D.R. asks from Pensacola, FL on May 08, 2008
Teaching 4 Year Olds About Sex??
I'm wondering if the age of 4 is a little young to be teaching them about sex. I know it's better that they learn the truth from Mommy and Daddy rather than what their friends tell them on the playground, but still... it seems like that would be making them grow up too fast. I think this subject is especially touchy with little girls, I think boys could care less. It doesn't seem fair that we have to tell them so prematurely just because the world is exposing them too soon. When did you or when do you plan on talking to your children about sex?
So What Happened?™
Thank you to everyone who responded... I was just wondering if I was a little old fashioned or what, but I realize a lot of moms feel the way that I do. I asked this question because I saw a book in the children's section of the library that was about this subject and, for me, it was graphic!! On the cover of the book it said, for ages 4 and up... Unbelievable!
K.D. answers from Gainesville on May 12, 2008
I have a 5 year old little girl and I don't plan on talking to her about sex until she asks questions. One time I had a CD out called Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic and my cousin (at the time she was 5) asked me what sex meant. I replied Male/Female. I wasn't trying to dodge her question. I knew she was not ready for that talk yet, she just wasn't familiar with the word sex. Anyway, hope that helps.
L.G. answers from Daytona Beach on May 09, 2008
Age 4 is too young! It is best when they ask and only give them the info they ask for. Study their faces to see if they understand what you are saying. I think probably age 8 or 9 is when they really start questioning.
M.G. answers from Orlando on May 09, 2008
I am the mother of two grown children, a boy and a girl. I told them when they started to ask where babies came from and the, only the answer to the specific question they wanted answered;i.e., they grow in a special place made just for them below mommy's tummy. At some point they will ask how the baby got there, then they were told about mommy having an egg that needed Daddy's seed to join with it. That seemed to satisfy mine, until they asked how did the seed and egg got together...I found some wonderful books in the library that introduced the subject little by little, without being overwhelming or not age appropriate. I think it is best to let them ask, then respond with the truth at a level they can comprehend.
A.M. answers from Daytona Beach on May 12, 2008
D. - Great Question.
I come from a large family and can attest to the fact that children are hearing about sex from their friends a lot younger than any of us did.
I think talking to your children about sex before they are interested in boys/girls is (sorry to be harse) a waste of time. It goes in one ear and out the other because they think they will NEVER like girls/boys. I plan to wait until I notice my son taking an interest in girls - but I am a very present parent in my sons life. Some people may not notice this change in their children and then I would recommend having 'the talk' with them as they enter middle school.
However, if my son comes to me wanting to know about sex before I speak to him because he heard the word somewhere I will absolutely take that opportunity to educate him. Never pass up an opportunity to educate your children when they initiate the conversation - They may not be willing to listen later.
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T.W. answers from Orlando on May 08, 2008
That's a sensitive subject. I don't know that there is any magical age you should talk to them about that.
I think that if there are movies and such with sexual scenes or what have you in them you should cover their eyes or make them leave the room.
They are going to see some things no matter what.
My 5 year old son was with me at Barnes and Noble and we were getting a coffee. He is checking out the magazines behind me and yells hey mom look at these girls boobies. I turned around and was like "What?" It was the Sports Illustrated with a girl on the front with NO top on just some necklace perfectly placed as to no show her nipples.
Then he just kept staring at it. I said Logan come over here, he replied, "What Mom, I like boobies".
I thought I was going to die, it was funny and mortifying at the same time.
He is his father's son. So, as much as you try to protect them it's out there and the more I think you try to make an issue out of them avoiding it the more interested they are in it.
So, I think you are just going to have to play this one by ear. And address the issues or questions as they present themselves.
Always make sure though to tell them that we don't show our privates to people, that's why they are called privates. Only mommy, daddy or the doctor can see the privates.
P.S. I would just like to say thank you for your sacrifice in giving your husband up for our country and her protection.
My husband is ex-Navy and served during the Gulf War. Please tell him that the W. family appreciates his service and sacrifice.
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C.S. answers from Jacksonville on May 09, 2008
YES, That is wayyyyyy to early to teach a child about sex, why would anyone even consider that ,at such an early age. The age appropriate thing to do would be to teach them the differences (when they pose the question)about boys and girls. Eventually they will ask, but, I wouldn't provide the info until they ask about it. Half of the children that age couldn't even pronounce some of the correct words for body parts, why speed up their childhood, when these days it really doesn't last that long. You could explain their private parts, and how NO ONE SHOULD TOUCH THEM THERE, and if they do , no matter what,it's ok to tell . Good luck with that talk ! C.
M.E. answers from Jacksonville on May 09, 2008
I realize that children are talking and experimenting sooner now than ever before so I'm not sure what I would do considering the situation. According to Dr. Dobson basically you answer (simply) their questions. You can be sure that you will have ample opportunity to answer alot of questions as they grow up. God Bless.
M.H. answers from Fort Walton Beach on May 08, 2008
Yes, 4 years old is too young. Their little minds can't even comprehend abstract thinking until they are around 11. That's a documented developmental stage. The rule of thumb is give them answers the way they give you answers. At four years old you are probably getting answers to questions in two or three words. Netaria, did you brush your teeth? Yes mommy, OR No mommy I didn't, are probably the answers you'd get.
We had a farm and bred miniature horses when my youngest girl was little. She even saw the act and still didn't put it together because developmentally she wasn't there yet. Her thinking was concrete. She asked what they were doing and I told her they were making a baby. She said "Oh." Now, at 12, she can put it together.
Answer questions when asked but don't give them an abstract answer because they will just translate it into their concrete thinking and then you will have some undoing to do later :)
T.S. answers from Panama City on May 09, 2008
Yes, four years old is too young to talk about sex. However, it's not too young to explain that people "love" each other and they "love on" each other. At 4 yrs old, the "sex" talking should be very very very basic and definately not detailed. Their minds cannot comprehend the true meaning of sex and what it entails. When a question comes up, from the playground or elsewhere, address the question, but only in very simple terms. It is also ok to say, "that is something you will learn about when you are older. When you hear your friends talk about that, you just tell them that you can't talk about that until you are older." Often kids just need to know what to tell others and it's ok to say I am not allowed to talk about that. The other children are getting too much information too soon. Once they start learning about this at such a young age, they begin to lose their innocence and then they impose their information on other children whose parents will not appreciate it.
When their questions begin getting more and more detailed, say around 9-10, you can give a bit more detailed answer, but still not too much.
When your daughter is coming of age of menstration, that is a good time to explain how the egg is being dispelled and that the egg has a purpose. I would then give her the factual information of procreation and let her know that it is in a proper relationship that we contain sex. That it is meant for a husband and a wife and that when we give it away, we are robbing our future mate of what belongs to them. Before dating age, you can then have a more detailed talk and answer any questions she may have.
Mother of 4 terrific children,
T.H. answers from Fort Walton Beach on May 09, 2008
i agree that 4 is way too young to be teaching them about sex. i don't know if you are a Christian like myself but if so the best way for them to learn about it is through biblical teachings. i have 3 boys 0ne soon to be nine, one who just turned 7 and another who will be 4 in august and none of them have been told about it because my husband and i feel that any other way would not be right.
C.J. answers from Gainesville on May 15, 2008
I wish my family had been more clear to me about what sex was younger. By four years old, I'd already been sexually molested. I didn't know that anything wrong had happened until I was 11 and my mom sat down to have "the talk" and I realized I'd already had sex. That was terrible. All I'd ever been told is tell us if someone touches you in a way you don't like. Well, I didn't like my sister hitting me, so I'd tell them that, but I didn't know that being sexually touched was wrong because it didn't hurt. If my parents had told me at 4, I would have been able to pursue criminal action. By 11 the statute of limitations had run out and there was no physical evidence. Parents need to think of all the reasons to discuss sex, not just whether or not a kid needs to know that babies come from sex and that is what mommies and daddies do. If we aren't informing our children, we aren't protecting them.