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How do you handle the sex talk with your kids when you did everything wrong and you want them to do everything right?

My son has been asking questions about sex. I try to have open talks with him, but I have a hard time telling him how old I was when I first had sex. (let's just say I was young!) He has come out and asked me how old I was and I was like "uhh.." He knows I was 18 when he was born. I tell him that is not very ideal to have kids that young. I also explain to him about STDs and he knows about AIDS. I tell him I would rather he get married before he has sex. I know that is rare these days but I put it out there! I also educate him on how to prevent pregnancy and disease. When it comes to babies, he asked me at what age should people have babies. I told him when he is graduated from college, married, with a good job to support his kids. The thing is, I did none of that! I am not the best example for him. Am I being a hypocrite when I tell him all this, how it "should be?"

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:48 AM on Mar. 31, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (16)
  • You are not a hypocrite. You learned from your mistakes. The hard way.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:54 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • Be honest about your mistakes and let him know why you now regret your decisions. If you hide it from him and he finds out about it later, he's just going to think you're a hypocrite and not pay attention to any of your advice. If you let him know now, then he can potentially learn from your mistakes instead of having to make the same mistake on his own. Make sense?

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 11:55 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • yes that makes sense! I thought about that too but it's so damn hard for me to tell him about it!

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:57 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • I would also be straight with the fact that you made choices you wished you'd done differently... just make sure he KNOWS that HE is not a "Mistake"

    Answer by terpmama at 11:59 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • When discussing sexuality and reproduction with children, it's important to be honest, but to also convey morals and ethics and our cultural norms. We don't tend to share the intimate details of our sex lives with others, so the answer to 'how old were you' is 'that's a nosy question.'

    Decide what you want him to know --why one-night stands are humiliating and unsatisfying... why multiple meaningless partners are boring and unrewarding (and dangerous).

    You are welcome to express your preference (for no premarital sex, or whatever), but don't make any hints about 'because that's what I did' because he will find out you lied. He might not find out until he's 30, but he will find out and the damage to his faith in you will roll back over his whole life and colour everything you've ever said to him. Best to stay honest, if demure on the details.

    Answer by LindaClement at 11:59 AM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • I don't know but when you find out let me know! son has been asking questions and I've been evading them,lol. I always tried to mentally prepare myself for these days and those questions but now that they are here, its like I get a frog in my throat,can't talk my face turns red and my ears get hot and I completely forget what I always had planned to say,LOL.
    I think I'll just buy him a book and sit next to him while he reads it,lmao!

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 12:02 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • If we were hypocrites because we told our kids what not to do, because we did it, well...then I guess we're all are in one form or another. It's our job, as parents to help to steer them in the right direction and to be sure that we've installed, as best as we can, a moral compass to help to guide them. There is no way that I will tell my kids how old I was when I first started having sex. That will only lead to the "Well, you did it when you were ----, so why can't I?!" argument. What you need to focus on, and it sounds like you already are, is just educating him on what STD's are out there(please include Hep C) and how to prevent pregnancies. Reminding him that the only sure fire method of not getting any of the above is just to not have sex. Remind him that oral sex is still considered sex. Don't forget to be sure he knows that the lines of communication are open and that he can come talk to you about it when he needs to.

    Answer by clhadley at 12:14 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • I would suggest being honest with him and let him know how hard it was for you and how much you regret some of the decisions you made. My mom had my sister and I at an early age and she was honest with us. We also seen her struggle with a lot of things. It can be hard but if you try to hide it and he finds out the truth later on he won't trust you as much. If you are honest with the things you did in your past he can learn from your mistakes and he'll be more likely to come to you whenever he has a question. Just make sure he knows that you would prefer for him to wait and not make your mistakes but if he does choose to do things before hand that he protects himself and whoever he his with. Good Luck.


    Answer by Juggalette0327 at 12:24 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • I am SOOO with you!!!!
    I have yet to figure out how to handle it.

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 12:28 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

  • The DH and I were just talking last night about how we hope our daughter can be open and honest with us when she is a teenager (although this came up after that horrible story of the girl who hanged herself after being brutally bullied). Anyway, it occurred to me that one of the best ways to ensure that is for us to be as open and honest with her as we can. I liked what Linda said about answering some requests for details like when you lost your virginity or how many people you slept with by saying "that's too personal" or "even Mom's have to keep somethings private" but go on to say that what you can tell him is how you felt after, and that it was too soon, and why you regretted it and what you wish differently. And acknowledge the fact that you are asking him to behave differently than you did but give him the reasons for that too. Kids are smart enough to see thru BS and hypcorisy so you have to be pretty honest. Good luck!

    Answer by MaryMW at 1:39 PM on Mar. 31, 2010

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