My 9 Yr Old Thinks She Knows What Sex Is...

Updated on November 21, 2006
L.L. asks from Hermitage, TN
10 answers

and I am terrified to even know what on earth she thinks she knows and have no idea how much to tell her without freaking her out. My mom died 4 years ago, I have no "mother" to ask what on earth I am supposed to tell my daughter or how much I should tell or if I should just let it pass and discuss it later. Please, please someone tell me how to approach this conversation.

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So What Happened?

Ok, so I called her in here just now and I asked her what "sex" is. She said, and I quote: "It is when 2 people get naked, climb in bed, kiss and sleep" Thank you God! She said, "So is that right?", I said, "Yep, sounds pretty accurate to me." I will reserve any further details until we actually start dealing with puberty. Thanks so much for all of your advice everyone!


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answers from Memphis on

I would not just let it least find out what she thinks she knows. If she's right all you can do is let her know that she is right and then go into the regular speech about how she should wait until she meets the man of her dreams and they get married :) Then I would have a more serious discussion with her later (a few years down the road) to let her know that when she thinks she is ready, that she needs to talk to you about it so that you two can plan together as far as birth control.
Try to make it as least as uncomfortable as she feels comfortable bringing it up to you later.

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answers from Nashville on

L. -
I agree w/the other posts that you absolutely must deal w/this subject immediately. Keeping the communication lines open & staying honest will help w/your relationship w/your daughter as she grows older ... & faces more temptation. Do NOT be afraid to talk to her! My almost-10-yr-old came home in 3rd grade & announced her best friend said she was now smarter b/c she knew what sex was. I called the mom (a friend of mine) & it turned out she'd given her daughter "the talk" that weekend. So - I sat my daughter down & answered her - fairly harmless, @ THAT time, questions. When my son was 6, he came home from school announcing that HE knew what "sex" was. I calmly asked him & his response was that it was when a couple kissed w/their tongues! You NEVER know what's going on in these kids' minds unless you LET them talk to you!!!
Better they get it straight (& correct!) from you than from classmates.
My son hasn't needed "The Talk" yet. But, we're answering the [more & more frequent] questions as they come.
For my daughter, however, we found a wonderful book called "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie H. Harris & Michael Emberley. LOTS of illustrations. Different chapters on different subjects from breasts, to periods to sex. I would *not* just hand the book to your daughter, though - but go over it WITH her.
Let HER questions tell you what SHE'S ready to hear ...



answers from Chattanooga on


You have to sit her down and have a serious talk with her about this. You need to know what she knows but you have to do it without her really realizing it. It will be hard but if you are close to her then you will find a way. That way you may know where to begin to tell her what you want her to know at this point.

When I was 9, I started my period. I didn't know what they were and my mother told me nothing. I learned on the street, which wasn't good. She needs to know what is coming and what to watch out for. If she claims she knows all about it now, who is to stop her from exploring if you don't take control now. Please don't be terrified of this. If you are calm and take it slowly you will be fine. Let her ask questions, answer them as honestly as possible making sure she knows what is right and wrong. There are several books that you can read to help you with this. I don't have a title for you but try going to the book store and asking for help. Don't let her go on thinking that she knows it all. That is only asking for trouble. Talk to her now. I think she is letting you know she wants to know more about sex. Good luck.



answers from Knoxville on

I have a 10 year old boy and we recently had to have "the talk". The first thing that you need to do is question her about what she thinks sex is. After you hear what she has to say, take a few days and plan your discussion with her. It took me several days to decide how to approach the subject. The thing that I thought about was, if he is well informed, maybe he will at least make SAFE decisions. If your daughter is 9, then she could start her period any day now. I believe that we should give our children good information so that they don't get out and try to "experience" to learn and end up pregnant or being the "daddy" at such a young age. My son wants to go to college and play football and then go pro, so I used this as an incentive to encourage him to abstain. I did explain condoms to him and why they are important. I also taught him about masterbation, so that he would have a way to "relieve" any frustrations without the worry of him getting a girl pregnant. I know that we do not want to think about our children masterbating, but I would rather him do that than to do the real thing. Ask her some questions and see what she has to say and then request some opinions on what to tell her next.



answers from Atlanta on

Unfortunately, I have worked with lots of girls slightly older than your daughter who were having sex... and some who were having babies! It is a horrible thought, but these things are happening out there. The other moms are right - YOU MUST TALK TO HER, and the sooner the better. I advise parents to tell kids the basics and let THEM ask questions; that way, you don't tell her more than she needs/wants to know. A book can also help; 2 of my favorites are "What's Happening to Me?" A guide to puberty and "Where Did I Come From" both by Peter Mayle. These books have been around for a LONG time! They are factual but also "cute" and non-threatening. The other thing to think about is, what value do you and her dad want her to have about sex? Are you teaching abstinence, or safe sex, or sex when you're ready/in love, or what?? Different people approach it in different ways. You have to decide what makes sense for your family and then present it in a united way. Be sure to be "level" when talking to her; in other words, don't accuse her or scare her or make her think that talking about this is bad or wrong. You may want to gently question WHERE she got the information that she currently has, so that you can monitor that source in the future. You may also want to start by asking her what she has already heard or knows, so that you can confirm the true parts and take care of the false parts as well. Stay strong - you are doing the right thing!
Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

I believe that when they ask the question they are ready for the answer. If your 5 year old asks where babies come from, give them the answer at their level. Babies come from mommies tummy's. If they aren't satified with the answer givena child will continue to ask questions.

Your daughter is 9, you should probably begin preping her for puberty, I'd be suprised if she hasn't started showing small signs of beginning it. Ask her if she has any questions, explain sex is was a man a woman who love eachother very much is. Its they way married ADULTS show physical love for eachother and thats also where babies come from.

Just remember, if she asks the question she's probably ready to know. Be simple, if she keeps asking, keep giving answers, or if you think thats too much of an adult question explain that to her and say ask when you're older.



answers from Atlanta on

Hi...this is very important info that she needs to have in order to protect herself from "bad people". She needs to know about her own body. My mom sat me down @ 10 and told me everything. She used books, drew pictures, and even gave me books from the library to read and learn from. They have age appropriate books to give to girls and boys. She needs to know about periods, and why people have sex, and when it's okay to do that!!! Being mis-informed by school aged childeren could be disasterious!!!Good luck!!! You can do this for your kids!!!



answers from Macon on

I suggest that you let her tell you what she already knows and then you can correct her or go further with the subject. But I would not go any further then what a 9 year old should know. Like her period and bady parts. What a girl has vs. what a boy has. I think that you can go to the library and check books out for her age group. Hope I helped or was at least some help.



answers from Augusta on

I agree you NEED to sit down and talk to her I am DREADING the subject as well, but you need to talk to her before some little boy does. yes some kids are having sex at as young as 9/10 yrs old its rare but it is there. I know someone that lost their virginity at 13 and that was may years ago.



answers from Atlanta on

Keep the dialogue open with your daughter. Don't freak out in front of her or she will feel like she can't come to you. My daughter has thrown SEVERAL "time to freak out" things at me over the last couple of years, and so far, we still have a great relationship and can talk. I HOPE it's because I do my very best to stay outwardly calm no matter what she says and have a "friend" conversation with her when she brings up uncomfortable subjects.

Ask your daughter what sex is and let her tell you. It may be that she has heard the word but DOESN"T know all the grown up details. Fill in the blanks if she needs you too, but keep it G rated.

Last year, my SIL was pregnant. My daughter, then 8, had been asking many questions over several months and her questions kept escalating, so I knew she wasn't getting the answers she wanted. She asked me one night "what kind of food do you eat to get a baby in your belly?" So I said "When Mommy's and Daddy's get married and want to have a baby, they have sex. And sex is what makes a baby." (We haven't had a "sex" talk, but just the WORD is still a big deal to her).
She waited a few seconds and said "Is that what Aunt --- and Uncle --- did?" and I said yes. She ended with "Oh okay" and that was the end of it.

I also find that advice from my mother on any "taboo" subjects don't help much. When I was growing up, we were silently led to believe that it was all dirty. And you definitely didn't talk about touching any parts of your body. My mother still tends to highly over-react but I know that's just the way she was brought up.

Follow YOUR own motherly instincts any time these subjects come up. And pray for me that I can keep the lines of communication OPEN with my daughter through the coming years. That's my biggest fear, losing the freedom that she feels that she can bring any subject to my attention.


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