I’m not really sure how we got there, but apparently we have.
We may or not be at the point in our parental career where we need to be talking about sex.
Let me say this, to some extent we already have. We’ve talked to each kid about body parts (naming them with their actual name) what they are used for, etc. The older boys know where babies come from, how they are made (basically), etc. We (and by “we” I mean “Zach”) have discussed erections and various other penile goings on.
But I really feel like the older 3 are getting to ages where we should be saying more or discussing more. (Much to their chagrin, I’m sure).
So I’m looking for advice. What did you all do and at what ages? Any good books? Any good places I could send them for the next 15 years until they’ve gotten all this figured out and I can just go back to teaching them how to read, do math and, in general, have non-serious conversations?
The thing of it is, I don’t want to screw this or them up. I want them to know sex isn’t gross or bad or taboo, that it’s good (in the right context, in the right time, etc).
I don’t want them to be 14 and have sex because they’re curious about something their parents never discussed.
But I don’t want to give them more information than their young minds can hold. Or plant something in there that shouldn’t be for the next few years.
How did this happen? I swear just yesterday I was staring into the eyes of my babes as babies and/or toddlers and now this?
“What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”? Cliff notes: Babies eat, sleep and poop.
There should be a book titled, “How To Survive Conversations about Sex Without Embarrassing Yourself and Your Husband.”
Commence to the sage advice, please.
Ha ha ha. No advice here. Just glad it's you and not me 🙂 Whew … I'm never going to have teenagers 😉
So, I work as a middle school counselor, and I have this conversation WAY more than I would like. You don't know me, so take this all for what it is worth (duh, you already knew that). I work in a public school, so keeping in mind that I am limited by what I "can" say. In 4th grade, our students get a brief, but factual talk about puberty, and all of the physical and emotional changes the body goes through. We start at 4th grade because many of the girls start puberty here. We give another, more in depth talk to them in 5th grade. Much of this is a refresher from 4th grade, but the kids are all at different stages, so it helps to space it out for them. Unfortunately, we wait until the 8th grade to do any "real" sexual health education. I just finished a 2 week course called, "Powerful Choices" it is good for the public school system because it empowers the kids to make positive choices in all areas of their life. It pulls together how drugs, alcohol, etc. can have an effect on an individuals decision to have sex too early. The powerful choices are to, "Choose, excellence, ambition, success, knowledge, awareness, wisdom, courage, control, etc." The kids respond to the activities and curriculum, and while it comes from the abstinence base, we also give facts about condoms, etc. We write many letters and reminders to the parents of our students about the curriculum and what the students are learning. Part of the "homework" for this curriculum is for student/parent to have an in depth conversation about sex, and the expectation of the family. I hope some piece of this is helpful…
Ooo, I've got teenagers but I'm not sure I have any advice for you. We looked for those 'teachable moments' and kind of waited to see what the kids were wondering about. I think the BEST thing you can do is keep open conversation with them about everything, not just sex, so they feel comfortable asking those questions.We've managed to raise, I think, pretty healthy, well adjusted children. Our daughter, while not happy about it, was able to ask about birth control at a doctors appointment with my husband there as I got stuck at work. She's 16. Talk about an embarassing moment for them both. But, since he has a good relationship with her, she still felt safe asking the question.Good luck.Judy
Ha. You aren't the only one! I've just told myself to get used to laughing and being a little embarrassed–or conversations will never happen. I think I would rather error on the side of being *really* open and humorous about our body functions; than not have those talks because I'm worried about saying everything *just right*. Even though it makes more sense for the dad to talk to the boys…I realized awhile ago, that a lot of those first questions seem to be directed towards the mom; just because she tends to be home more. :-p
love it love it love it….and may I extend my best wishes for a healthy future! HA! you'll do fine and so will your brood!
I think we're in the same boat.I guess whatever we do, we just need to be honest. Making sure that they know that they can come ask questions whenever they want….and we won't laugh or shush them or tell them not to worry about that yet. Because they are going to be curious, whatever we do.We need to make sure they trust us enough to come to us.
"Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be." So when Lola was around 1 I started worrying about this. I even attempted to make my own book. I did find this book http://www.amazon.com/So-Thats-How-Was-Born/dp/0671783440/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1296597222&sr=1-1It is a little cheesy, but I think appropriate enough for the kids. Mine was made in 1983 and has a different cover than this, but I am sure it is similar. You can always borrow mine:) There is another great book that my mother-in-law got Lola about having hair down there that is great when it comes time to talk about it with her.Sorry this is so long, but I am a big advocate for parents talking to their children about sex. I was never really spoken to at home about sex. There was a few things said, but not a lot. I was raised catholic so I knew what the church believed and I knew what my sex ed books said, but I never knew how my parents felt. I wish my parents would have sat me down and talked to me about sex, which probably means I will overdue it with my kids:( 🙂 I also agree with calling them by their names. There is no shame. This is your elbow. This is your leg. This is your penis. This is your vagina. That's what they are called. Ok, I will stop now. Good luck!
My mother-in-law is a counselor at Edgerton and does a lot of classes at the schools on sex ed. Also classes for parents on how to talk to your kids. She is an AWESOME women and had some great ideas. She said that Planned Parenthood has a great website on how to talk to your kids. So here it is http://www.plannedparenthood.org/parents/how-talk-your-child-about-sex-4422.htm Also she said that let them know that this isn't the only conversation that you will have that you can talk about it anytime and that to have books and have them out so they can look at them if they have questions.
Great post. I think this is super important to our kids leading healthy sex lives in the future. This woman always post great, thought provoking stuff on s.ex. A good example is this resent post: http://www.welcometomybrain.net/2011/01/masturbation-nation.htmlWe have some junk in our family history that brought the conversation up sooner than I might have started but I'm thankful to be able to arm my kids with information for their protection. It is not only the talk about s.ex when they are ready to have it consentually, but it is important to talk about how others might try to force them etc. Abuse is at every age and usually happens from people you are close too. Get the word out that unwanted touching is NEVER ok.
So I am all over this. I have two daughters, ages 8 and 10, and a 2 year old son. The girls started asking because they can read…you would be shocked how much the word sex is out there. Sure, I told them about periods when my oldest entered an upper elementary school and I thought she should know. But then one day in the car, she asked "how are babies REALLY made mom?" (second hardest question after "is the Easter Bunny real?") I just laid it all on the table. the penis goes in, fertilizes the egg…yadda yadda. Then they asked if daddy and I ever did that. I told them we had them, didn't we? Hence, I have succeeded in convincing another generation of children that the ONLY time their parents had sex was to conceive them (or in the case of my son, his birth mom and birth dad).The thing that has worked best for me? Answer the questions they ask. They will tell you when they have heard enough (signified by giggles or "GROSS!") but for little people, that's totally appropriate. Always be honest, too. I will say I am glad my girls have a little brother so the whole anatomy thing doesn't come as complete shock like it did to me when I was…oh…older!
My vote is to tell them that all sex leaves them blind and masturbation makes their arms fall off then run off crying chanting the Lord's Prayer… That's what we were taught and it totally worked….. Also, a little fun for the next time you eat lasagna, Teshe calls a vagina and lasagna, the "lagina" (think Lasagna, China, and Vagina all mixed together) You're welcome 🙂
How old are your kids? I thought they were younger – like 8 and under?Anyhow, someone recommended Passport 2 Purity. I believe it's a book & CD set. You are supposed to individually take your child away for the weekend and go through it together. I haven't done it yet (my oldest is 8, I'm thinking in another year or year and a half), but it got great reviews on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Passport2Purity-Book-Set-Dennis-Rainey/dp/1572296569/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296794724&sr=8-1