C.A. asks from Hephzibah, GA on August 07, 2007
When Do U Talk to a Child About S_E_X
Ok for right now I am staying at home and is babysitting my neices and newphews and my best freinds son. So the ages are 8 7 6 5 and 3 2. well today at lunch time the 8 year old said something about his girlfriend and then I started to hear the boys wispering so I go and the kitchen and ask what they are talking about and it was that they were having SEX with their girlfreind.... NOw why are kids talking about this at there age.. I didnt know what to do I sat them all down and told them i better now EVER hear that word from them and that u dont have sex with some one unless u are married or with someone u love and have to be atleast 24 to have sex ( that was something i added so hoply some will wait..lol) But what do i do about this. My son was one of the boys that was talking about it.. we dont talk about sex with him and if a sex scene is on tv we change it.. please help and let me know how to handle this
C.C. answers from Charleston on August 08, 2007
It is very difficult to discuss S_E_X with children, but it must be done. Telling them that you never want to hear them use that word again could cause them to think that sex is a bad, dirty thing, which could cause even deeper problems as they age. 8 years old is a little young to hear the intimate details of the birds and the bees, but if they're asking questions, you need to give some answers. I had to explain it all to my 9-year-old daughter because she flat out asked me what it was and wanted a real explanation. After explaining the technical side, I told her that it is something special that should be shared between two people who are in love, when you're an adult, and mature enough to make serious decisions.
I still change the channel if inappropriate scenes come on TV, but if she sees something, or has a question, I always sit down (with TV, radio, off) and answer her as best I can.
There are books out there that can make it easier for you. Please make sure you and your husband are the one's who take the time to explain it to your children. I never received "the talk" and learned things on my own from friends.
A.D. answers from Spartanburg on August 09, 2007
In the case of sex education, ignorance is not bliss. I was a youth advisor for the Boys and Girls Club, and I taught pregnancy/drug prevention programs for kids age 5-15. I will go ahead and disagree with some of the others and be very honest and tell you- yes they could be having sex. Or at least what they think is "sex," but may just be sexual behavior like fondling, mutual self-stimulation, and/or oral sex. You would be shocked if you knew the sex stories I have heard from kids around that age. SO....
My suggestion is sit down with them. Be very honest and open. Use the correct terms and be graphic- scary graphic if you have to. But don't just count on them getting scared because you tell them not to have sex until age 24. That is not going to dissuade them. Tell them all the risks. Pregnancy, STD's, death from AIDS or brain damage from SYphillis. And if you don't know something, look it up together. Show them a condom. Show them how to use it if you have to. You are the adult, and you have to be ready to answer some tough questions and admit if you don't know what something is or means. I thought I knew alot about sex until I started helping kids understand it. Then I realized they knew things that scared me.
You may want to check with your local hospital, library, or school to see if they have educational videos on STD's or childbirth that you could rent or borrow. I found that gross pictures of what could happen when you have sex seemed to scare alot of them. But fear is not going to dissuade everybody- education is still the most important factor.
But remember, MOST OF ALL do NOT tell them not to say that word again or talk about it!!!!!!! They trusted you enough to tell you they were talking about it- that means at that point if they had questions they felt they could trust you to ask them to you. NOw you are going to have to re-earn that trust. It is much better they ask you and can come to you and talk openly about sex than be scared to. After all, the best way to prevent unwanted childhood pregnancies is to talk about sex and let your children be informed.
C.N. answers from Macon on August 28, 2007
By telling them that you never want to hear the word "sex" again says that it is something "bad" or "evil". Sex is NOT either...it's how poeple twist it that makes it that way. I talked to my oldest daughter when she was in 3rd grade. When I heard parents of her peers saying they wanted to know what "sex" meant etc. I decided it was time that she learn from ME the REAL basics of it before she learned the wrong things from other misinformed children. I was very basic with my explanations. I don't want my kids to thing sex is taboo, that will only make them want to expirement more, you know the whole forbidden fruit thing...I want them to be informed and be prepared and capable of making wise decisions. I think it's time that you sit your son down and have a very matter of fact discussion about the birds and bees. Let him know what is appropriate for his age and what is not. I don't know what religion you are but *I* personally would take it from a biblical standpoint.
C.H. answers from Augusta on August 08, 2007
If your son is old enough to have sex conversations with his friends, then you need to have that talk now. It's also possible that he's only repeating what he had heard from another child..who also prob is going on an adults word. I dont think your son is actually having sex but they def veiw it as something that the adults hide and that alone makes them curious. At his age he is young enough for the facts of having sex scare him. I say take him to his doctor and let the doctor explain to him all of the bad that come along with having sex like aids and babies.Sometimes it helps for them to hear it from someone their not so comfortable with...sometimes they listen better that way.My son will be 5 in march...and hes growing fast so I know onw day I will be needing to do the same with my son and personally I'd rather him have the fatcs to relay back to his friends rather than them playing telephone and the truth about it being distorted through 6 to 8 yr olds.I say take this seriously and dont be afraid to get creative. The one thing u never want your child to do is make a mistake that can stick with them forever from and sex is one of those things that young kids just cant get smart about now a days. I feel more for those who have daughters...gl to those of u that do!
J.W. answers from Spartanburg on August 07, 2007
How you handle it really depends on how you, yourself, view sex. Not talking about it at any age doesn't really help anyone, because they'll just find out about it from friends/family in a way that you might not be comfortable with.
Its our jobs as parents to prepare our children for life. And unfortunately, that means talking about embarrassing things like this!
I think sex is a very beautiful and natural act between two people. And I fully acknowledge that you do NOT have to be love to have sex, that is just how some people prefer it. So, I will tell my kids that it is something that carries a lot of responsiblity with it and therefore, adults are much better equipped (literally!) to handle it and its repercussions.
I think you need to be age-appropriate with your son and not give him more information than he needs or wants. For example, my daughter is 5 and knows the proper words for genitals. She knows where babies come out from. But she has never asked how they get in there and I hope to wait when her natural curiosity takes hold first. If and when she does ask, I'll probably explain it to her simply without mentioning intercourse first. Then, when she is developing into a mature woman, I'll add to our discussion and give her a few more details and answer any questions.
Good luck! Its hard when your kids are exposed to something before you are ready for it!