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Sex Talk!!! 10 Years Old to Young?

My 10 year old daughter recently asked me where babies come from, not knowing what to say I changed the direction of the conversation giving very little info. She was kind of satisfied with my answer; enough not to ask again. I am wondering if I should tell her a little more then when you have a husband you can have a baby. She knows they come from the belly and how that kind of works but not the conception part at all. Is it too early to tell her? If it's not too early what do I say? How much is too much? I could use some advice here.

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So What Happened?™

Well after reading all the advice I am thinking that I should have a talk with her. I think I was hoping that I would hear responses saying its too young and 10 is just a baby. lol... I guess I just have to face the fact that my baby isn't a baby anymore. And to all of you who said that the world is different now and sex is talked about and had earlier your right and I would rather her hear it from me then distorted from some kid... thanks to all the wonderful mothers that helped me.

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My mother told me how sex works when I was 7 0r 8. I asked, she explained. I was glad for it to, I didn't have to learn it at school or on the bus. I received the "grown up" explaination. Kids are going to hear about it sooner or later at school....it's better if it comes from you.

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My Mom's rule was always to truthfully answer any questions that any of us asked her....she never set us down and told us or "had the talk" we just always knew that when we had questions we could ask....and some of her answers made us ask more questions. My brother is 11 and has ask many questions and my parents answered his questions....I guess I look at it this way: If you dont tell them...someone will...and someone else may give them the wrong or distorted information...children are talking and learning about things much younger now than they used to and like I stated it you dont give them the info they need they will find it elsewhere.

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Hay.. a great book... where do babies come from and the other book is why my body is changing.. When my son asked, he was also 10.. he heard others talking.. and I didn't want him to get the wrong answers from me.. so I went to the book store and bought where do babies come from first... then read it with him.. and asked him to comment or ask questions.. he loved the book... and since we have an open talk about things.. I would rather he get info from me.. and not his friends or the internet...

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Hi M. - If you are religious at all (or even if not) there is a great program I did with my girls called Passport 2 Purity - it is put out by Focus on the Family so you could search on their site for it. It includes a workbook and audio CDs that talk about a variety of subjects about sex in a really preteen friendly way. The idea is you take your preteen somewhere for a girls or boys weekend (Dad does it with the boys) and do the exercises and lessons and talk about it all. My daughters were 12 and 10 when I did it with them and they found it to be a fun experience. They talk about modesty and dating as well as the nuts and bolts about sex but in a factual way that wasn't awkward for each of us. There is a Christian perspective but if that doesn't suit you, you could easily leave out those parts or tell what your beliefs are. Anyway just thought I'd toss that out there, it was really a fun getaway for us and we covered a lot of things that now as they are getting older we can refer to - remember when we talked about this? Or remember that lesson? It is great! Good luck!
K.

PS: I want to add that what is so special about this approach is that you are having discussions and experiencing object lessons together, it opens up the communication vs. just giving them a book and seeing if they have questions. Plus it is a really fun time spending one on one time with your emerging teen, it brought us all closer! You end with a little gift representing them growing up, for mine I gave them their baby ring on a gold chain and now my oldest is 14 and wears that to her school dances!

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there is a great public education website for parents called "Parents Speak Up" - it helps parents talk to their preteens (10-13 year olds) about sex and waiting to have sex. Teens say parents are their #1 influence on making decisions about sex - you would rather your daughter hear from you than someone else. Go to http://4parents.gov/talkingtoteen/index.html for helpful info. GOOD LUCK!

4 moms found this helpful

My son at 4 years of age when we were in the zoo and ended up in front of the bear exhibit when the male bear was on top of the female asked me every question in the book. I came home and told my husband that the 7 year old knew the bears were loving each other...he went on to the giraffes:) but his brother knew everything. It is not too early to answer her questions. Dr. James Dobson has a great book "Preparing for Adolescence" that we used with all our children when they were about 11 years old. If you are open to her, she will continue to have a good relationship with you as she becomes a teen. If you don't answer her questions when she is still open and willing to ask you can hurt your relationship with her so that she will go elsewhere for answers.
Wish you the best.
H.

4 moms found this helpful

Nope! 10 years is not too young. We've been chatting with our now 8-year old son about human sexuality all his life---not sex, but human sexuality. He learned the correct name for his "private parts" just like he would learn the correct name for any other body part. We explained how God designed every part of his body to work a certain way and through the years, we've simply answered questions he's asked when he asked them in terms appropropriate for his age. Stan and Brenna Jones have written a series of children's books to help parents who feel they want this support ~ they also wrote an excellent book for adults as to why it is so important to teach kids all along and not just wait for one exclusive talk. If kids are given adequate answers from their very own parents, they won't go elsewhere for what might be wrong information, bad answers, etc. Also, in the past, young children used to be exposed to "reproductive relations" often when society was agricultural and farm animals mated, gave birth, etc. Few have exposure to this process anymore. Long story; short....after 8 years of explaining things appropriate to his age, our son now understands human reproduction as a miracle from God and that the activity that leads to a baby is for husband and wife who love one another. He knows the different words used--that when I talk to my OB/GYN, we will use the term "intercourse" but mom and dad call it "making love" while some call it "having sex" or maybe some words that shouldn't be used. We also explained that, like most things in this world--food, internet, money, television-- it can be a wonderful thing or it can be misrepresented or practiced in inappropriate ways that can lead to some health problems. And just as food, internet, money, television can be gifts, they can also be used in wrong ways that can lead to problems. We never let a question go unanswered or a feeling he has go unexplained. (Mom, my buns kind of tickle when I see "L" b/c she's just so cute! Son, that's a natural part of your body changing and it's a healthy sign that your body is working the way it should. Daddy's body did the same thing when he was your age) We've used all this as a springboard for talking about resisting temptation (because there will be a lot of it....just like now he's tempted to eat too much ice cream or spend his money on a toy he'll quickly tire of only to want to spend $ on another one), delaying gratification (waiting for marriage) It's also opened up conversations about fertility issues, birth control, and STDs....again, all in age appropriate ways that he understands so he can dialogue about it. He knows he can expect to have active sweat glands in his underarms, to have hair grow in the same places he has seen it on Daddy, etc. It is all very comfortable for us all to talk about b/c we've talked about it from the time he was curious about anything (3 yrs old)and from the standpoint of human sexuality and reproduction as well as from a biblical view...i.e....it is God's design for husband and wife to enjoy this aspect of their marriage...anyway, check out the Jones' books and start chatting and keep chatting with your kids as early as possible in age appropriate ways. Truly, we are so glad that we've handled it the way we have through the years...thank goodness for the prompting I got from a mother who was more experienced (3 grown FINE MEN)She recommended the Jones' book and I jumped on the opportunity to read them. So, if you have a chance to discuss this with wiser, more experienced moms who are happy with the way they handled this with their kid, go for it...we might as well learn from those who've been there and from those who regret not being more open with their kids.

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Hey M.,
I just joined this website so I'm new but I have to share something with you. When my daughter was 7 a girl in our church got pregnant, not married of course. My daughter asked how was it that Susan was pregnant and didn't have a husband. Like you I gave as little information as possible hoping it would pass. She persisted. Finally, when Susan's baby was born, she asked me "Mama, just EXACTLY how is it that Susan has a baby and doesn't have a husband". I told her I would explain it to her but she would have to give me some time to think about it. Well, I started praying about how I was going to handle this. I was in a Christian bookstore one day and a book almost jumped of the shelf at me. It was entitled "How Babies are Wonderfully Made". It was by Larry Christensen, an author that I was familiar with so I bought it. It has large print for younger children and smaller print for older children so you can use it now and again later when she's older and needs more information. My children are grown now but I have recommended this book to SO many people. Hope with will help you too.
God Bless

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M.,
I am a little late to the dance, so to speak, and just read your question and subsequent answers.

You are in a tough spot here. You are uncomfortable about this conversation with your daughter, mostly because it is one of those stages of her growing up and away from you and becoming more of an independent person. (Don't worry. She'll be forty and still leaning on you for comfort and guidance!) If and when you do decide to have 'the talk' with your daughter. Wait until she provides an opportunity to reopen the discussion. If the last question about sex and babies was recent, now would be a good time to sit down with her and say, "Remember when you asked me the other day about where babies come from?"
Ask her is she has talked about it with her friends or heard from anyone else. This will provide you with a good way to gauge just what she knows - or thinks she knows - that did not come from you.
Base your discussion on that information.
Don't be afraid to use anatomical language if you believe she can deal with it.
Encourage her to ask questions during your talk.
Lastly, and most importantly, let her be your guide as to how much to tell or not tell at any given point. Ten year-olds can be curious but not really want all the naked facts, so to speak. If she seems to be getting uncomfortable with the discussion, she's gotten enough.

Ideally, you should have had some form of this discussion when she was much smaller, as apparently you have since you state that she is already aware of some of the process. Build on that. Also, now and in later conversations and to whatever degree the discussion progresses, be sure to instill in her your own belief systems as far as sex and sexuality. Make sure she understands that having sex is more than just two people copulating. And making love is more than satisfying one's immediate desires. Keep her on track of what you believe by repeating, in various ways, the importance of restraint and self-control not just in sex but in all things.

The fact that your daughter came to you and asked you is the best sign in the world. It shows she trusts you enough to talk about what she already knows is a sensitive topic. Good luck!

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Hi M.,

Age 10 is not too young to start discussing sex and puberty--my youngest daughter had her first period at age 10!!!! If you haven't already discussed puberty with her by now, then please do so in a casual one on one setting. Once you start talking about the changes her body will be making, the reasons why will be easier to share with her. Be very factual and use correct terminology. Allow her to ask questions and let her know you'll always be available to answer them for her. By starting now and having a good relationship, she'll be more likely to come to you as a teenager and share.

Another thing I learned when the kids were younger (I have three teenagers now), was to talk about stuff while we were in the car. We didn't have to be face to face, the radio could still be on so there wouldn't be awkward silence and if there was things I wanted them to know, they couldn't get up and leave. Towards the end of middle school, I also told them what some of the vulgar terms meant. I wanted them to be prepared if they heard those terms used in a locker room etc. They were also asked to stop their friends from using such words.

Sure hope this help!

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Hi M.,
I know that you have received a TON of responses, all of which I would second. I just wanted to add a dose of reality to what was said about not being too young to discuss it. I am a fifth grade teacher and this past year one of my 11 year old students got pregnant. It is still to hard for me to talk about, but please do whatever you can to arm her with all the facts she needs to make good choices. Being a teacher I see all too frequently that the world has changed drastically!
Some girls are getting their periods in 3rd grade. Your daughter will be exposed to very street savy kids, so you should definitely be clear about what your beliefs and morals are and help her develop her own!
Thanks for being an involved parent (on behalf of teachers out there)

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Hi M., my fiance found a book called "Its Perfectly Normal" by Robie H Harris, and covers EVERYTHING about girls and boys, our changing bodies, sex, etc. Ive been to chicken to read it yet (my girls just turned 8 & 9), but it seems like a real good book, and has helpful kid-friendly illustrations :}

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I agree...Run out and buy THE AMERICAN GIRL's GUIDE TO YOUR BODY. It is EXCELLENT! I bought it for my 8 year old and we read it together. I got it on Amazon.com Also another book that goes in more detail is My Body what's the Big Secret...It answers all the ?'s We sat together for over an hour and it went really good. I did have to explain to her not to share any of this with her friends that it is very private and they need to talk with their own parents.

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Chiming in late, but definitely do get started on this topic.

I would like to underscore a couple of points:

You don't have to buy books--that's what the library is for, and the reference librarian of the children's section will know more about age-appropriate materials than your bookseller. I remember as a teen being rather comforted by the obvious signs of wear and tear on such books--clearly a lot of people had the same questions I did!

You definitely want her to get the right information first. If you wait, she'll start picking up wrong information, and it'll stick because she won't know that it's BS. And she'll fill in the missing links with guesses and confusion. I was grateful as a child that I knew that all the crazy stuff my friends were starting to say about sex was WRONG. Of course, I was only too happy to correct them! (What if my info had been wrong too, see what I mean?) So arm your child with facts and confidence.

When my own comes to a certain age I plan to add to the physical explanation by saying: I know you're not me, but I can tell you my experience because it came as a surprise--I had really underestimated the emotional impact of sex. Because my body was ready, I was in love, and I was not a young kid anymore, I didn't realize that sex would nonetheless open up a whole can of emotional worms. Not a pretty metaphor but still true, LOL.

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I am so happy to hear you are having the talk with your daughter. I am a coordinator for a teen moms group and we have moms as young as 13 in our group. Talking to her now and being involved in all aspects of her life is so important. Good luck with your talk!!!

T.

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Okay, I think I missed this the first time around, but I wanted to offer up a little help now that you are going to have the talk. My daughter is 9. She's already begun developing and I've been debating myself how much I should go into with her about all of this stuff. We had her 9 year physical just this week and the doctor confirmed that yes in deed puberty has begun, but it's very early on. But I want her to know what to expect to happen to her body and stuff before it happens. So I was told about this book called "The Care and Keeping of You". I just took it out from the library and every night my daughter and I read a little bit of it together. She of course was curious and began looking through it already and there are pictures in there (well drawings really) of breasts and inserting a tampon. So she was curious about that so we read a little about it and then she didn't want to read anymore because I told her that her period is one of the last things that will happen to her as she goes through puberty. So then she wanted to start from the beginning. It has been a great conversation starter with her. Sometimes she asks silly questions. Like why does plaque have a q in it? She actually asks if we can read it though so it has been a lot of help. Now this isn't exactly going to help with the actual "sex talk" as it doesn't go into that, but I've found this a good beginning. We'll discuss her changing body and once she knows everything that's going to happen then I can explain (hopefully with another book from the library, hehehehehe) why all of these changes do happen to our bodies. Good luck with the talk. I know I've been putting this off not wanting to believe that it's true she's starting to become a woman, but I realized that I definitely do not want her getting wrong advice from someone at school or something. And this way she knows she can talk to me about ANYTHING. So if someone tells her something that she's not sure about having to do with sex or her changing body she knows that she can come to me and I'll give her a straight answer and won't avoid her like the plague or something. Good luck!

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My mother and I started our periods at the young age of 9. So we started getting our daughters ready for that first. My oldest is entering Middle school (6th grade) and we were told by a friend that we needed to have "the talk". Her daughter is going into 7th grade and has already had a friend lose her virginity and another girl in her class had an abortion (we don't believe in that) and another girl in 7th grade is pregnant. We don't want our girl learning from others the facts of life in a sick and distorted manner. We plan, as parents, to sit her down and talk with her together right before school starts. So, when she asks questions I can't answer or vice versa we both are there. Or when she wants to know why I was so young losing mine, her dad can say honestly that he waited. Prepare her now and you won't have to deal with the ugly side of teenage life later. Good luck and God Bless.
P.S. Sorry this response is so late.

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I am a volunteer counsellor at our local pregnancy center, which is a christian ministry. The center does pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and lots of abstinence talks and discussions with women and girls of all ages. I can tell you that I have seen very, very young girls come there for pregnancy tests, having lost their virginity before their teen years. so, yes, PLEASE start now talking to your daughter about the facts of life, before she hears about it from somebody else who may not have your morals! You don't have to overload her with all the info right away, but it is important to establish that rapport that will bring her to you first with any questions about sex, etc... God Bless!

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Please try to be frank, honest, with no "shameful" slant to the subject. The more kids realize sex is normal and healthy and something very precious there won't continue to be a stigma or overwhelming curiosity about it.
I grew up in a very relgious household and a vagina was referred to as "down south" and when I asked my Mom what masturbation was she replied, "Its when a man touches himself 'down south' and its a dirty sin". I was nine at the time, and perplexed as to why a man would be motivated to do such a thing (I am now married with two kids and have a good understanding why! ;)) That was the attitude about sex in my family.
I was VERY curious.
I got pregnant at age 16.
I don't know if you would say this is cause and effect, just take it for what it is worth. For the record, I chose Life, and my son is the best thing that ever happened to me, although I don't typically recommend teen pregnancy to get one's life together, it just happened that that is what happened for me.
I think there is some great advice given here an this subject. Good luck and remember, ignorance will not be bliss when it comes to this subject.

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My mother told me how sex works when I was 7 0r 8. I asked, she explained. I was glad for it to, I didn't have to learn it at school or on the bus. I received the "grown up" explaination. Kids are going to hear about it sooner or later at school....it's better if it comes from you.

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M. she's going to be getting the talk soon at school. At our school they talked about the 3 different types of sex - oral, anal and vaginal, and the STD's. You may want to ask if she has any questions and then answer them as simply as possible. I think I gave more information than my daughter really wanted at that age. One child would like more details another not, so you have to gage it by your child and their maturity. I think not to go into way too much detail, be as simple as possible and honest as possible. You can use books if it helps. When they have the talks in Health Education ask if she has any questions and if it all made sense to her.

Take care,
K.

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Hi M., I am a pediatric nurse and deal with this topic alot. We have a wonderful book available in the office to make reprints, book is put out by American Girl Co. called The Care of You, The Body Book for Girls. This book is great to help parents discuss many uncomfortable topics with their daughters. The cost is about $10.00 at any book store, well worth the money. At age 10 she should be getting prepared for starting her menses and this book will help with that too. Good luck.

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Hi M.. I'm a mother myself of 2 girls (14 and 11) realizing that we live in a world that is obsessed with sex, my husband and I have been having conversations about healthy sexual relations and all it comes with it from an early age. As reference, they both own and study a Bible base book called "Young people ask...answers that work" It deals with subjects like:
You and your peers
How can I cope with Peer pressure
Sex and morals
What about sex before marriage
How can I say no to pre-marital sex
Dating, Love and the opposite sex
I'm I ready to date

and others subjects dealing from relationships with parents, siblings, friends, body image and other subjects that pre-teens and teens go thru.

It has questions to stimulate the readers learning and it is not base on human thinking or philosophy, but what God's word the Bible says about it.

I has helped a great deal. They both have their own copy and we parents have ours so we can discuss it together. Let me know if you are interested in a copy, free of charge.

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My Mom's rule was always to truthfully answer any questions that any of us asked her....she never set us down and told us or "had the talk" we just always knew that when we had questions we could ask....and some of her answers made us ask more questions. My brother is 11 and has ask many questions and my parents answered his questions....I guess I look at it this way: If you dont tell them...someone will...and someone else may give them the wrong or distorted information...children are talking and learning about things much younger now than they used to and like I stated it you dont give them the info they need they will find it elsewhere.

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I know I am late coming into this, but I wanted to share my experience with you. I have three children 10,8 and 3. Both of my girls asked me about the baby when I was pregnant with our youngest. My oldest was 7 I gave her as much info as I thought she needed themn asked if she had questions, she did and I gave her more. We did that until she and I felt satisfied. She knows what sex is, how baby's are made and why contraception can be dangerous (all three of mine are birth control babies). We did not discuss oral or anal or any thing other than how sex makes a baby until she turned 10. My eight year old was 5 then, I gave her much more limited information, but her sister filled her in and I discovered where my older one had gotten confused after hearing them talking and having my younger one come to me. I then sat down with them both and explained more to them. In school this year we were informed they were going to sex ed and could opt out if they chose. I decided to allow my daughter (10 year old) to go, but I talked with her first and gave her more info, I included my younger daughter having learned my lesson the last time. My Ten year old is shaving her arm pits, wearing deodorant and we just went to pick out a training bra for her. My mom thinks she will start her cycle by the end of the year. So if not now, when? I still think of her as a baby, but her body is obviously in disagreemetn with me. I would rather her have my input and honesty than me talk to her like a baby, and have her friends telling her. Plus, by middle school they will hear everything you want kept from them, so you might as well beat the other kids to the punch.
In closing I would like to share a bit of reality check humor with you:

Sally comes insode from playing one day and asks her mother:
"Mommy where did I come from", knowing this question would eventually come up, Sally's mother had prepared herself with books, diagrams, speaches and all the other material she could. She explained all about baby's and marriage, sex, and birth control. When she was done she asked Sally if she had any questions, Sally responded with:
"Um, yeah, I am glad to kn ow how baby's are made, but where did I come from, Jane is from New Hampshire, and I was just wondering?"

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M., I've recently been through the same thing with my oldest daughter. The mandatory health classes in schools in our area now start at 4th grade, 10 years old!!!! We started my daughter out with the physiology behind her own sex organs, which did help that we were in college for health related studies. She had free reign to that section of our anatomy books, so when she was put into the first portion of the healthclass. We did the same thing when it came to the male anatomy, while also telling her that there was going to be a lot of talk from her friends, and some of what she heard may or may not be true, so to come and talk to me with any questions no matter how embarrasing. Each night of health class she and I would take some private time together and she would tell me about it, and I would ask her if she had any questions. It seemed to have worked pretty well, because a year later, she is still coming to ask for private talk time to ask me questions she would be embarrased about. This also allows my younger two to not be involved in such conversations until we feel they are old enough.
:)

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only you really know how mature your 10 year old is. since little girls mature faster than little boys she might be ready for you to explain it to her very slowly. the way little girls mature now, she is probably right around the corner from starting her menstrual cycle. I would start the conversation and see how she reacts, that would be my measure of how far I could go. Good Luck.

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You have so many responses I didn't read through them all, but I just wanted to make sure you had this info---run out and buy THE AMERICAN GIRL's GUIDE TO YOUR BODY. It is EXCELLENT! I bought it for my 9 year old and we read it together. You can buy it at any Barnes & Noble or Borders...

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You've received some great responses here! I wanted to let you know that I designed a "Sexual Ethics and Values Worksheet", that can be a great starting point for a conversation. There are directions for starting a conversation using the worksheet in the beginning of it.

"Values are core beliefs. Ethics are behaviors that come out of your values. This worksheet will help you find out what your values are, and help you to act in accordance with your personal ethics."

You can download the worksheet for free as a bonus for joining my e-zine list. If you're interested join my list, and you'll get the link to the download. You can do that at my site.

Please let me know if I can help further.

Peace.

-L.

To all those responding to this:
Please, please, please have basic, age-appropriate, TRUTHFUL sexual talks with your children before they are 12+ years old. You cannot even watch a shampoo commercial today without a sexual reference. Many 12 - 14 year olds have children of their own. My mother had a basic sex talk with me at 6 because she learned from my older brother and sister that if your child rides a school bus, no matter their age, they will learn about sex. This was very true. It was wonderful that I had basic, honest information that I could use to combat nonsense and gossip about sex. No matter your school, income, religion, etc., please be realistic. Your pre-teens have been exposed to many images, ideas, kids on the bus, kids at school, etc., etc., etc. It is so much better that they learn from you. Waiting until your child is a teenager is much too late. Are you going to wait until they have a drug problem to talk to them about what drugs are and how they work?

My personal opinion is she is to young you only need to tell her what is appropriate for her age maybe start researching in the library for age appropriate books talking about bra's and boys keeping sex and baby making for marriage which so many people have distorted along with dressing modestly (start while she's young) teaching her to respect who she is and that she is loved for who she is having a good relationship with her father will also be good start researching

My daughter is ten and just started her peroid in June!! If that's not a wake up call. But, before that, she is shaving, has to wear deodarant, and has boobs!! Bluntly put, and hair down south. So obviously, we had to talk to her at a VERY early age. When she was 7 she had a boy tell her that he wanted to have sex with her! So our house is very open and we have an open round table (dinner time) when we talk about drugs, alcohol and sex. I have a six year old son, that is so out there, I am not sure how he is going to be!!

I say the sooner the better. I am 38 and my mother did not have any conversations with me AT ALL.

I am a 38 SAHM with a 10 and 6 year old.

I think giving her some limited and basic information wouldn't hurt. She may have already picked up some playyard info from school and would like to know if its true. When my son asked about certain things... I'd usually say.. Why do you ask?... and he'd say.. well, so and so told me this, is it true?
Also, I work in medical billing... youngest girl I've ever had as a patient was 12 when she got pregnant... so, you don't want to put it off to long.

Good luck..

I don't think 10 is too young. My daughters are in college and talk with us about lots of things. As they've asked questions my husband and I have always tried to talk with them.

How you talk with them is as important as what you say. Be calm (sit down if your knees are shaking). Make it age appropriate and be honest.

There are books at the library that can help. You can also search on Amazon.Com. Many great titles are out there. Look at several so you'll know which you like best.

But don't be afraid to talk. This can keep the door open to honest discussions about life for years to come.

Not really. If they are old enough to ask they are old enough for an answer. Of course the information you give depends on the age. My 5 year old doesn't need to know what my 11 year old does, and she doesn't need to know what the 17 year old can hear. Beside, you might want to get past the "shock" now as reproductive health is taught in 5 grade in most school districts.

You should tell your daughter more info.Just tell her the truth,tell her where it comes from(a women's private part),what causes a women to have a baby(spurm,sex), and any questions she asks just answer them and please tell the truth she old enough and tell her if she plans on having sex later on make tell her to make sure she have a rubber!!!

You got lots of good responses. My 2cents worth: if they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to get an answer. Don't be too graphic, but be honest about it!

My daughters are 14 and 8. Several years ago, a friend suggested a series of books that are age appropriate. If you go to amazon.com, you can type in "the story of me." You will see the series of 4 books come up. You can read the first one to yourself. Then read it to your children, together or individually. Then, with your oldeset, move on to book 2. Read it a couple of times and answer questions. Then move on to book 3 when you are ready. The books really help, and take the pressure off you to do all of the explaining.

There are 2 american girl books on development that i bought for my dd when she was 9/10. She got the books for xmas and then in January her girl scouts leaders read the books with the girls, but i answered many questions as well.
I know in this town that i live in....in 4th grade the school system starts the films and the classes, i think it makes it much easier on us parents when this subject is discussed in school and then we only need to reinforce or be there for comforting and discussion...I think 9 or 10 is a good age to start especially if you dd's body is changing. My dd was a late bloomer and all her friends had already started there monthly and had cup sized bra's, so i really had many teachers for her ahead of time.

good luck to you

Just my opinion, but if you don't tell her, someone else will and they might not get it right. Just tell her what she wants to know. Let her lead the conversation. She may not want the technical stuff. Good luck.

PS: I think they will cover it in 5th grade in school, better you tell her before that, don't you think? ;)

S.

Hello,

My name is F. an I have a 8 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. We just got my daughter Michele a training bra. I know how you feel because it means they are growing up and now longer the babies we held in our arms a few years before. At this point it's only time before she gets her monthly friend and I'm debating on speaking with her about getting her period because she's only 8 and still my baby. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and tell her because if I don't then she'll be horrified the day it does happen or she'll learn it from someone in the streets. I'm planning on taking her to the library. I know they have books and tapes on these things. All we can do is teach them right from wrong and trust that they'll make the right decisions. Good luck with your daughter. Wish me luck with mine! Aggghhhh!!!!

Please give more infomation on menstrual cycles. She will be getting this in school with health classes in fourth and fifth grade any way. She may have heard more about this from a friend anyway. There are also several good books . Pick one out and read it yourself then read it with her. It helps to start the dialougue that way.

L. Q.

Go to one of the big book stores (Borders or Barnes and Noble). They surely have an age appropriate book. Just ask.

These days, by 9 or 10 at the latest, kids need the information on puberty and reproduction. You wouldn't believe what they're hearing at school! Also, girls are menstruating earlier and it's scary if they don't know what's happening. You need to have that talk. You can start with the period stuff and see if she wants to hear the rest at the same time. If she doesn't seem that interested, you can do it in 2 stages, but I would handle this before school starts in the fall for sure! There are lots of books out that you could use to assist you. She needs to be able to trust you to help her through this and that means your being very open, truthful, and supportive of her in this area just like you are in other areas of life.

I read a great book titled

"A Chicken's Guide to Talking Turkey With Your Kids About Sex"
by Leman & Florine

Chapter 1 & 2 are for the nervous parent to calm their fears.

The rest talks about the child's development and how to approach the subject.

Good luck.

Good morning M.! Unfortunately, the kids are learning these things at school at very early ages. You probably should answer the questions she has as they come up. My dad got me a great book "What's happening to me" and there is another called "Where did I come from" For myself, I have found that it is better to talk honestly with my kids and answer their questions than to deal with the aftermath of what they learn from friends or school. I have taught my youngest two from an early age that sex is a gift from God for their wedding night And that it would be terrible to waste that gift on anyone they weren't married to. I have 2 left at home that are 15 and 17 and as far as I know they are still pure. Both talk to me quite freely about their thoughts on this and how they feel about their friends and what they are involved in. I know they are not perfect and I will never know for sure. I just have to trust God knows best for them and keeps them from straying. Hope this helps, L. S.

Hey M.. I do think she is too young at this time. Just give her a little kid around talk for a while, but I did not talk with my daughters until they were 12 years old. They hear alot, good and bad, but they know alot more then you think. I have a 18 year old and a 16 year old, and have a very good realationship. I just think I would wait for another year at least before I TALKED to her about conception or any kind of sex relations at all. Kim

M.,

I do not have children old enough to even be thinking of the sex talk yet, my daughter is 18months :-) so I have a little while yet. However my husband and I ironically had this conversation yesterday about young kids and "the talk" we concluded that between 10-11 depending on the child and their interest would be a good age to give the talk especially since our world is so sex crazed they will learn very quickly from TV and friends if you don't and I would rather my children have their first base of information from me and then they can compare and contrast what they hear and learn from others (which is inevitable) on what you taught them.

So I would probably talk to your daughter pretty soon, as she is evidently curious.

Sorry for the big long sentence ;-) Hope that helps a little

Hay.. a great book... where do babies come from and the other book is why my body is changing.. When my son asked, he was also 10.. he heard others talking.. and I didn't want him to get the wrong answers from me.. so I went to the book store and bought where do babies come from first... then read it with him.. and asked him to comment or ask questions.. he loved the book... and since we have an open talk about things.. I would rather he get info from me.. and not his friends or the internet...

I think 10 y.o. is a great age to have the talk. Given that my sister was having sex by the time she was 15 and had a baby by the time she was 17, I think we all should try to educate our girls about the female AND male bodies when they have an interest in learning about it. By all means, provide her with the information that will empower her to make smart decisions about her body and her future. She is asking because she has a need to know. There is no shame in teaching her about all the parts and how they work. It might be a good time to give her a heads up about what to expect during mentruation, all about ovulation and how that can lead to pregnancy. Tell her about The stages of pregnancy, tell her about the male anatomy. You could hold back a little about the pleasurable side of sex until she gets older. But I would probably make a point of getting to that before she becomes sexually active. Get her some books or get some for yourself as a reference. I'm sure they teach this stuff in school but you could tailor the lesson to fit your families values and spiritual beliefs.

Above all, I would stress that the main purpose of sex is to produce a child. She may start asking questions about young people having sex and that's when you could talk about the pleasure part. But, the basics at this stage are probably just fine.

Good luck,
J.

I had the talk with my son when he was 10. He was in 4th grade and we discussed EVERYTHING while coloring easter eggs. I even bought a book and would have him read certain pages each night (I did not let him read the entire book though). I did it at that age, because I remember by the time I was in 4th grade (when my mom had the talk with me) I already knew mostly everything. Kids pick stuff up from school and other friends. You want to talk to your daughter before she gets the wrong information. And when I say I discussed everything, I mean everything. Her body will go through so many changes and you don't want her thinking there is something wrong with her. If you want more details, feel free to send me a message privately. Good luck!!!

Our 9yo daughter came up to me this morning to ask a few details about baby-making and how it related to sex (last year she thought that it would spontaneously happen inside a woman's body because her mind told her body to make a baby!), so I talked with her about specifics which she hadn't understood when I had "the talk" with her about 8 months ago (right after she turned 9 years old when she was focusing on grasping what hormones are, forget the rest of the sex talk--had to start with hormones because of the major b.o. issue new in her life). "The talk" really should be something nice and uplifting and emphasize how much love you feel when you can create a baby, how joyful it is to grow a baby at the right time, etc. I also learned that it isn't a one-time talk; as long as you make yourself easy to approach and positive, your child will feel he/she can trust you and come back later. I found an excellent talk at www.valuesparenting.com from a couple who've raised ten children and now lecture worldwide to thousands of people from various religions about practical ways to strengthen their families. The talk is non-denominational and fantastic. Reading their suggested "talk" gave me the confidence to give our oldest child the first "talk" and now it's not a forbidden, scary subject, even though her questions have gotten more specific recently (they also suggest going out for ice cream or doing something fun and bringing it up then, so that it relieves some of the tension the parent might feel and the child associates something positive with it, like a mommy/child "date" which emphasizes how special the child is). I wouldn't want something this important and relationship-building to be left up to a school system (facts without values=failure). Also, you have a precious opportunity as a mother to emphasize that having babies is a natural and beautiful part of life. Too many girls grow up to fear childbirth and some never overcome their deeply-ingrained terror from watching crisis deliveries on cable shows and stories from some peers talking about how "gross" vaginal birth is. Teaching girls that their bodies are beautiful and that they don't need to fear the changes as they mature will equip them with confidence to listen to their bodies and grow into empowered women. I know most of my advice focuses on sex for creating life, but I also told my daughter that sex is a beautiful way for a husband and wife to show each other how much they love each other and that it's important and nice for them to do it and what fidelity is. You'll do great and all the best!!!!

To me it is too young but kids seem to be learning everything earlier now. My 10 year old watched a puberty video at school and now knows everything. That video actually helped me. I didn't have to get books and diagrams etc. She had been hearing things from her friends for a couple of years already! I just assume she know the truth. If she asks, I tell. Now if she hears things from her friends, she knows she cam come to me to find out if it is the truth. I do ask that she not go around blabbing everything we talk about to her friends. I don't know that other parents have had "the talk" yet. Good luck!!

If she is asking... she is getting information from somewhere/someone. I would discuss it with her in very general terms...and emphasis that no one should touch her...ect. There are probably a lot of good books you could get to help. I believe most schools do sex ed in 5th grade (I was 10 in 5th grade...).

HI In my opinion you need to be discussing things like this all along...not in adult detail but age appropriate information. Like a discussion of what a period and that in the future this will help you have a baby when you are married etc. My aunt started her period when she was 11! Also if you dont tell her someone else will and Im sure it will be wrong. You dont need to get into details of sexual relationships etc. But anatomy, medical facts and the discussion of love needs to happen soon:) There are some really good books out there check on line. Good luck:)

I think it depends what grade she is going into. My daughter is 10 and is going into 6th grade. She will be exposed to a lot of things out of my control. I want my daughter to have true honest to god facts about sex and everything else. Also, I think it is time to open that conversation up. If your daughter is only going into 5th grade or below I would wait until middle school. But if she brings it up I would take the opportunity to tell her the truth. I will tell you this I have three children and my daughter only thinks me and my husband have only had sex three times. Use your mommy instincts.

With age appropriate language, all my kids knew about 5 years old where babies come from and they know that you don't have to be married to have a baby, etc. There are lots of great kids books you can get to help you have the talk. One book we really liked was: "It's Not the Stork!: A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families and Friends" by Robie Harris.

Good luck!

Hi M.,

10 yrs old is actually not too old to begin talking about sex. Not at all. Remember, they give that fun sex talk in 5th grade. My thought is it's best coming from mom or dad who can instill their own thoughts, values, beliefs etc. whereas the school just gives the facts.

You might want to try getting a book about sex that's geared to her age. You could either read it together, or maybe do a bit of a book review.

We have always kept an open dialog on pretty much anything in our home. It started with menstrual cycles -as I swear, the preschooler always seemed to feel free to walk into our bathroom as I was changing pads (sorry, probably too much info). Questions came up often with my toddlers through early elementary, when I was pregnant. Then breastfeeding too. It was all a natural, good curiosity of how the body works. Think of it as her learning how her body works.

As my children got older, their boyfriends, girlfriends, and now my son's wife, have all been comfortable asking us questions that might shock many people. I think it's because I'm a lactation consultant, so they felt free to ask questions about the breast and would know I would treat it matter-of-fact and give them correct info.

Good luck, S.

NO!!! Better you tell her, than her friends (who will be ill-informed). If she asking, she must be curious. Just give honest and simple age appropriate answers. She will either ask more questions or be satified for now. By not satifying her curiousity, she may never come to you and ask anything else that pertains to personal things. Keep an open dialogue. Make her feel comfortable, and not ashamed for asking questions. You might be surprised of what she may already know, or think she knows. Try not to act surprised or ashamed when responding to her. She will pick up on this and also feel ashamed for asking. My daughter is nine. I purchased the book, "The Care and Keeping of You" by American Girl. It's just a book that talks about the body and changes that are to come. It has opened up a lot of dialogue. Not anything about sex, but just her feeling comfortable with asking me personal questions. I hope this helps.

By no means is 10 too young -- if she's asking you questions, she's already interested and needs good, solid answers (with correct terminology) to help her feel comfortable about her body. I'm guessing she has started to hear more from someone else (best friend, etc.) and, as a parent, I want my kids to hear correct info from me -- not random bits & pieces from whomever happens to be talking about it. Some kids may be well-informed but I'm not going to bet on it! ;-)

I think it's great she asked you. That shows she's at least comfortable enough to approach you about the subject and, depending on how you respond (answer questions honestly; give age-appropriate information; don't dodge the tough ones, etc.), this could really set the foundation of your communication about sexuality. Most of the time, the simplest, most straight-forward answer will satisfy kids' curiosity.

I'd take some cues from her and see how she responds to your answers. If she says something like, "Oh, okay," that might be all of the info she needed. You can always follow up with, "Do you have more questions about that?" Keep it simple...and, like a previous posted indicated, consider talking while in the car or somewhere that you can converse without it being an awkward, face-to-face.

I also wanted to mention a book that both of my sisters swore by in raising their girls: "The Care & Keeping of You - The Body Book for Girls" from the American Girl store. Here's the link: http://store.americangirl.com/agshop/html/ProductPage.jsf...

Between the two of them, they've raised four girls -- ages 10 to 18 -- and both said that book was one of the nicest ways to open up a conversation about body- and sex-related topics, or to answer questions. I'm raising a boy myself, so I can't comment first-hand -- but I believe them when they say it was excellent.

I'd suggest getting a copy and reading it yourself, then approaching your daughter (if you want to use it) and letting her know you are aware she has questions and thought maybe she'd like to read it. Or, if she's not a big reader, you could put little sticky-notes on certain pages that address the things she has been asking about, and refer to those if you want other words.

We're all going to face these questions from our kids at some point if we haven't already. Let's face it -- we all asked them, too! ;-)

Hope all goes well for you. Best wishes!

J.

I had the "sex talk" with my daughter this year when she was 8. I attended a class that said children should be told before age 10 because girls can (and often do) start menstruating at age 11! Also, I believe in honesty, and when my daughter asked how the baby comes out and how does it get in there, I told her the honest truth. She asked follow up questions, which I answered but did not go beyond. I was told by my mother at a later age and I was "grossed out" by it all. Best to do it young, and answer questions honestly.

I have two girls 11 and 9-1/2. I brought one of those books, made for young girls that talk about the body, puberty, etc. I was not ready either and the book broke the ice. I researched online, and then went into store to glance/speed read the book before giving it to her/them. But she's at the age where her menstrual can begin at any time, and U want Your daughter to be knowledgeable and educated based on what You taught her. Not something she learns from outside your home. But I also emphasize that sex/having kids are for adults. They need to wait until after college and being married to have kids or a serious committed relationship for that matter.

I do not feel it is too soon... Your daughter is old enough to begin her cycle. I was ten when I began mine. As long as everyone is open about it, and you promote that if you have an 'open door' to her, she will at least be comfortable to come to you instead of going elsewhere to learn.

Ask yourself "Would I rather I tell her enough to make us both satisfied, or would I rather her friends tell her?"...

It amazes me still what I know went around school at that age and I am sure still does.

Be calm, be patient... most of all, breath if you speak with her. It will be okay. :)

My husband and I have 4 kids and with the three older ones we have had "the talk" when they were 10. My youngest will be 10 in a few years and will have "the talk" then too. Good Luck and your daughter (while it may be embarrassing now) will appreciate the fact that you told her and not someone else.

I have a daughter who is 13 now, but I had the talk with her at 9 years of age. Kids hear so much about sex from outside the home that it is important for parents to inform their kids so that these kids don't get misinformed. I don't find it the most easy subject to talk about, but it is part of life and we as parents need to keep the communication channels open with our kids so that they can feel comfortable talking to us about anything including sex and drugs. One thing that I stressed to my daughter was that sex is a very powerful emotional feeling that you need to fully understand because it can majorly change your life forever.

I hope I helped!

MC

Please tell her more than my Mom told me. Nothing. Just not to sit on boys laps. Pitiful, isn't it?
I think children should know about sex and where babies come from as soon as you think they will comprehend the conversation. You don't have to be graphic. I would be truthful and in a manner that can be explained delicately. The bigger deal you make of it, the worse a child will feel about the whole thing.

My 9yo is already having the hormonal mood swings so no, it's not too soon! We haven't had the whole 'talk' yet, but we have talked about the chemicals in her body called hormones and how they can affect how she's feeling emotionally -- and how that coincides with Mom's hormonal swings, so we need to work on getting along during that time, lol. She's seen me go through two pregnancies since she was 5, tho, so we have a starting ground. We're Christians, so we come from the standpoint that God designed a part of your body to make babies, and this is part of the process. I try to stay very simple and matter-of-fact about it, b/c I don't want her to feel like I don't want to talk about it and the go elsewhere for her information.

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