intend on remaining open about sex with all our kids. I want them to feel comfortable with their bodies, understand the sanitary aspect of things, and not be ashamed of their own sexuality.
~ Love the way you live, remember each moment is eternal ~
I am so terrified of having to have the sex talks with my children. I've already enlisted husband's help, because he knows how hard the whole process will be for me. He knows I'm a big prude. I had my period at 11 without knowing what it was. I was certain I was dying, but thankfully, had the presence of mind to enlist a friend with a more helpful mother than my own. She bought me the needed supplies and reassured me that death was probably not just around the corner. Although my mother was very careful to always use the medically appropriate terms for our body parts and our bodily functions, we also got the "That is pure concentrated evil coming out the back of you!" speeches, and no actual help regarding sexual behaviors.
The barest hint, real or imagined, of budding sexuality on my part was met with much chest thumping and graphic threats of violence against both myself and the involved male on the parts of my father and male relatives. For that matter, my daughter is four months old and the chest thumping has already begun. Basically, in my house, you magically became a sexual person the minute you married the individual of whom your parents approved, but even then, only in private. So I have NO EARTHLY IDEA how I'm going to go about this.
But I voted "As soon as she can understand." because I think I'd better give myself years to work up the nerve to have these talks thoroughly and correctly, so I figure if I start when she's potty training I might be ready for the big one when she's gearing up for puberty.
Oh man... I can still remember when I told my mother I'd had my period, and she turned hard and glared down at me and demanded to know why I didn't wait until I was 13. I still shake my head and snicker when I think about it.
Was anyone else raised like this? How did you cope with having the sex talks? Do you think you did a good job, despite your own lingering hang-ups?
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
Gosh Mrs. Gregory- That is awful. I am so sorry for this- I hope you are able to work past this and enjoy a healthy sexual relationship with your husband. What do you mean by the chest thumping has already started with your dd? By who?
MrsGregory, I wanted to recommend the book "It's Not the Stork" and the follow-ups ("It's So Amazing" and "It's Perfectly Normal").
I did not have the kind of upbringing you had--I had parents who were very open and non-judgmental when it came to sex, as well as a good sex ed program in (private) school. However, my dh and I still had some trouble finding age-appropriate language to discuss sex with my daughter. We've read "It's Not the Stock" with her a few times now in response to her asking questions about where babies come from (she's 5) and have found it to be very helpful.
Mine wasn't so bad. I think she tried realy hard, even though she was a certified prude (without religious connotations--just uptight). However, when she discovered I had my period, she walked into my room and threw the box of tampons at me. I mean, to me. She tried, I guess. She expected that school would take care of everything, but it didn't go beyond menstrual cycles.
So, I try to correct that in my own way by being up front early. We still haven't had the intercourse discussion, but the girls know about periods, what they are for, how often they come. They love nature videos, and so the idea of mating, sperm, testicles, they are familiar with. (Yawn.) They know people mate, and need to mate before a baby can be conceived. And, thanks in large part to their plastic animals, they know about testicles and penises in all kinds of animals (thank you, Scleich!) It really is easier when you begin younger, but the "trouble", or difficulty, can be that they might never bother asking or want to talk about it. It can be a real balancing act for the parent who has some reservations or embarrassment talking about it.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
These are excellent books. I havent' been able to get either child to even look at "It's Perfectly Normal", though. The ones for younger kids, though, are ideal, IMO. They use very sex-positive language as well.
Mom31 - I appreciate your empathy; luckily, husband has a wonderful sense of humor and our sex life has been and remains active and satisfying. We're having big laughs trying to work out our new "family planning" methods, now that I'm nursing.
NYXVeg and TiredX2 - Thank you for the book recommendations! I know a book will be helpful, and I'm very comfortable letting her know that I have no idea what I'm on about when it comes to this subject, since she''ll figure that out anyway, so maybe the book will make her feel more confident that I'm not just handing her all shine and no silver, and we can take it from there. I might learn something too...
SweetSilver - I'm glad to read that another Mommy that didn't receive the wholly enlightened, liberated and thoroughly modern sex education from her parent(s) is doing a good job. I have high hopes for myself. And I want to say - I love your signature.
Lucky me, I have a couple years before I really have to confront this head-on. In the meantime I am working on being able to watch a prime-time cable show without spending 30 minutes or an hour just looping through "EW!", "Inappropriate!", "Oh my goodness." and "Now that's just uncalled for!". Hee.
And on 09/23/2011, we were three; husband, daughter, and me!
If you don't freak and just answer the questions that they ask when they ask them with just the information necessary you will be fine. I was abused and when my DM found out she filled me in on everything. At 6 I didn't need to know that it was possible for him to put it in my mouth...just having his tongue there was gross enough!
DD1 asked the most and DD2 listened to big sis too much!. But DD3 missed alot and when she told us she was afraid to sleep inthe same bed w/her little brother b/c she didn't want to get pregnant I knew it was time get a little more specific with her. But she was 11!