11 year old daughter heard us having sex - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I have a very healthy sex life but we only do it in the middle of the night to assure the kids are all asleep. Our 11 year old daughter has heard us before and I explained to her it was natural when two people were married and when our door is shut that means that it is mom and dads private time. Well she woke up at 2:30 am to go to the bathroom and she noticed our door was shut and she started crying hysterically and we werent even in the act. We were just starting foreplay but she went on and on with her crying. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle a situation like this? Now dont get me wrong, when I say we have a healthy sex life, its not often so its not like its normal for her to hear or catch us but we thought we were being cool about making sure its in the middle of the night.HELP
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#2 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 05:30 AM
 
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Did you ask why she was crying? Maybe it was something else (nightmare, et cetera), and you guys misunderstood the reason?

Hope you get some good answers! Eleven years old seems old enough to be calm-- although perhaps QUITE disgusted-- about the prospect of parents being sexually involved.

Sorry to hear that, though! Seems like a good time for a heart-to-heart.
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#3 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 05:50 AM
 
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I don't have any advice, but I do know another couple whose daughter had a hard time dealing with the fact that they had a sex life. And she was younger than yours, maybe 8 or 9, and her mom was pretty sure that she (the daughter) didn't *actually know* what was going on. But she would bang on their door whenever she found it shut and cry, "I know you're in there! You're kissing naked!" and become really upset. She did grow out of it, but not before several talks about how just because mom and dad need some time alone doesn't mean they don't love you or aren't there for you or wish you were gone.

Good luck dealing with this!

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#4 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 06:38 AM
 
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And, although she knows it's "private time," does she understand the basics? She may be imagining something more terrifying than the reality, especially if the info is coming from girlfriends at school, etc.

I was about eleven when my mama gave me an intro to sex ed book, (by James Dobson-- hey, she was trying) and it helped me feel better about
"stuff" because we're all afraid of things we don't understand... particularly when they're noisy and involve nekkidness and your parents and funky new 11-year-old woman hormones.

I swear that being 11 and 12 were the TOUGHEST years of my life. And my parents', too :LOL And I'm so glad my mom took the sex ed thing by the horns to the best of her ability, instead of letting me believe what ignorant little girls told me at school.

Anyways, good luck!!!!
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#5 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well we have had trouble with her about sex anyway. about 2 years ago she started asking questions so i got her a book from the doctor. just last week i was cleaning her room and i found a note that the headline was "steps to having sex" and it proceeded with 1) find the right person 2) break bracelet- refering to the jelly bracelets 3) find the right place 4) get naked 5) have sex.-----When I confronted her, she wouldnt talk to me so I explained to her that its not good for little girls to have these thoughts at such a young age and bad things can happen to little girls that arent careful and that when she has thoughts like this or others, she needs to talk to me. YES she knew what we were doing cause the last time it happened she said "you guys are disgusting" in the middle of her crying. She has learned alot at school and last year in the 4th grade, the showed the movie so that rose more questions and thats another reason we gave her the book.
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#6 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 11:47 AM
 
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I'm sorry, but I think telling her that she shouldn't have those thoughts at her is age isn't the best idea. Children are curious about sex and do think about it. Telling her that she shouldn't have those thoughts will make her feel guilty and make her think negative things about sex. And if you're giving her a negative view about sex then of course, when she knows you're having it, she's going to feel really weird about it. just my opinion.
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#7 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jody824
When I confronted her, she wouldnt talk to me so I explained to her that its not good for little girls to have these thoughts at such a young age and bad things can happen to little girls that arent careful and that when she has thoughts like this or others, she needs to talk to me. YES she knew what we were doing cause the last time it happened she said "you guys are disgusting" in the middle of her crying. She has learned alot at school and last year in the 4th grade, the showed the movie so that rose more questions and thats another reason we gave her the book.
I don't really have any advice exactly... I'm just wondering why you told her that its not good for her to be thinking about sex... thinking and doing are very different things. Its very normal for kids as young as eleven (and even younger) to start thinking about and being curious about sex. I feel like what you said to her about "bad things can happen to little girls who aren't careful" would be very confusing and cause her to feel ashamed and confused about sex and her sexuality as well as responsible and to blame if, god forbid, she ever was a victim of a sex crime. If someone told me my thoughts were bad and that bad things could happen, I know I would never, ever approach them again about my thoughts or worries about sex. I feel like there is a possibility that you've turned sex into something shameful and wrong in her mind. Perhaps there is a better approach to conveying your thoughts about sex and sexuality at her age without making it about being "bad". I thought about sex a lot even at age eleven and I wish I had felt that I could go to my mom and that she would've helped me embrace and understand my budding sexuality as something normal and healthy. I think there's the idea that if we teach kids their thoughts are normal and healthy that we are encouraging them to have sex. Sex and sexuality are two very different things. Instead of getting some validation and support, I walked around feeling ashamed and weird largely because of comments my mother made that were similiar to those you made to your dd. Just something to think about.
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#8 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 11:52 AM
 
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I'm going to have to agree with nightowl on this one (with full respect of course! )

This caught my eye:
Quote:
bad things can happen to little girls that arent careful
Maybe shes concerned that *bad things* are going to happen to you b/c you're having sex. KWIM?
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#9 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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I also think that you might have unintentionally created a guilt/shame association with sex. I agree that 11 is too young to be having sex but she is definitely hearing about it at school. I also find those bracelets disturbing- they aren't about Madonna anymore. Thinking about sex is normal and healthy at any age and it is important for us to help our children develop a healthy view of sex. I would have another talk with her and see if you can be a bit more open and nonjudgemental.
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#10 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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When I confronted her, she wouldnt talk to me so I explained to her that its not good for little girls to have these thoughts at such a young age and bad things can happen to little girls that arent careful and that when she has thoughts like this or others, she needs to talk to me.

Honestly, I think this was a very very bad idea to tell your dd. And I think that you have contributed to her freaking about you two having sex.

ITA with the previous posters. You have contributed to her feeling abnormal and and shamed her.
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#11 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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Sort OT- what is the jelly bracelet reference? I don't get it

"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston

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#12 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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I was wondering about the jelly bracelet thing too.........
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#13 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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I know this is a difficult one. I think you should talk with her. I think the pevious posters have great advice.

I think your dd may be having conflicting messages about sex and needs you to help her straighten that out.

It is absolutely normal for an 11yr to think about sex. I started masterbating at age 10. I didn't even kiss a boy until I was almost 19. Her writing were maybe just thinking outloud. Not something she was actually planning out.

Good luck! I know you will do great!

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#14 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:38 PM
 
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Some girls wear jelly bracelets in different colors and each color is a sexual act or milestone. Something like that.
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#15 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WinterWillow
Some girls wear jelly bracelets in different colors and each color is a sexual act or milestone. Something like that.
Oh...the things I learn!

No wonder people think I am a virgin still.....off the break my pink jelly!

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#16 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:45 PM
 
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I was actually pretty pleased to read that her 'first step' was 'find the right person'. Who knows when she thinks her 'plan' will happen, might not be for years and years. I really doubt she's actually planning on having sex anytime soon, but thinking about it, or even making up 'plans' about it, are SO normal in kids her age, and even younger.

On another note, we also have had issues with my step-son hearing us have sex and crying. He won't bang on the door, but will lay in bed and cry, but of course, we have our door shut, so we don't notice until we've finished and are opening the door back up for the night. His issues are a bit different though. We're a building step-family, and he still has issues with me getting 'more' alone time with dad than he does. Which isn't true really, it's just different alone time, and he doesn't quite get that yet.

We've bought him books and his father has talked with him about sex. He knows it's normal and okay to think about it. And that it's something adults do.

I think it's time for you to sit down with your daughter and have a heart to heart about sex. Explain that it's very normal for her to think about it, and assure her it isn't 'bad' or 'dirty' or anything like that. Explain that you and your husband are adults, in love, in a committed relationship. I'd be more concerned with teaching her the value of being in love in a committed relationship when having sex, than I would be with teaching her that 'bad things can happen to little girls who aren't careful'..

There's a much better, much more sensitive ways to teach a child about being 'careful' sexually, (and no, I don't just mean protection, but being emotionally and mentally 'careful' too).

Good luck!
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#17 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:48 PM
 
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The bracelets also refer to what act the girl is willing to do. When a boy breaks it off, well, she is expected to comply.

They are actually banned as part of acceptable dress in some school districts.

Try this for a little more info: http://www.nbc4.com/family/2634926/detail.html
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#18 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
On another note, we also have had issues with my step-son hearing us have sex and crying. He won't bang on the door, but will lay in bed and cry, but of course, we have our door shut,

thats exactly what she does. I am a victim of child molestation and our family wanted to keep it very hush hush and thats why I am asking advice because it was dirty to me and thats all I knew until I got married. Now we did have a talk with her one other time and explained that sex is what married people do and its natural but she still freaks out---I am not here asking to be judged but trying to get advice because I dont know how to handle this situation.
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#19 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 04:03 PM
 
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*hugs*

I'm sure this is rough. The couple times we've dealt with it with step-son (so far, he's only just turned 9, so I have a feeling as he becomes more sexually aware, it'll happen more), it was hard to deal with.

Have you considered letting her talk to a counselor? I'm also a sexual abuse survivor, throughout childhood. It's a very scary thing, and it's doubly scary when you start worrying about your children in that context. (NOT that you think she's being hurt, but it's still a scary fear when there's ANY instance of your child, and the topic of sex)

It's definately time for another talk, maybe an outting to the bookstore to pick out age appropriate books, but to also have her help pick them out. What interests her and what she would like to learn about....?
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#20 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 04:30 PM
 
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First of all, it's possible that she was crying mainly because she wanted to talk to you and the closed door indicated that you weren't available to her when she needed it.

Secondly, it does sound like your last talk with her about sex may not have gone very well. Sometimes it's very hard to get these ideas across the way we intend to!!

I think you should sit down with her again and explain that sexuality is part of a normal, healthy adult relationship, and it's not something children should be doing. Focus on the idea that sex isn't "bad" or "dangerous"- it's simply "adult." You can add "it's something married people do" if that works with your beleif system.

I've never specifically addressed the concept of their own sexuality, but I've made it clear that sex can feel very good to adults and teenagers, and that teenagers often make poor choices based on what feels good.

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#21 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 04:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PoppyMama
I also think that you might have unintentionally created a guilt/shame association with sex. I agree that 11 is too young to be having sex but she is definitely hearing about it at school. I also find those bracelets disturbing- they aren't about Madonna anymore. Thinking about sex is normal and healthy at any age and it is important for us to help our children develop a healthy view of sex. I would have another talk with her and see if you can be a bit more open and nonjudgemental.


:

The "bad things can happen to little girls that arent careful" probably terrified her to pieces.
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#22 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 04:57 PM
 
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-When I confronted her, she wouldnt talk to me so I explained to her that its not good for little girls to have these thoughts at such a young age and bad things can happen to little girls that arent careful and that when she has thoughts like this or others, she needs to talk to me.
Yikes. I'd say there is little wonder why she was so upset.
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#23 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 05:01 PM
 
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he still has issues with me getting 'more' alone time with dad than he does.

I think this is why kids cry when they know/hear parents having sex.

I used to cry. I felt left out. (You know what I mean I hope ) And I was probably 13. I think her reaction is normal, but you do have to have a conversation with her and maybe make a point to spend more quality time with her.

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#24 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 06:08 PM
 
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I also wonder whether maybe she is afraid he is hurting you, or vice versa. not that there is any basis in that, but when you say she "heard you" having sex, do you mean the bed squeeks, or is it noises from the two of you. I think the less kids know about sex the more it could seem like it was a painful thing. and sometimes the 'sounds' almost sound like people are in pain.
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#25 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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Something else to add about my experience with my step-son that may help you.

The first time my step-son herad my SO and I have sex, he started banging on the door crying for daddy... I knew we'd gotten a bit loud, and felt so ashamed. I told my SO 'whatever you tell him, DO NOT tell him we were fighting'... What did my SO tell his son? You guessed it 'we were just fighting, go back to bed'... So of course, for a while after, when he heard us having sex, he would assume we were fighting.

So I'm wondering, if at any point in your daughter's childhood you or your husband said a white lie to 'explain' the noises she heard? Anything that could possibly be scaring or upsetting her? (like with my SO's saying we were fighting)?
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#26 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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This is a difficult thing for both of you. You are trying to hide it from her by doing it late at night when you think everyone will be asleep and she may be wondering what is so bad that you have to hide it. we have not been 'caught' but the boys know they need to knock if the door is shut day or night and nothing really bad can be happening because dd sleeps in our room

My ds1 is all but 12 and we have had some discussions about sex lately. He knows how it works, mechanically, from books but we have been talking about people and choices. This came up partly because his friends are surprised that I am so young compared to their parents. I was 19 when he was born and am now at least 10 years younger than most of his peers parents. Lots of his friends live in big expensive houses because they have had more time working to buy them than we have. This made ds think that having children when you are 19 is not such a good idea and we ended up talking about all kinds of things once he said that.

What I am trying to say is that sometimes conversations lend themselves to discussing sex and feelings. Can you take your cues from her and discuss things as they arise? I know that you may think she will be reluctant now, but she may really want to know more and doesn't know how to go about it.

Could you refer to the things you told her before and say that you have thought about it and that her first idea was a good one, what does she think the right person will be like? Can you tell her how you knew that your husband was the right one? Have there been other right ones?

That could lead to all sorts of future discussions when she meets new people or has different friends; what qualities does she look for in a friend? How are those similar or different to a sexual partner? I don't mean that this will be in the next few weeks, it will probably be years away, but you will have started an ongoing dialogue which you can pick up as the time goes on.

This is another little track at the side of the main road. Follow your dd up the track and help her along it. The world is a scary place if you feel alone.
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#27 of 37 Old 05-27-2005, 08:38 PM
 
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Yeah, there is a line between telling a kid "sex is good" (and it IS :LOL ) and feeling like you're somehow encouraging them to GIO when they're 12.

The thing is, though, that I really believe that most kids who are secure at home DO ultimately make responsible decisions down the road. As the PP said, "finding the right person" is apt to take years, not days. And she's not likely to have jelly bracelets by then, either.

I think it's TOTALLY normal to wonder about and fantasize about it from an early age... self-love starts early, yanno? TMI, perhaps....

Telling a kid not to think about it seems a tad futile, somehow. Good luck... 11 is such an age of discovery!
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#28 of 37 Old 05-30-2005, 02:48 AM
 
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I specifically remember going through this at around her age. I can tell you what made ME cry. At 11 she's either in puberty or on the verge. She's having sexual feelings (which are completely normal and healthy). If I heard my mom at night (and boy was she noisy) I knew what was going on. I'd allready had sex ed, and I was at the begining of puberty. Knowing what was going on in the next room, and having to hear it....aroused me. Think about this.....think to college days or days when you had to have room mates. Didn't it totally SUCK to have to listen to your room mate get some when you were alone and NOT getting any? So anyway, I would get aroused, but I DIDN'T want to be....especially NOT from listening to my mother. It disgusted me. It made me disgusted with myself.....So then, there I was aroused and disgusted, and trying to go to sleep....but I couldn't go to sleep until my mother SHUT UP!!! You can't go to sleep, aroused, listening to the ppl in the next room have sex. It just doesn't work. So I'd be so frustrated and disgusted with myself that I'd just lay there and bawl. It REALLY upset me. To this day it pisses me off that my mother didn't wait for me to be completely asleep first.

I know that you thought she was asleep, and that's good if she's feeling this way. My suggestion would be to talk to her about it....not about what I told you though...might really freak her out. Let her know that you're sorry she was upset, tell her that her feelings about sex are normal and ok. And that you'll try to be more careful, possibly get a white noise machine for her room so that if she wakes up to go potty she won't be able to hear you anymore once she goes to her room. I'm not saying her reasons are the same as mine. I'm more likely to think you gave her the wrong impression with your "talk" and hopefully she'll feel better once you fix that. But I think a white noise machine would be a great idea if she doesn't want to hear you when she wakes up anymore.


-Heather

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#29 of 37 Old 05-31-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NightOwl
I'm sorry, but I think telling her that she shouldn't have those thoughts at her is age isn't the best idea. Children are curious about sex and do think about it. Telling her that she shouldn't have those thoughts will make her feel guilty and make her think negative things about sex. And if you're giving her a negative view about sex then of course, when she knows you're having it, she's going to feel really weird about it. just my opinion.
Good points -- I agree.
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#30 of 37 Old 05-31-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
Sashamed. I told my SO 'whatever you tell him, DO NOT tell him we were fighting'... What did my SO tell his son? You guessed it 'we were just fighting, go back to bed'... So of course, for a while after, when he heard us having sex, he would assume we were fighting.
With scrunched together eybrows and my mouth droppped, I ask "Huh?????????????????????????????"

First, I'm searching my memory bank (many, many years of having sex) and I can't find anything that sounds like fighting.

Second, WHY would a parent tell their child that they are fighting when they are doing something quite the opposite? How did he even come up with that? Why did you warn him not to say that -- has he said that before? Is that what his parents would say to him? If you were a child, would that be a plausible explanation for those noises? Would you feel lied to? Deceived? Would you trust your parents to tell you the truth about things? Is the fighting so common that's it's dismissed simply with "...go back to bed." ???

I am genuinely curious and confused here.
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