Birds and Bees

Updated on July 10, 2012
C.B. asks from San Diego, CA
15 answers

My nine year old daughter is starting to ask some specific questions about "it" and I can't derail her as easily as I used to. I know the kids are talking about it at some extent at school. When is it appropriate to have "the talk"?

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answers from Dallas on

I agree with the "ongoing" conversation over the talk. The goal isn't just the birds and the bees, but body respect, etc. Stop trying to derail her - that's not helpful at all. Hit the library - other moms have recommended books. Buy whatever works best for you both. You want her to be as comfortable coming to you to talk about this stuff as possible. Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

"It's So Amazing" and "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie H. Harris.
"The Care and Keeping of You" from American Girl

My daughter is 10 and we've been talking about bodies and babies and sex since she was old enough to talk. I've never even attempted to "derail" her. My daughter is already wearing a bra and has some pubic hair at 10. I'm expecting she will start her period at 11. We just put together a little purse with pads and a spare pair of underwear for her to keep in her backpack just in case.

Your daughter has already heard about sex, probably in graphic, if not totally accurate, detail from her friends at school. She's just trying to get you to verify what she's heard. Start talking with her directly right now or she will stop coming to you with her questions.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

This question was asked yesterday.

My opinion is that it is an ongoing age appropriate communication from early on. Answer questions in the most age appropriate manner vs derailing them.

A 9 yr old has heard enough from friends, etc at school that she is basically coming to you for confirmation of the information. Lines of communication between you should be established so she feels comfortale to come to you with anything... this will be a blessing later on when she is older! Also, I would think you would want her learning the facts from you vs hearsay from school.

Don't make a huge deal of it, don't make it sound dirty. If you are embarrassed to talk or if she is, do it while you are driving or walking.

She probably just wants a small amount of info to clarify something she has already heard.

Good luck and remember, it is not "the talk" it is an "ongoing talk".

ETA: A girl made the cheer squad this year for her upcoming Jr year but had to drop the team because she is pregnant. She is not quite 16 yet. YOUNG girls can get pregnant.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

If she is asking then she has already heard stuff, and there is no guarantee that what she has heard from her friends is true. I remember when I was in elemtary school and I was told that you got pregnant by kissing a boy. I wanted to know why my mom wasn't having another baby since she kissed my dad all the time. My mom was really upset when we told her that one of the girls in our class was pregnant: she had kissed a boy on the playground at recess. My point is that you really should tell her the truth so that she doesn't need to worry for no reason. GrandmaT had a great idea. My cousin had a great book by Dr. Ruth about sex that is very factual and easy to understand for kids. Its a picture/word book. Good luck, I know its an awkward subject.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Now that she's asking, otherwise you risk her learning from the kids talking about it at school, and she'll stop asking you because she'll figure she knows. Go to your public library and ask the Children's librarian about books to explain things to your daughter, that you and she can read together or she can read alone, something that explains it in terms a 9 year old will understand.

And it's not really "the talk," but a series of talks as she hopefully comes to you from time to time with questions. If you haven't talked with her before this at all, this talk will be the basis of her knowledge, and subsequent talks will build on the foundation you set.

Oh, and you've told her about her periods, right? All part of it...

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

If she is asking questions, she is ready to start learning...

First, however, ask her how SHE thinks it happens..... see what she is being told by her friends.

Or... ask her what she wants to know....

(This reminds me of the little boy that came home from school, and asked M.... "Where did I come from?" M. went into the big explanation...... and then, afterward, said... "Why did you want to know?" The little boy said, "Well, Johnny said he came from Cleveland!"

Those two questions are good lead-ins to finding out how much mis-information she has been told, or how much detail she wants.

ETA to add... to Busymom..... we had a 7th grader that was pregnant this year! So sad, isn't it? As far as abortion, I like what Dr. Laura said that her son Derek said, when she talked to him about abortion... his reply was.. "You mean they waste a baby?"

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

9 was about the age my daughter started to ask questions. I bought the book "The care and keeping of you". It was awesome. I didn't go into full detail about sex and all that just yet... but I explained somewhat how babies are made, hair on your body, your period. Now she is almost 15 and has a BF. I talk to her about it all the time. I talk to her about sex, result of having sex, teen pregnancy, respecting your body and STD's. I talk to her about boys wanting sex and telling them anything they want to hear just to get them in the sack. I am open to the full extent about it with her, because my mom and dad never were with me. I told her how important it was to save herself for marriage (although i know i will have no control over that)... as they get older, it gets easier. About three months ago she asked me about abortion, I guess some girl was talking about it at school, so we sat down and talked about that. I asked her what brought that up and she said that some girl at her school is PG (she just finished 8th grade).. how sad. Anyway, she said that the girls parents wanted her to have an abortion and she wanted to keep it. I think if you start out explaining things lightly and not going into full detail at 9 years of age,you will be good. Def. get that book though! good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Just did this with my 9yo.

She kept asking was sex was. I went to the library and got:

"What's the Big Secret"


"It's Not the Stork"

Both books are cartoon-like and use a little humor. We got through it just fine. I had already explained puberty to her (there's a video called "lets talk puberty for girls" - also at the library) so the sex talk just finished everything.

She thought everything was a little weird, but she accepted it and hasn't mentioned it since.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

If she's asking, now is the right time. My daughter is 10 -- I tried to talk to her over the winter and she quickly changed the subject. I tried to talk to her about periods (not sex) because her body is changing. So I let it go. She was in a 4th/5th grade split class. She is in fourth -- the fifth graders left to watch a sex ed film -- the fifth grade parents gave consent, but because the fourth graders didn't watch the film, we weren't informed it was happening. Sure enough, some of the fifth graders took it upon themselves to teach the fourth graders about the content of the film. It totally took me by surprise. So then I had to talk to her, whether or not we wanted to, and because the film covered the basics of sex (or at least the 5th graders told the 4th graders it did), I covered more than I had planned. When I finally did, I had the American Girl book to help, and she had already seen it at friends' houses, so clearly, the discussion had been going for quite some time. I know the first time I heard about the birds and the bees was on the school bus in first or second grade. They talk a lot more than we think they do. My daughter is still a couple years off from getting her period, but I got mine at 10 and I already knew everything my mother tried to tell me by the time she got around to it. I learned it all from my friends. So I wish I had talked to my daughter earlier -- if she hadn't been so resistant, I would have.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My son was very curious and his questions started at about age 4. I have always been straight with him and given age appropriate answers. He's 13 now and we talk about all things sexual in a mature way. C., if you're matter of fact and keep your anxiety in check, it will be a whole lot easier (even though you might be dying inside).

I had a neighbor that refused to talk to her son and daughter about "it" because at ages 12 and 10 she thought they were too young. Guess who's kids were talking about having sex and leaving provacative pictures on other kids cell phones? It wasn't mine...

Good luck. You'll do great.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I also just did this with my 9 year old.
If she's asking questions, it's time. :)
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

This is the first book I introduced our daughter to on the subject which helped to initiate some conversation and questions. You can either read it with her or have her read it and discuss afterward, whichever is most comfortable for her. It answers all the questions preteen girls have about their bodies, from healthy eating to bra buying to periods. It offers guidance on basic hygiene and health without addressing issues of sexuality. Book: "The Care and Keeping of You (American Girl)"



answers from San Diego on

I think the time to have the talk is when she starts asking questions, so the time is now. My daughter didn't start asking questions until she was 9 or 10 but when she was ready I bought her the book "The Care and Keeping of You" from American Girl, which is a amazing book and tool. I still only answered her questions though. When she finished Sex-ed in 6th grade she and I went to the Hyatt in Mission Bay and spent the night there. While there we talked about EVERYTHING. I brought pads and tampons and answered whatever questions she had. I kept it very low key, we would play in the slides and swim for a while, and then go back upstairs and talk, then go swim or eat. I let her set the pace and it was an amazing, bonding experience. She's 16 now and still talks about that weekend. I got the hotel on and it was pretty inexpensive.

Now my son started asking questions probably around 5 and he never stopped asking. So with him I did answer his questions, but oncw again it was age appropriate and pretty much only answered what he was asking.

Good luck!!



answers from Los Angeles on

it is time to talk when she starts asking and pushing and getting specific. (NOW) do you want her to hear it from you or her friends?


answers from Los Angeles on

I've been having ongoing talks with my kids since they were little. They are now 16 (boy) and 13 (girl). They will let you know when they want to know. After listening to a conversation about sex between her brother and older female cousin my daughter tried to add her 2 cents worth and was laughed at by them. Later I asked if she wanted to discuss it. She told me "I don't think it's appropriate for a child of my age." I managed to keep my laughter under wraps. Now she comes to me about everything including sex, boys, relationships, appropriate clothes, friends, etc. which is what I want. The same with my son. Answer all their questions in an age appropriate way and let them know they can talk to you about everything. You will never regret it.

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