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Age to talk with kids

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  • Age to talk with kids

    reading a few posts on this forum, has now got me wondering "at what age did you start to talk about sex with your child"

    thanks for any insights

  • also,
    Last edited by amy40; 12-12-2016, 08:18 AM. Reason: too wordy


    • I never got a complete sex talk from my parents, only a partial one from my mother and none at all from my father. Fortunately, sex ed in school made up for some of the deficit.
      I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
      Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

      From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


      • Originally posted by jns View Post
        none at all from my father. .
        Jns am surprised your dad didn't talk to you


        • I think "sex Ed" starts at birth. lol
          I think it begins with teaching about anatomy and basic self respect and for others, especially the physical parts of our bodies related to sex. Using proper terminology, hygiene, and having an open dialogue about what our bodies do.

          I don't have my own children, I want you to know. So this is my experience with nephews, nieces, and teens I've mentored over the years. I think creating an open environment is key. Allowing and welcoming their questions and curiosity on their own time, is also key. When they're ready to take on info, is when you share the info, at a level appropriate to their development. If she seems embarrassed, she may not be ready. Tho I do think some embarrassment is to be expected.

          I get very disappointed in adults that cannot use proper language for genitalia, for activities and such. I think building a comfortable vocabulary and a healthy attitude towards our bodies can be done very early, and be the foundation for the information to come later. We can achieve that fairly easily in those first few years.

          My parents never told me anything. My mom didn't even explain what my period was. This is a big reason why I'm so excited for kids to be given proper info, early and by their families. Builds trust in us as they grow up. They need to believe that they can approach us about anything and we won't be squeamish or embarrassed by it.

          So, let them guide you. Listen to their questions and comments, and listen to the maternal instincts you have.

          Oh, one more thing....make sure you read the material first, if you plan to use books. My friend got a book for his 6th grade son, and it was shameful. The material was explicit, bordering on pornographic in my opinion. And it was marketed as appropriate for 8-10 yr olds. So, be careful. And good luck!


          • Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
            I think "sex Ed" starts at birth. lol
            Allowing and welcoming their questions and curiosity on their own time, is also key. When they're ready to take on info, is when you share the info, at a level appropriate to their development. l

            that is a great answer!

            guess the question really had in mind, is when one explains sexual intercourse as know parents often let kids watch movies they shouldnt and want our child to learn from us not other kids

            wonder if there are any parents on this forum who remember what age they spoke specifics to their kids before their kids heard things on the playground


            • Well, just remember, kids will hear things from other kids. You can't really stop that, so don't worry too much about it. Their imagination will work also, and they'll dream up scenes, likely unrealistic ones. There's internet to give them ideas. The opportunity for misinformation is endless.

              I think the time for a more detailed discussion on sex, including moral values, respect and consideration of a partner (using the word no, and acceptance of no) and all the other more adult issues, masturbation, pornography, etc, can be addressed as the time approaches for their sort of awakening, and when interest in dating begins to come into their field of view. I think some need to be told more sooner, and others less and later on in their maturity.

              But again, I would approach it in stepwise fashion. Maybe explain the mechanics of sexual intercourse at 12, if they seem interested and ready, & then let them absorb that and then come back to the discussion and continue to discuss more topics.

              I think it is an error to hope to achieve adequate coverage of this in one or two chats. (not that you are) Needs to be an ongoing, developing topic over years. That's what will teach comfort with their sexual self, and trust and comfort to approach you when something does come up that they need to discuss with a parent.

              Let them guide you, and trust your gut. If you've created an environment of openness and willingness, they will come to you when they need that info.

              Something else i wanted to share, but it's escaped my mind now.
              Hope this helps.


              • This is an area of great interest to me both as a parent and as somebody who was studying to be a sex educator. I research a lot and have done a lot of reading in this area. I also have experience with my own kids.

                Sex ed is not a talk. It is a conversation that should start from day one. Just because you aren't talking about it, doesn't mean kids aren't hearing about it. It's better they get the information from you. Research shows that when it comes to matters of sex, parents are the number one influencer in a child's life. They listen to their parents more than anybody else. Even those eye rolling teenagers are listening to you.

                Start with basic anatomy, what is appropriate touching, getting them comfortable with their own body, etc. I started this conversation at 4 years old. I even explained the basics of sex to my son, my daughter a little later because she wasn't as curious. I also talked about love, types of parents (single, gay, straight, adoptive), etc. You don't have to get into the details, just the basics so when they see a gay couple in the streets, they don't start yelling, "why are they holding hands."

                As they get older, it is very important to also talk about masturbation and pleasure. You don't have to give them a tutorial, but you need to explain how sex is a lot of fun. This is especially important for girls who our society teaches not to like sex leading to many sexual dysfunctions later in life. Include conversations of consent (for boys and girls), healthy sexual/emotional relationships (if a boy is mean to you, that doesn't mean he likes you. That just means he is mean), physical and emotional abuse, sexual coercion, oral sex (many don't believe it is real sex), the emotional implications of sex, homosexuality, etc.

                Don't assume your child is straight. Be neutral in your conversation. Also, don't assume your child will want sex and relationships. "One day, if you find somebody that you think you love..." Also, don't equate sex with love. Never use the example of, "when a man and woman love each other, they make a baby..." Besides the fact it is very heteronormative, it also leaves out adoptive parents and gives the allusion that babies only happen from love.

                A good book to start of with is called, "It's so Amazing." It is a very popular series. Some additional great resources to check out (all on FB):
                -The Sex-Positive Parent
                -Laci Green
                -The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health
                Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)


                • BTW, talking about intercourse at 12 is way too late. Research shows that most 12 year olds have already seen some online porn by that age. 12 is when you start talking relationships and the emotions behind sex. I would recommend explaining intercourse around 5-6 or when they start asking. Remember, is they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to know there is something to ask about. If you don't answer them, somebody else will.
                  Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)


                  • My parents told me as early as 4, if not earlier. I actually got in trouble in kindergarten for sharing what I learned with the other kids, but it protected me around the same age when the 5-6 year olds in my daycare were experimenting sexually. I remember to this day one of the little girls laying on the ground naked with her legs open and a little boy putting a toy baby bottle into her vagina. This was in the 80's. I stayed away from what they were doing and told on them because my parents taught me everything my little brain could understand.

                    Something similar happened in the second grade when the kids in my class went berserk when the teacher stepped away for a prolonged time. Every single boy in my class got in trouble except me and a friend who also knew better. Kids are not innocent and asexual.

                    I have young students and one of the books I use that's designed for studying with very young children is fairly explicit about sex and about who should and should not touch you and how they should and should not. It came time to review with some of my students, but I was very uncomfortable because it's really ideal for parents to cover it. I reviewed with the mother first and once she understood that it was to protect her child, she was all for it.
                    "Those sowing seed with tears
                    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126


                    • Wow, this is great everyone. Thanks for all your thoughtful responses!

                      This is all a lot of good info and seems it's time to order more books as more comfortable teaching using books.
                      Thanks everyone!


                      • ok Dream.....I know I got to do "the talk" this summer (been putting it off) and really don't want to sound like I am embarassed when I do talk with kid

                        how do I get less nervous about it? DreamP346


                        • husband wants me to do talks since I'm the one who took all the science classes, not him


                          • What about it makes you nervous?

                            Your child probably already has been exposed to more than you think. You have to protect them and give them the ability to protect themselves. Knowledge is the way to do that.
                            "Those sowing seed with tears
                            Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126


                            • Originally posted by Stillness View Post
                              What about it makes you nervous?
                              .....because it's tied into value, seems huge to me, and don't want to say anything wrong

                              Thanks DreamP346
                              Last edited by amy40; 05-08-2017, 08:35 AM.


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