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At what age should you discuss Sex with your child?

My son is 8 , and has only ever asked me how babies get out of a woman's tummy( which was about 3 yrs ago , when my friend was pregnant) , I told him in the most simple manner I could think of. ( He told me never to tell anyone else , because that was disgusting!LOL. )Yet he has never asked me how they get in? or how it starts etc. I am not sure when it is age appropriate to start discussing things like that and quite frankly the longer I can put it off the happier I'll be!

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Asked by TakeNoticeNow at 9:17 AM on Mar. 9, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 3 (15 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I think between 10 & 12, the beginning stages of puberty.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:20 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I think it should be an ongoing discussion starting at good touch/bad touch to full out this i what sex is, how emotions are affected, consequences and pleasures. There is not magic age to me. It depends on the child and what they are already exposed to. I was a Big Sister through Big Bro/Big Sis and my 8 year old sis shocked me by knowing what sex is... NOT because her mom had taught her but because her friends had! :( Thats scary!
    The conversation starts when people kiss, make out, have sex on tv and everyone in the room gets uncomfortable, lol. Thats when you talk about it openly and without fear. If they sense you are uncomfy with talking about it that will rub off on them. Even if they never bring it up you can occassionally ask if they have any questions about relationships, girls, or sex. I think a common mistake we parents make is just taking about sex itself but not relationships or the emotional bond sex causes.

    Answer by MamaChamp at 9:24 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I had "the talk" with my older son (now 13) when he was 9 or 10. I knew that at the end of that school year they were going to have a sex ed ("reproductive health") class and I wanted to over the bases ahead of time with him so he wouldnt be mortified or ashamed. He had been asking before (I have a miscarraige which started a lot of questions). I wont lie and say the talk was easy, I spent more time mortified than he did and my husband was VERY helpful (my sons step father). I also used that talk to set the foundation fro recognizing the emotional differences between girls and boys and respecting girls. Things the school didnt teach.

    I think if they're asking questions, they're ready to know. Obviously you would keep it age appropriate (different for a 6 year olf vs a 11 year old). Its a hard talk to have, but Id rather them learn at home, with school as backup than the other way around. GL

    Answer by Tarinia at 9:26 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • now - before he hears it from other kids at school

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 9:44 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • age? don't think that age should be the determining factor. Maturity and curiosity should be. But I say earlier is better then later... most kids around the age of 8 know more about sex then you and I would like to think... best they learn it from you then some kid as school whose daddy has taught him that woman are just objects for sex. (my friend just recently had that same issue)

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 11:02 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • You should already have had a series of small talks with him, and have shared as much age appropriate information with him. My dd (who is 8-almost 9) came home from school last week telling me that one of her friends in class (she is in 3rd grade) started her period that week- the girl is 9.
    If you do NOT take responsibility and talk to him, his friends will. Who do you want him getting his information from?

    Once they hit puberty is too late, they need to be aware of the changes that are about to take place to that they take it in stride as a normal fact and facet of life. THAT way there are no surprises, they have already been armed with the important knowledge that builds the foundation for the open relationship that you will both need to get you through the years to come.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 11:15 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • On a side note, my dd just took it in stride. She sees that as a normal part of life, and was not surprised, appalled, or shy about it. All she asked was if she could get hers that soon, and then expressed that she did not want to because she would have to use "Plugs" LOL, and that it makes you feel like crap.

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 11:17 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • I don't believe in having "the talk", in my opinion it should be a normal subject to discus with kids starting at a young age, that way it isn't an embarrassing subject to kids. 10-12 is way to late in my opinion, kids these days get bombarded with sexual images and i am sure that by that age its already discussed among peers.
    When kids ask they should get an honest answer, in an appropriate way of course, by doing that the whole talk can be avoided. I never had the talk but i knew everything i needed to know from a young age because my parents were very open about it, we had books on how our bodies work etc in our home, it was never an uncomfortable subject at all and i plan on doing the same thing with my own kids.

    Answer by Cynthje at 11:36 AM on Mar. 9, 2010

  • The schools usually do a health program in 5th grade, I plan to be through talking about the basics of sex with my kids at that point. I want to tell them the details before the school does! My son just turned 10 and we've talked a couple of times - usually he asks a questions, I answer his question plus a little more and then give him time to digest that. Typically he may come back a few weeks later and ask something else. I am currently looking for a book at the bookstore to give me some more ideas of things I need to cover with him (for me, it's harder with a boy but he doesn't feel comfortable talking about it with his dad). My daughter is 8 1/2 and we've already started talking about changes in her body that are going to take place. I'm basically letting my kids lead the discussions, but I will get through it before the school does their "class"

    Answer by missanc at 12:24 PM on Mar. 9, 2010

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