22 answers

What Do You Tell Your Kids About Sex?

I was talking to a neighbor the other day. Her children are older than my own. Both her boys are in high school my kids are grade school and nursery school. Her husband was not able to attend the neighood function because he was keeping an eye on his teenages son and their girlfriends. Then she told me she is sure they already had sex. Like this is beyond her control. I want my kids to wait until they are mature enough to deal with the responiblites of sex...like when they find that special person and are ready to get married. I don't want my kids when they older to have multiple sex partners over the cours of their lives. Now its easy my kids are still young. I want it be second nature to wait and for them not to consider to have sex before then,
I came from a fairly sheltered family. I had probably about 4-5 boyfriends but was only intimate with my husband.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi, C.:

Being a role model is #1.
Do they make any remarks about relationships?

When they start asking questions, then you can begin
to answer them.

Good luck.

More Answers

It is beyond her control whether or not her kids have had sex, just like it will be beyond your control if that's what they want to do. Educate them about the ramifications of sex, safe sex practices, and emotional baggage that comes with multiple sex partners and hope for the best. Abstinence only education is proven to actually increase the rate of teen sex and pregnancy, so I would be frank with them.

10 moms found this helpful

As Courtney G. said, it IS beyond your control whether and when your children have sex. It is "first nature" for us human beings to have sex. Educated young people can make better decisions, usually. And by educated, I mean completely educated about all the aspects good and not so good surrounding sex. Fear (of disease,emotional or physical trauma) leads to dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors around sex, whether young/old, married/unmarried. I choose to raise healthy young adults with knowledge, morals, and a healthy sex drive.

9 moms found this helpful

Hi C., I have a COMPLETELY different philosophy about sex than you do.

But it doesn't matter. Only thing that matters is what YOU want for your kids. It IS possible for you to bring up healthy normal children who genuinely believe sex is only for married people. Since there is a LOT of sexual related education in school these days, and they do NOT teach abstinence until marriage, it may be something of a battle.

Throughout grade school and middle school for example, before a sexual matter is discussed in school you will be sent home a slip to sign.

That is NOT the case in high school health class.

I suggest with EVERY single discussion you have with your OWN children, starting NOW with ANY sexual reference whatsoever, you be sure to touch on your feeling that sex is meant to be saved for your husband/wife.

If you keep the FOCUS on sex is BAD (for anyone not married), it's likely they'll be MORE interested in trying it.

My last suggestion is you talk about it with your own Mom, clearly SHE pulled it off with YOU! No reason you can't too!


5 moms found this helpful

It is beyond your control so your best option is to communicate truthfully with your children.

If you forbid it or make it "bad", "taboo" then the more likely they will want to try it.

Keep the lines of communication open so they feel they can talk frankly with you and you don't cringe. They need to know the consequences if they end up pregnant or become a dad.

I have an almost 16 yr old. When she goes out, I keep my calmness and just say...... remember your goal of studying in Italy. Of course she says in the long drawn out tone "MMMOOOOMMMMM". Then I add, a new baby would end that dream and you'll have to come up with another one that you can do as a mom.

Don't let your sheltered childhood effect your children.

5 moms found this helpful

Just keep communication open and take advantage of teachable moments as they occur. Explain the common thought process that often brings teens to have sex (ie. everyone is doing it, I want the boy to like me, etc.) and explain how that thought process can get them into trouble. Be honest. If they just hear they shouldn't have sex until they are married, they will feel like you're living in another universe when "all their friends are doing it." That mentality from both teens and their parents get to me. I have 2 daughters that CHOSE not to get wrapped up in boyfriends. One daughter (almost 20) has a boyfriend now. The other daughter (21) had a boyfriend briefly, but ended it when he got too pushy. She just decided she wants to focus on school and wait until the guys around her mature a bit more (her words). The reason my girls decided to do things that way was a combination of what we had talked about and what they were seeing in their friends (which matched what I had said in terms of their thought process). It was like, "Wow, I can't believe how emotionally wrapped up this friend is getting over a guy she barely knows!" My daughter was just good friends with the boyfriend she has now for a while before they started dating. That thinking saved her this summer when a guy asked her out and she told him they should just be friends and see where it goes (he started hanging around more after that). Turned out he had a girlfriend during that whole time.

I never told my children they cannot date or have boyfriends, etc. I just presented what situations they could be in, various ways they could handle it, and the kinds of scenarios that can happen by getting involved too quickly. All they had to do was to look around and see for themselves the reality in what I said. It works so much better if they are the ones that make the choice vs just a rule to be obeyed.

5 moms found this helpful

Talking about sex and other things (drugs, stealing, what being a friend means, etc) is not just a one time thing. It's an ongoing dialog, which can be started by a question or something that was seen on tv or talked about at school.

We tell our kids that sex is an adult activity and not for children. And by adult we mean age 18 or over. We also talk about sex-related issues that are age appropriate (my kids are 8, 9 & 12).

I recommend this book:


"10 Talks Parents must have with Their Childen about Sex and Character" This book offers advice on how to begin. The book emphasizes that you need to keep your family morals/values in the forefront when discussing these issues with your kids.

5 moms found this helpful

Communication is the key. You need to be open and honest, and don't force your beliefs on your kids. Make them self confident and self aware so that they CAN say no. Teach them how to say no. The other kids says X, you can say Y, etc. After you share your beliefs let them know that even if they don't follow that, you are there for them, and you won't hate them for it. That they can call you or talk to you at any time for help or just understanding.

3 moms found this helpful

Well, we're pretty far off from this, but we plan to tell our boys that YES, we really encourage them and want them to wait until after high school and until they're in a very serious relationship -in love -and understand exactly what sex brings to the table (pregnancy possibilities, STDs, a new dimension to the relationship, etc.). Having said that, I hope they'll at least wait until 10th or 11th grade!

In all seriousness -it DOES help to keep an open dialogue running with your kids about your expectations. Be VERY open with them about sex and the factors surrounding it. BUT -be realistic. Kids in the USA today have sex at alarmingly early ages because we, as a society, don't properly educate them. When you leave it up to the parents, you have at least 50% of the kids who aren't talked to or told anything about sex or expectations, OR repercussions! Many of them have parents who had them at 15 or 17 and they're surrounded by family members and friends doing the same thing or else they just preach "abstinence," and stick their heads in the sand. There are so many kids who have HOURS of "free-alone time" once they hit adolescence that it's shocking. They can and do get into all sorts of trouble because of it. I'm not just talking off the top of my head -I used to teach 9-11 grades, and I am getting certified to teach our congregation's sexual education program. This crosses ALL socio-economic levels as well. We've had more than one community upheaval in the metro Atlanta area because it was discovered that 8th, 9th and 10th graders were having afternoon sex parties and orgies in affluent neighborhoods.

So -talk and prepare them. PLEASE stress the importance of condom use for STDs and pregnancy. Let them know that some girls aren't truthful about using birth control. Tell them this is even more likely to be the case in casual encounters. Discussing all of this for years will help, but ultimately it will be their decision, and the hormones are STRONG.

In reality, very few kids leave high school as virgins -and most of the ones who do tried really hard not to! Hopefully you'll make them think twice, but be realistic. Don't make sex a nasty, bad, fearful thing -make it a really wonderful thing that's worth waiting a little bit for! And always remember -you are not your children. Their wants, desires and actions will be different.

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