January 05, 2008,
R.A. asks from Tulsa, OK on January 01, 2008
How to Talk About Sex to 7Yr. Old
I need to find out how I should talk to my 7 yr. old son about sex? He is trying to explore with his sister. I am keeping a close eye on him now that my daughter told me. He had cloths on but layed on top of her and tryed to hump on her. I need some help on the way I should explain this to him with out the large details. But still telling him the truth about all of this.
So What Happened?™
I did a lot of searching I found a book called Whats the big Secret? That I thought was good with not to much details. I have talked to my son about respect again. We had a talk about going to the bathroom if he want to look and explore himself (only). We talked about touching and that he needs to keep his hands and other body parts to himself. I also let him know if he does have any questions he can come to me anytime. This is how my son found out about laying on someone (adult swim).
I bought him a new tv because I cought him watching adult swim one night now he can't by pass the v-chip. I just don't understand why they would put that on cartoon network at 8 at night.
J.W. answers from Tulsa on January 02, 2008
I agree with Kay W. Having an open and frank conversation now will lead to continued openness and frankness in the future. Making sex taboo or intimidating with religion or anything else will only foster more secrecy and more unhealthy expression. And I'm not sure which of the large details you want to leave out, because you might leave out the one that makes it all very clear to him why he can't be doing that kind of thing to girls right now, much less his sister. If you feel totally uncomfortable talking to him about his urges and how to- er- handle them, you might enlist the help of a trusted male friend or fatherish figure. I know I would need to. Your first step is definitely to get yourself educated (this is one of those things where your anecdotal experience is probably not a good idea) so that you can feel confident and project that authority when you talk with him. If you feel uncertain, check with your pediatrician for advice about why he's doing this now and even for tips about how to talk to him.
A.B. answers from Kansas City on January 02, 2008
In a parenting class my husband and I took when our oldest was only 2, the teacher said that you need to teach them about sex long before you think they're ready for it. If you wait until you think they're old enough, they're too old. Think about it... When kids hit that pre-teen/teen stage they listen far more to their friends than to their parents. With your 7 year old, he probably still listens to what you have to say (even if he doesn't let it show!). If you tell him all about sex now, while he still thinks it's weird or thinks girls are "icky" he'll actually hear you and learn a lot, and probably be grossed out enough not to even think about actually doing anything about it until he's old enough to actually rationally think about it.
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K.C. answers from Kansas City on January 02, 2008
I agree with Kay. I think sex talk begins when talking begins. Not in-depth or anything, but you need to let your kids know that they can come to you for that sort of advice. If it doesn't seem like he is interested in the sex aspect, or talking about it (if it seems above him, not just if he seems uncomfortable), explain to him that we need to respect other people's bodies and that is not respectful to his sister. Find out why he was doing it (if he saw something on TV or something) and get him talking about that. It might open up some great dialogue.
H.B. answers from Kansas City on January 02, 2008
I agree, this is definitly something you should jump in on right now and talk to him about. There is a lot of information available that is great to learn how to talk about things. Make sure you are prepared for the 20 questions, because they will come. Also, does he have a close male figure? Church, grandpa, etc? Ask them if they would be willing to have a conversation with him if he wants to talk to a "guy" about it. I know that I always felt more comfortable talking about my "girl" issues with my mother or sisters. See if you can't get that avenue available for him. There is nothing wrong with him starting to explore now (as in there is nothing you could do differently to delay this), but it is something that will need to be stopped and also gives you the chance to have some time teaching your child. My children are 5 and 3 and I am sure I will be starting the talks in a couple years.
G.W. answers from Dallas on January 05, 2008
I believe that you can discuss how babies are made (like on Animal Planet) and then explain, "Animals don't get married to have babies but people do." I guess it all depends on your position on that, but if you strongly want him to not have sex before marriage then I would agree with Suzi, tell him that sex is only for married people to enjoy, and that trying to make a baby without being married is not okay.
On the TV thing, I know watching their every move is a pain sometimes but it is so important! I mean, watch and allow them to make their own mistakes within the careful guidance of you. That doesn't mean never allowing them to try things on their own but you can monitor exactly what it is that they try. And, yes, they will eventually find out things on their own but you can help control at what age those things are exposed to them.
Good luck with your son. Most importantly, tell him you love him (I'm sure you already have) and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, even you. I think kids like to empathize with their parents, feeling like they might know where the kid is coming from.
T.B. answers from Oklahoma City on January 02, 2008
I am wondering if you have said anything or asked your son about what your daughter said your son did? What is his mind set on what he did, why did he do that. I think it is important to find out where he is or what he is thinking before an assumtion is made. I'm just thinking the amount of information given to him at his age can be based on his mind set. What did he think he was doing, why did he do that, those kind of questions can quide you on the information you need to provide him at this point. I don't think he his to young to learn where babies come from or how they are made, but the topic of sex as a whole may not need to be addressed at this point. I think the other topic that needs to be talked about is privacy, respect, and inapropriate touchingand behavior. Explaining to him that boy and girls are made different and why is a great lead in to how babies are made. I think that your family unit needs to keep privavcy at the top of the list. All things that revolve arround dressing and undressing like shower and bath time, going to the bathroom and changing clothes needs to be done behind closed doors. And when the door is shut for privacy that needs to be respected. In other words brother does not need to see mom or sister w/o clothes on, he should not be allowed to because it's private. Nor should sister get to see brother. I also think it is important to impress upon both children that their bodies are theirs and they are private. No one gets to touch them or see them except a dr. or mom and if anyone tries to or wants to touch them, kiss them, see them (even a dr.) and they feel uncomfortable they have the right to say no and if the person continues or forces them they need to know it's ok to tell you or any adult. I have to say your daughter should be given a gold star (and so should you) for feeling comfortable enough to tell you what her brother did. I doubt her brother ment any harm he just needs to know it is not appropriate. Those boundries need to be set understood and not crossed before you give your son to much info. that could backfire. He may have some ideas, but before he gets all the facts he needs to know we don't get to touch anyone anyway we want when we want, and no means no that goes for him too. He gets to say no too. We are all sexual by nature and he knows what feels good, he did the very first time he reached down and grabbed himself during a diaper change. And that part falls under privacy as well. Kids play and explore with their own bodies and that needs to be done in private as well. I would guess he is probably getting some info. from friends as well. Because no matter how much you watch what he watches, games he plays, and how you or what you teach him at home there is no telling what goes on in the homes of his friends. So I would let him know he can ask you or talk to you about anything that comes up when he is with friends. It is a good idea to keep an eye on him and his sister together and what he sees or what is done arround him. I just think before you have a full blown sex talk you need to set the boudries and enforce the respect and privacy, talk about what is appropiate and that it always ok to say no and always ok to tell and talk about whatever. And also before you determine how much of the sex talk to have find out what he knows and where he is or what he thinks on the subject. And that is also important because you may need to correct a few things. No matter how much you determine is the right amount to talk about with him use the right names for stuff, but also clue him in to some of the silly names so he knows you know them. That part kid of breaks the ice and brings a few giggles. I had one mom tell me once she had an esier time talking with her kids about those kids of things back to back. She did say when it came to the serious stuff like privacy, repect and no means no she looked them straight in the face so they understood the importance of that part of the subject. Anther good tool for the sex part of the conversation is a book called Where did I Come from. It is all in cartoon pictures and silly looking to kind of make it ok to giggle a little. I just think he needs some information, and correct information and to know the subject is always open for discussion.
I wish you and your family all the best in the world and I also want to say I am so very sorry for your families loss. I know it can't be easy and you have my fullest respect for dealing with such a loss and continuing on as a great and involved mom.
Please keep us all posted on how things work out and what works.
Best wishes and stay well
M.L. answers from Tulsa on January 02, 2008
My son and his friends did this sometime between ages 5 and 7. I think they see animals do this on TV when mating (Animal Planet). Since he is only seven I would leave it alone and that behaviour will stop abruptly. When he is closer to 11 or 12, then you will need to think about this subject again.
K.W. answers from Tulsa on January 02, 2008
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with the moms who said not to tell him anything at this point. If he is already curious about sex, NOW is the time to talk to him, not in 3 or 4 years. You can talk with your pediatrician about appropriate ways to discuss the matter, or go to your library to check out age-appropriate books, but if he doesn't hear about it from you, he's going to keep trying to find out about it some way or another. Don't try to scare him, but explain the basic facts of how things work to create a baby. It's also important that he realizes that he needs to stop what he's doing with his sister. While it's normal for kids to be curious about their bodies, and about the opposite sex, this is not behavior that you want to continue. Don't be afraid to talk to him, but do it in a way that isn't embarrassing. You have an opportunity here to open up a dialogue between you and your children that can last well into their teenage years--I have a 15 year old and 11 year old, and have always been very open and honest about things they had questions about. My 15 year old son still talks to me about questions he has about sex, and even opened up to me about his concerns because his best friend has tried to have sex with his girlfriend (they keep getting interrupted) and wanted to know if I could talk to him (the friend) about unwanted pregnancy, HIV, STDs, etc. since he isn't comfortable talking to his parents. I really believe that my son trusts me that much because I didn't brush him aside or tell him "you're too young to know about that" when he first started asking questions when he was just about your son's age. Good luck, and don't be afraid to be honest with your kids.