February 04, 2013,
A.H. asks from Tuscaloosa, AL on March 18, 2011
8 Year Old Girl with Curiosity About Sex
My 8 year old daughter has been writing in her "notebook" about how she wants to have sex with a boy in her class. She also has been caught accessing things on google about private parts and sex. I do not know where she is getting this. She is an only child and straight A student. We have cut off all access to internet for her. I am so upset and do not know what to do. I don't even know how to address this with her. I need some advice about how to talk with her so she wil open up to me.
So What Happened?™
Thank ya'll so much. Yes Lynn, that is my fear also! When this first became an issue I did go and get her the American Girl Body book. I am so upset and will not discuss it with her while I am so emotional about it. She is a very sensitive child and so I don't want to scare her, and I don't want to "shame" her or make her feel guilty for being curious. I don't remember being as curious as she is. We do limit her tv watching, but maybe not enough. Thank you all for you wonderful answers
G.H. answers from Chicago on March 18, 2011
Start off with asking her what she thinks 'sex' is. When I was about 13 the boy I liked asked me to 'make love'. I said yes thinking it was just kissing & maybe some touching. Boy was I wrong and way to scared so nothing happened.
Also ask her about this boy & what she likes about him & why she wants to have 'sex' with him. If need be seek the advice of the school counselor for advice.
L.M. answers from Dover on March 18, 2011
Wow...8 years old! You definately need to talk to her NOW.
You need to tell her that you know she is growing up and may be curious about the human body. Ask her to share with you what she wants to know, what she does know. Ask her what she thinks sex is (she may think it is more like just kissing) because sometimes a child will know of a word but not it's true meaning.
I would also encourage as much open communication as possible because my one thought at this age is "has someone abused her in some way?".
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L.A. answers from Austin on March 18, 2011
I meant to say conversations with you and her father only..
This is exactly the normal age for these thoughts and questions to begin happening.. even back in the day.. our 3rd grade teachers began speaking about our bodies and the changes that would be happening.. My mom would speak with me about these types of things while brushing my hair..
Get a copy of the American girl "The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls"
Speak with her in a very calm voice, with no shame. Answer her questions simply. You can also explain that these conversations should be between her and her father only. Other children when they have questions should speak with their own parents.
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C.O. answers from Washington DC on March 18, 2011
At age 8 - depending upon your school district, they may be teaching family life....a tad early - but - it's happening.
If you freak out - it will make her even more curious...if you talk to her about it - why would you want to do that? what do you think sex is? do you know what can happen when you have sex? I BELIEVE that sex SHOULD be between and husband and wife. I BELIEVE that you should wait until you are married to have sex - it's a HUGE step in life...there can be HUGE consequences in having sex.....stress your values. DO NOT FREAK OUT!!!
Cutting her off from it - isn't going to change her mind - it will probably only make her more curious. ASK HER!!! Don't be afraid to talk to her about sex. Talk to the school counselor and let them know what's going on...
Take a deep breath. IF this had been YOU when you were her age - WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE WANTED YOUR MOM TO DO?!!
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C.M. answers from Chicago on March 18, 2011
About 8 is when my daughter was curious about it. They see and hear so much about it in the media (no matter how hard you try to shelter them) so they want to know what it is. They don't really have a clue!
At 8 we got the "Where Did I Come From" book and she got the mechanics of it. Even though she had some ideas about it, and even had said some things, she really had NO IDEA what it really was! She didn't even really know that sex is for making babies. Unfortunately the media portrays sex as anything but for making babies!
We also got "The Care and Keeping of You" from the American Girl series. Once she knew the mechanics of sex and about her body, not only did the curiosity stop but she no longer makes weird comments about it.
I think it's normal that your daughter be curious and the googling thing is probably normal curiosity. She's just trying to get the info any way she can. By telling her the truth (in an age-appropriate way) and letting her know you're there for questions, she will be fine. As for writing in the notebook--she doesn't know what sex is. You could ask her what she thinks it is...and try not to giggle inside when she tells you!
3 moms found this helpful
K.D. answers from Provo on March 18, 2011
She knows that you know she was googling sex. You have a good opening right there. If she doesn't know that you read her notebook, then you need to be careful about addressing her desire to have sex with a boy in her class since she may feel like you violated her privacy in reading it. Right now you don't want to alienate her that way.
So sit her down when you have some time, maybe over a tasty dessert and in a way that is not angry or confrontational tell her that you know she has been looking up stuff about sex. Ask her what she already knows and ask her what she wants to know about it. BE OPEN with her. I don't know what your personal beliefs are about sexual activity but you need to instill in her that sexual activity is not just an expression that you like someone, that it should be saved (in my beliefs) for marriage. If you are open and non-judgemental of her in this talk you can set a foundation of communication with her that will help you greatly in the coming years. With open communication you may get her to talk about the boy in her class that she wrote she wants to have sex with. As you talk you may be intensely uncomfortable, swallow it, push it away and wade through it. You are the mom and it is your job to make this conversation as comfortable for your daughter, not necessarily for you. Good luck in this. I hope you are able to make a connection with her.
3 moms found this helpful
K.M. answers from Chicago on March 18, 2011
She is beyond ready for the sex talk mamma ... I know this may sound harsh but you really need to discuss this now. Parents who wait on this talk especially with these signs end up early grandparents. Ok, now I suggest the two of you go on a road trip or a weekend trip and talk about this seriously. My mom's plan of action (it worked) was to discuss it in the car where I could not run away and neither could she! Be prepared to hear things you may not expect to hear from her and be prepared to answer honestly ... this is an IMPORTANT part in both of your lives ... Oh and if you are nervous (kids are like dogs) she is gonna KNOW and use that to her ability.
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J.L. answers from Minneapolis on March 18, 2011
I only skimmed a few comments, and it seems no one is addressing another glaring concern you might need to address... Who is the boy? What kind of access does she have to him? How much time is she spending with him? How is she spending her free time outside of school and with whom?
All very important facts you need to know. It sounds like she already knows the mechanics of sex, and probably has gotten a healthy dose of the education mainstream media offers through t.v., music, etc., but it is more likely that this new side of her is coming from peer influence.
Is this boy inspiring these thoughts because he has told her this is what HE wants? Is there a friend who is encouraging these thoughts and behaviors? This stuff/talk/thoughts do not happen in a vacuum. She's coming in contact with a person or thing that is giving her these ideas. You need to find the source and nip it now.
You also need to make your expectations of how she conducts herself outside of the house clear now. And set clear boundaries...or as someone else mentioned...you could be a grandma not too long from now.
It's a different world out there. More and more I hear stories of trusting parents letting their kids (even as young as 8) have "innocent" sleepovers at the kid down the street's house only to find out that kid's parents allowed questionable behaviors to take place under their watch or worse...aren't even home.
Facebook, Google, and the such are a no brainer when it comes to looking for a source or outlet for your child to experiement or get access to people and things you may not approve of.
It's just time to get tough and do an inventory of everything. It's not being a controlling parent, it's being a proactive one.
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J.J. answers from Tulsa on March 19, 2011
I agree with a number of suggestions as to starting off asking your daughter to define what sex is. I have a friend who's 9 year old son asked her if she enjoyed having sex with his step dad, she couldn't believe the question, she calmly asked, what do you mean? He went on to say, well you kiss every morning, that's making love and just wanted to know if you enjoyed it. Sometimes, it's just they've heard words, they jump to conclusions and put meanings in when they don't really have the answers. She could be searching for answers online, which isn't good. They do need to come from you. But, I think starting the dialog with her with what she knows, what she wants to know, etc. is the best because you don't want to volunteer too much detailed information (becasue of your assumptions). However, if she's hanging out with kids that are discussing it, she does need more info from you. Eight is a curious age, but still seems young to be overly curious about sex with too much details. I don't envy your position at all. Best of luck to you and your daughter.