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at what age do you talk to your children about puberty and sex?

Posted by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:22 AM
  • 25 Replies

because lets face it. Times are different. kids see, hear and read stuff they are much to young for. My daughter is 9 she will be 10 this year and im wondering when i should talk to her about puperty. i know shes to young for the birds and bees but im going to do that talk anyways seeing as to how ive seen hundreds of kids on the news and such having kids at 8-12 years old. shes smack dab in the middle. but then again i watch my children and dont let them out of my yard. or as people tell me i "shelter" my children.. but im a 26 yr old mom of 4. i know what teen pregnancy is all about.. 

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by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 8:22 AM
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lucky2Beeme
by Gold Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:01 AM
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 The talk is a series of talks starting with "your privates" around age 2 or 3. It progresses as needed. I would certainly talk to her about getting her cycle and what she will need. I imagine your school will be showing her a movie soon. here they do in grade 5. Also American girl has a great book. talk with her give it to her to read and let her know you are available 24/7 for questions and concerns.

ceciliam
by Cecilia on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:38 AM

This is how I have done it, with my son.

Also, at 9 years old I'm sure she is hearing lots of stuff at school, unfortunately. My son is only in 1st and I can't believe some of the things his classmates talk about.

Quoting lucky2Beeme:

 The talk is a series of talks starting with "your privates" around age 2 or 3. It progresses as needed. I would certainly talk to her about getting her cycle and what she will need. I imagine your school will be showing her a movie soon. here they do in grade 5. Also American girl has a great book. talk with her give it to her to read and let her know you are available 24/7 for questions and concerns.


Bookwormy
by Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM
We started talking about private parts with potty training. We spoke about sperm & egg, womb, etc when DD asked at 4yo. She is now 6yo & hasn't asked yet how the sperm gets to the egg, but when she does, we will tell her about sex & artificial insemination, since we're lesbian moms. We already explained that we got the sperm from a donor & used a book for little children,
la_bella_vita
by Gold Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:54 AM

 I started with privates talk at 2 or 3 and went from there. I plan to always be open and honest with my kids. I want them to feel comfortable asking me anything.

anotherandree
by Inga on Apr. 26, 2013 at 9:56 AM

So, ideally, you should have started with a series of talks, but that ship has sailed.  My sister-in-law got a book from amazon that she and her daughter went through TOGETHER that was very age appropriate.  Doing a quick search, I thought this looked like something I would try if I was in your situation.  Good luck!

PinkParadox
by on Apr. 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Now! My 5 year old knows the basics. My 7 year old knows everything. You have to make it seem like a normal thing for you guys to talk about. If not, then once she's getting information from her friends, she's not likely to come to you.
SweetLuci
by Silver Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 10:36 AM

 It needs to be a series of talks. There is a wonderful book called The Care And Keeping Of You. It's an American Girl book. She's the right age for it. Read it yourself or read it with her and tell her to ask any questions she has. It's kind of a rite of passage in our family. Every girl gets one. And they have all loved it. It talks about body changes, periods , taking care of yourself.

LoreleiSieja
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Everyone is so helpful here... the first replies have all said pretty much what I would have said.  But I will just add my own two cents anyway...

Because she could start her period soon, it is time to prepare her for that.  Make sure you present it as a positive!  Some girls feel that this is a burden, the life is so infair, that boys have it easy... that monthly bleeding is so gross!  But some women see this as a  blessing!  They love being women, and being part of nature, and that their monthly flow is a time for the self, to focus on one's own needs and body, and that all is right in the world.

When I would get my period, I would do several things: first, I'd change the sheets.  Not because they were soiled, but because I wanted to feel clean when I went to bed.  I would always take a long soaky bubble bath.  I would allow myself a small box of chocolates. Sometimes I'd buy myself something nice - a package of new underwear or a pretty top.  In some cultures, women are shunned during their cycle.  In our culture, we're pretty much free to create whatever traditions we want.

Next, I'd tell her only as much "birds and the bees" as she asks about.  I wouldn't tell her everything - but at some point she's going to ask questions.  Answer her questions until she is satisfied.  Encourage her to talk to YOU.  And then listen carefully.

One girl misunderstood what her mom told her, and thought that once she started bleeding, it would never stop!  Her life would be one  long period until she was old.  A little more conversationn would have prevented months worth of worry for this child.


LindaClement
by Linda on Apr. 26, 2013 at 11:25 AM

We started talking about bodies and their parts and functions before our kids could talk. We never stopped.

I think it's a mistake to wait, even to wait for any apparent interest. Parents lead, in what is 'acceptable' dinner table conversation, and what we 'just don't talk about.'

DaniandTom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 26, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Ideally, you begin talking when they're little and by the time they're her age, they already know how things work and what to expect. Since you can't go back in time, talk to her now about everything--in bits and pieces, starting with her period. She will most likely start within the next year or so and you do NOT want it to frighten her or for her to be ashamed. My mother never told me anything so when I started at age 11, I thought I was dying! Because of this, I started talking about bodies and what the different parts are called and what they're for when they were just little. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed to talk to her or she'll feel like it's something that needs to be hidden away and not talked about. Be honest with her and use terms that she can understand. 

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