Explaining the "Birds and the Bees" to My 12 Year Old

Updated on May 23, 2007
C.H. asks from Missouri City, TX
11 answers

I am really struggling with the idea of sitting my 12 year boy down and explaining things about his body, puberty and other things. My husband insists that he is going to talk to him but I have patiently waited for two years and he has yet to do it. He claims that he is just going to bring it up in casual conversation. It does not appear this approach is working. As a parent I feel I have a responsiblity to my son to inform him of what is happening to his body, his voice and sex. My son is going to the 7th grade next school year and I need to know if it's okay to have a mother explain the facts of life to her son even when the father is still insisting that he will do it.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone for the great advice. I decided to go ahead give my son "the talk" which I did last week. I was amazed at how much he didn't know. I told him that his father and I would be open to any questions he may have and that we would continue to talk on this as the need arises. It's a load off my mind and I'm really glad I did it.

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answers from Beaumont on

I had to explain it to my son because his father wasn't around enough. I took it upon myself because he is my son too and I really didn't trust another man to do it (seeing as how men think sex is more important than oxygen). I think he understood really well and respects girls maybe a bit more than other boys. You could try to explain it to him, and let him know that if he'd rather talk to his dad, to just go to him. Let him know that BOTH of you are open and willing to listen and talk openly about it.

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answers from Dallas on

Wow... my son is 12..,we talk pretty openly about it. Puberty is already hitting him pretty hard. In the 3rd grade ( YES 3rd grade!), another child shared their knowledge about sex with him. I expected more of mommy and daddy kissing, maybe under the covers or in their birthday suit, but no, this child knew it all! I was pretty ticked about it, but my son wouldn't give up who it was.

In the long run, even though I still feel it was too young, it also opened the door for my son BEFORE he started changing instead of know when he is grown extremely modest about the changes happening to his body. If I had waited until there was a "sign" he wouldn't have been as accepting and more embarrassed I think.

At the end of January, he went for his 12 yr check up (turned 12 in OCt however), the dr mentioned a little hair "down there" and he has grown probably 5 inches since then, hair everywhere..even a little stache! I was a little naive thinking it would be a gradual transition! When I see him standing next to friends, I am amazed (and sad) at how much he has changed.

I encourage you to talk with him soon. My son talks to me more than his dad really about it. We are open and try to not hide our bodies. We don't run around naked, but we don't jump behind doors if accidently walked in on, but my son's modesty has done a complete turn. Which is fine and we respect that.

When we discuss sex, we discuss our views on it and how God made a man and woman's body to fit together, etc... In the 5th grade, his school showed the video. They didn't offer parents to watch it with the kids like they did when I was in school. (they offered prior to showing it to the kids, but my mom watched it with me at the same time). He came home with a few questions.

At this age, he is learning about it. HOwever, probably not what you want him to learn about it so I would definately jump in to let him know your expectations and views on sex. Also, other boys will claim they are doing it- as my son informed me that a boy told him that-I wonder and hope that little boy is fibbing. I told my son most likely he is just trying to act big. You definately don't want him to think if so and so is doing it, I should too.

Good luck!

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answers from Houston on

From my experience with my kids dad, I doubt if he's going to talk to him until your son asks. So I see nothing wrong with you talking to your if you two are close and talk easily already this will an easy conversation. It will help him with his sexuality if your able to have a open casual conversation about it with no embarrassment. It will let him see its the way of life and its something to be responsible about. My son just turned eleven and the school sent home a permission slip that needed to be signed before they allowed our children to attend the session of puberty. I'm single so I was able to use him going to that session as a opened door to talk with my son about our bodies and sexuality. I took the opportunity also to let him know that God made our bodies this way not only to reproduce but He loved us so much that he wanted us to be able to have a intimate relationship with a significant other that places a bond that we should have with no other but only the one that God has especially for us. He thought it was neat that God loves and knows him so well that he has the perfect someone for him. I think its those conversations that make us closer. I'm think anytime we are trusting them with information lets them know we trust them. Good luck



answers from Houston on

I think you should talk to your husband first and you two should come to an agreement that either both of you will talk to him or you will do it, and that you are not waiting any longer. And to be honest chances are that he has already heard some of the "news" - I know my 11yr old has had two videos at school about his changing body, etc. But I would ask him questions to see how much he knows and go from there. I do feel its VERY important that you guys both talk to him about it at sometime because then he will feel comfortable to talk to either of you about the subject.
Hope this helps......
A. : )



answers from Houston on

Before you explain to your son, ask first what does he knows about it, sometimes you'll get surpraised...



answers from Houston on

single moms do it all the time.I don't see why you wait for your husband to do it.



answers from Houston on

I think you should let your husband explain this matter to your son, Why? because he knows more about a male body then you. I have a 13 year old son and my husband had the talk with him at the age of 12. I will give it more time because your husband might think its not time yet, some boys mature faster then others. If he starts asking question about sex or his body then thats when you just answer his questions. But let Daddy do this one. Good luck and keep us updated Ok.




answers from Longview on

I know this is going to sound bad, but really we never had the 'talk' with our kids. When my kids were around 8-9 years old I read the a book that was given to me at that age. It had rough sketch type pictures of the people and simply explained about the workings of a woman becoming pregnant. They had the basic information from that. And the rest came up as they grew and had more questions. It was better that way imho because it was a gradual thing--not all of sudden we need a talk.

They get a lot of info from friends at school too. Dont' be surprised, but they talk a lot. When I subbed at the jr high last year I discovered we had 2 girls boasting of losing their virginity (they would not share which boy). We had a boy ask a girl for sex--just point blank. It is fact, I know because my child was told about it and came to me with the info. This is 12 and 13 year old kids! Then I had kids openly telling me of their drinking parties over the weekend by sneaking to a friends house after the parents thought they were somewhere else. All that stuff starts at jr high now!

We talk openly in our house so I get a lot of stuff that is floating around. I think it is because my kids know I won't 'freak out' when they tell me. I just ask them, where were the parents? What did the girl do or say?

But chances are your kid already has some information. You need to find out if he has the correct information. And hope all your moral training comes to the forefront when he is put in a situation where he has the opportunity to deal with this stuff.

Good luck,



answers from College Station on

Don't let your son go any longer without a trusted adult talking to him about his body, puberty, and sex. If he's going into 7th grade, you may be really suprised at what he already knows, right or wrong information. I understand that it's difficult to talk to kids about this kind of thing, but ignorance is way worse! If you can't talk to him, let an uncle, a trusted male adult, or his doctor explain puberty to him. If talking about sex is too hard, there are several books available for kids his age to read about sex, or for you to read about how to talk about the birds and the bees. But it's your job, as a parent, to explain the emotions that go into sex, and how prepared you have to be for it, both physically and emotionally. I think the biggest thing that I was ever told about sex, that had the most impact, was that when you slept with someone, you were sleeping with all the people they slept with too. Also, no matter how prepared you are a pregnancy can happen, and are you ready to be tied to this person for the rest of your life? Are they the person you would choose as a parent for your child? These questions kept me from making a lot of bad decisions. Just reassure him that know matter what, he needs to protect himself and the person he chooses to sleep with, and be prepared if he chooses to place himself in that position.



answers from Houston on

There are some great books written that you can buy and have him read, that worked really well with my girls at that age. And they get so much junk from TV and Peers that it is good that you give them the information on a healthy point of view. I can't remember what the title is of the one I used, but they are made for both boys and girls and I'm sure you can find one at the bookstore.



answers from Houston on

I am having the same problem. My son is 10 years old and he is asking questions about sex. He knows to much for his age already. For a while he thought he knew where babies came from and where they come out. He thought they come out of the anus. Which had me laughing when he told me that. I had to tell him that women have a special hole called the birth canal, thats where babies come out, or sometimes they have to cut the stomach open. Which he knew thats what they had to do to take out his little brother. Sooner or later they are going to find out every detail. Frankly, I'm tired of beating around the bush and making up things that doesn't make since to him just to hide the truth. He thinks sex is two people geting naked and kissing and then the woman gets pregnant. Well it's time to fill in the blanks, shall we.

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