February 18, 2008,
C.C. asks from Duncanville, TX on February 13, 2008
Questions on Teaching an 11 Yr Old. Sex Ed.
Ok...here's a tough one. My eleven year old, Anthony, told me the other day that he knows he can't get a girl pregnant because his 10 year old friend told him that he does not have sperm. I totally freaked out. I was at a loss for words...but I do not want him to be misinformed like I was. I would ask my mom questions about sex when I was twelve and she would say that I was to young to know stuff like that. The next year my 13 year old friend became the mother of a baby. I talked to my son and told him that he produces sperm from the minuet he's born and will continue to make sperm even if he's 70. Help!!!! Did I say the wrong thing...I have been in the medical field for years and my father is an EMT. Should I have let my husband handle this? I did not want Anthony to be embarrassed to ask his dad, and we have an open question policy with Anthony and I. Should I have added more? Today his fellow class mates had a lecture on hormones because some of the fifth graders have been caught, for the past two days, kissing. He was not involved but he told me about the other kids getting a lecture. And some of these kids are "dating" in school and buying each other flowers for Valentines day. What the heck do I do? This is very disturbing.
So What Happened?™
I talked to my husband last night about how we were going to approach this problem. I told him I thought it was time to tell Anthony. My husband, Jeff, was upset and said he felt like he was being forced into a discussion because other kids were having "hormone problems". I told Jeff that considering both of our parents never discussed sex with us we both had confusing data growing up. And because of that we have to be sure we both are there to talk to Anthony about this. We agreed to talk to him today...but, Jeff says that he does not agree with the timing. He thinks Anthony is too young. I on the other hand disagree. So we basically agreed to disagree and will still have the talk. If you have any ideas on how to start this off let me know. I feel that a parent talking to their child about sex is uncomfortable, but if all of you give me some suggestions this should be easier.
Wonderful news.....We talked to him today about puberty, hormones, sex, and STD's. We told him about each one and asked if he had questions. We were all a little embarrassed but got through it o.k. Anthony did not have any questions. I told Anthony that if he does have questions later on to please come talk to me and ask. I also told him that if he ever feels he's at the point where he wants to have sex or feels pressured into having sex to talk to us first so that we can make a decision together. The "talk" went better than I thought. I also told Anthony that if he wants to talk about other issues such as alcohol, drugs, peer pressure, or smoking to come to me first and not to be afraid that we will "jump all over him" as he says. We told him he has an open door policy when it comes to anything he needs to question about those subjects and others relating to growing into a balanced teen. Thanks for your reply. All of the mother's here have been a great help.
G.W. answers from Auburn on February 14, 2008
I know this is the part of being parents we never think about when we hold those precious newborns, is it? LOL
Anyway, I think it's way past time for your eleven year old to know about everything, and I mean everything. It really is time for dad to sit him down or go out for some guy time and let him explain the ins and outs of all things male and female. You should be there to offer any backup info when questions come up later - and believe me, they will. Your right to assume that other kids will tell him all kind of things and 90% of it will be wrong.
I had "the talk" with my daughter a few weeks ago because it was Sanctity of Life day at church and she didn't really understand the message from the pastor about abortion. Later that night she was asking me about it so as I explained what abortion was she brought up the fact that Jamie Lynn Spears and even her Nana couldn't help that they were pregnant as teenagers because God had decided "it was the right time" which is what I had always told her since she could understand about babies. Well, I decided right there in the car on the way to Panda Express for takeout that it was time she knew that they "could help it". It went very well. What was really neat was the next day she came back with a couple more questions after she had time to think about it. She asked how a friend of her's at school had been "made" since she had two mommies so we had a talk about invitro. Then she asked me since I had the surgery to not have more babies after her twin brothers were born, does that mean that me and daddy can't do "that" anymore. LOL I couldn't believe I was rationally discussing that with my nine year old daughter! But I do feel better that she heard it from me first. And I made her promise not to discuss it at school so that other moms had the chance to teach their children first.
so, get your game plan together with your husband, there are lots of books out there if you feel you'd have too hard a time explaining it yourself. Sit your young man down and let it all come out. It won't be as bad as you think. Believe me, you don't want him going into middle school next year without this information.
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P.G. answers from Dallas on February 14, 2008
My little guy's only 10months, so I'm safe for another few years yet (LOL), but I remember a book for young people called "Hot Sexy and Safer" - I think it was for older, perhaps teenage kids, but it might have some info in there that would be helpful to you now and as he gets older. I believe the gist of it was - you don't have to have sex to enjoy a relationship with someone, and gave other things to do (definitely for the older kids). If not for now, perhaps a resource for the future?
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C.K. answers from Dallas on February 18, 2008
This is a website about "just say yes" to abstinence. There is a speaker on this web site I've hear a couple of times. Her name is Mary Flo Ridley. She believes that a child is ready to hear about sex as soon as they begin asking questions. Be careful, though, not to give too much information. Only answer the question that was asked and don't go into a lot of detail unless they ask for more information. For example, my 5-year-old began asking me about the tampons I was using and I explained what it was for so she would not freak out if she saw blood. She was totally okay with my response. I did not go into detail. Then she asked me about where babies come from. I told her from their mother's belly. She said she knew that but how did it get in there. I quoted Mary Flo Ridley on this one. I told her that God made mommies' and daddies' bodies to fit together in a very special way. I did not go into detail about sperm and fertilizing the egg, etc. I merely stated that when that happens sometimes a baby is made in the mommies womb and grows in there until it's born.
Mary Flo Ridley explains that if we are open and truthful with our children when they are young, they will be more open to asking and coming to us to talk about such things instead of asking their friends. There's a lot of wrong information out there and I'd rather my kids hear good information from me than bad information somewhere else.
Good luck to you!
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A.C. answers from Dallas on February 14, 2008
I remember coloring by the teacher's desk in 4th grade and a boy saying something to me (which I had no idea about). I was like WHAT and he said "you don't have to lie, I know, I have an older sister" and I was just in complete shock. I looked over at Mrs King and she had a funny look on her face. Just a couple days later, we had permission slips sent home for sex education, lol.
My views on it are like this: what God gave us, and how our amazing bodies function, is NOTHING to be upset about or scared of. But kids are learning earlier and earlier---you can try to shelter them, but their friends at school may watch movies you wouldn't allow, may listen to songs you wouldn't allow, may introduce games at slumber parties that would make you pass out. I feel like you don't have to get into TOO much detail but answer the questions as they come, and give them a little preparation, so children will know you have some answers. How many kids think this is something parents don't know anything about?
Another thing: when I moved to Louisiana there was NO sex education at all (for religious reasons), and the pregnancy rates among middleschool children was sky high. Crazy! Let them know what it is, guide them in how they feel about it (relationship junk), and give them good ways to stay secure enough to get out of potential situations. I think it's awesome that your son came to you! I pray my son will be able to talk to us like that when the time comes.
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T.T. answers from Dallas on February 17, 2008
I am glad to see that you sat down and talked with him. I am getting ready to do the same thing with my 11 year old. I also have a 14 year old and we had the talk in 5th grade. My oldest son and I have a very open relationship where any subject is open for discussion. He has already come to me with several questions. He will be in high school next year and I pray that he continues to come to me.
I worked at a charter school for 5 years that was prek - high school. You would not believe how young exploration is starting- whether it is from media, movies, peer pressure, desire to be loved, or abuse. Many parents do not realize that kids are starting to have sex in 5th-6th grade. It is very disturbing that they are having oral sex on buses in middle school.
Keeping that line of communication open with your kids is the best thing that you can do.
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E.D. answers from Dallas on February 14, 2008
First of all, knowledge about our bodies is NOT disturbing, in my opinion. I think you just get a book on anatomy and explain the basics. I also think it is a great thing that he came to you. I mean HAPPY DAYS!!! He came to you! You should take the opportunity to talk to him about his body and explain as much as he can "take". There are all kinds of books about body parts and sex that can help explain it...
Ask him if he'd rather you or daddy explain it to him... this may be one of those daddy/boy things... I think my husband and i will do it together, and be on the same "page".
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M.T. answers from Abilene on February 14, 2008
C.: I would suggest that you explain to your son that relationships are very complicated and something that you want to be ready for emotionally. My daughter will be 10 soon and we have already talked about periods and bras because I started early and I do not want her to be afraid if and when that happens. I think do did right to explain about sperm production. As far as Valentines my daughter took them to the whole class. She still thinks boys are yuky. You might ask your son if he likes any little girls to find out if he is just curious. If he is asking then you might want to let him know that it is important to wait till he is mature enough to handle any thing that might happen if he was to engage in sex.
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T.H. answers from Dallas on February 14, 2008
I feel you done a good job. You dont want your son to know its ok to have sex either. I have always done the same with my kids. Well I find the humor in stuff to keep them laughing too.... Like I used to tell my daughter <because she hated pain> that sex HURT REALLLLLLLLLLY BAD THAT IS WHY MOMMY DOESN'T DO IT. Till one day she got wise on me and said mom if it hurts why do you have 3 kids? Then I said ok we need to talk. lol So we had the talk and I was open with her about it. Now a days you have to becareful b/c what you say your child will tell their friends so tell your son that what yall talk about is between you two. Some parents might have a problem with it so its your secret. Good luck
S.W. answers from Amarillo on February 14, 2008
It's time to take the blinders off. Kids now days are more aware of things than they were 30 years ago. You NEED to answer your son's questions honestly. Go to the bookstore or on line and get "What's Happening to Me" book - body changes and hormones and such. It tells what is happening to the body of male and female and let him read it. Then have him ask you questions. I did this with my son (now 34) when he was little 10 to 11) because they were having sex education class at school in Europe. A friend of my son's had several girls pregnant by the time he was 12 so please do get him informed. My daughter 3 years younger at the same school when she had sex education class had to look at STD full blown pictures and to watch a real childbirth. She said that watchng the birth made her change her mind about even getting close to a guy for a very long, long time. Seemed some how the father to be got in the way of her focus point and she decked him. Kids will be kids by exploring and experimenting even when they say they don't so be prepared. I know that may shake up many of you religious women but take off the blinders and be a bit blunt and stop sugar coating everything as we don't live in glass houses. I will get off of my soapbox now.