• Discussing sex and relationships with our children

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    geebee [sign in to see picture]
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    Following on from the thread about lowering the age of consent, i thought id ask opinions on what age we should start discussing sex and repaltionships with our children?

    As a mother to three boys and one girl, aged between 4 and 10yrs ive not had the birds and the bees talk with any of the children, but reading the thread about lowering the age of consent got me thinking. If children are partaking in sexual activities before 16, when do we start to give the the information they need to make the right choices?

    As my eldest boy is 10, should i start providing him with the infomation now, or do i wait until he is 13 lets say and has possibly been 'sexually active' (even if not full sex). Where do we decide that a child is mature enough to be told snipets of information about growing up, without telling them everything. When is the time to give them all the information they require?

    My daughter is 8yrs old, and i know that she is far to young to be told anything yet, even to do with periods, but is it better to give them the info early so they know and they can talk to parents or do we wait and hope were not to late?

    Also is it up to Dads to tell boys and mums to tell girls? Im a single mum, so my children see their other parents at weekends, but as a main carer i feel i should do the talks, do others feel this way.

    I know my eldest lad has had some sex and drugs lessons at school, but i think this was more about over the counter and perscription drugs and i dont think sex really came in to it.

    I do believe however, its upto me and their father to explain life and give them the reasurance they can speak to either of us. I dont think schools should have to bear the brunt of it, and be responsible for teaching children the facts of life.

    Where do others stand on this?

    Geebee

    1384864070
    StHubbins [sign in to see picture]
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    My two are 9 and 7 and have covered all the biological aspects of it at school and with us. The big thing they don't know is that we have sex for pleasure and not just for making babies. That's something that I don't know when we should discuss.

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    Khaleesi [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi Geebee!

    The link below has age appropriate information for each age group including 3 - 4 year olds and is really useful on how to bring up the topic and how to talk confidently about it. It also has videos and suggested answers to questions they might ask you so give it a look. It’s very useful!

    http://www.fpa.org.uk/help-and-advice/advice-for-parents-carers

    There is also a section specifically for single parents so I’d take a look at that too.

    Brook http://www.brook.org.uk/ is a sexual health charity for young people so it might be worth refering him to the website?

    At GP surgeries there are normally leaflets from a charity called 4YP about sex and STI's too.

    It’s great that you’re doing this and I hope this helps somewhat! School sex education can be very hit and miss, so it’s definitely worth doing.

    1384865106
    taraman [sign in to see picture]
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    I think any child with access to a computer these days is going to be in contact with sex by way of spam or pop-ups. My kids are all young and at primary school and thankfully remain naive on the subject. One thinks mummy and daddy simply order a new baby whilst the other thinks it just starts to 'cook' in the tummy!!

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    Puddleduck [sign in to see picture]
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    My boys are 7 and 12, my eldest son learnt about the basics at school and with me at 10-11. Then at 11 did another session with the school about sex. Not wanting to isolate my son its asked him if he wanted to join in with the school discussion and if he wanted information off me. And I wish I hadn't let him my son is very naive and this discussion caused major distress to him and in our house between me and my partner. Now my son has started secondary school and is 12 I think he's more mature and showing an interest in girls I will talk to him myself. I will be honest and discuss it at a level I think he's ready for.
    I read the stuff the school taught my son and it was how every time mummy cuddles daddy they have sex I personally disagree with this because it confused my son. I will learn from this and not make the mistake with my next son.
    Having spent time talking to a school nurse she told me they talk to children from a young age about personal hygiene etc.

    1384866661
    Puddleduck [sign in to see picture]
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    Forgot to add
    As a mother of two boys with dad in the picture I feel my boys will respond better to me talking about it as I can talk better about the emotions involved

    1384867716
    Sum Sub [sign in to see picture]
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    I'm not there yet with my son. But I've always assumed I'll know when he's ready and will make the call of what exactly we talk about when that call is made.

    Just a thought though. As adults we are all individuals with differing opinions and experiences, I think this is even more pronounced with children. So what I'm trying to say is there us no one size fits all. One child might be ready for these conversations at 8 another might not be until 14.

    Personally I don't think I'm ready even now!

    1384867952
    StHubbins [sign in to see picture]
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    Sum Sub wrote:


    Personally I don't think I'm ready even now!

    If you want, I'll discuss it with you the way they do at my kids' school. It's all based on cats and kittens and there's nothing to be afraid of.

    1384867987
    BigDoc [sign in to see picture]
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    As father of 2 girls, there was some concern over thei anatomical accuracy when drawing at school aged 9 ish. If there is an issue its about safe sex, not how to do it and I believe in openness about the sexual aspects of growing up. Who does that? well its up to each kid to ask who they think will provide the better/honest answer.

    1384868123
    Sum Sub [sign in to see picture]
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    StHubbins wrote:

    Sum Sub wrote:


    Personally I don't think I'm ready even now!

    If you want, I'll discuss it with you the way they do at my kids' school. It's all based on cats and kittens and there's nothing to be afraid of.

    Ok - later, in bed?
    1384868260
    StHubbins [sign in to see picture]
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    Sum Sub wrote:

    StHubbins wrote:

    Sum Sub wrote:


    Personally I don't think I'm ready even now!

    If you want, I'll discuss it with you the way they do at my kids' school. It's all based on cats and kittens and there's nothing to be afraid of.

    Ok - later, in bed?

    You bring the hot water bottle, I'll bring the cocoa.

    1384869169
    Anonybloke [sign in to see picture]
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    FWIW I don't think eight is too early. I was shocked to find out with our children that the hormonal changes start two years before any physical signs of puberty. So, that's more stroppy children then!

    With ours, we start as soon as they ask questions and keep it a level they understand. TBH before they start puberty, they really aren't that interested. I think we started with "Daddy plants a seed inside Mummy and the baby grows inside Mummy. That's why you're part Daddy and part Mummy." Usually that suffices and they get bored and move on to something else. Once they get into secondary, they seem to be taught all sorts of stuff.

    We've never held with all this "God took a star out of heaven and put it in Mummy's tummy, so you're going to have a sister." Yes, I really did hear a mother say that to her daughter!

    I think the important thing, no matter how squirmy it is, is to keep talking to them. I have conversations with my eldest where I tell him stuff and explain stuff that I think he needs to know and he goes bright red and mumbles!

    My main job is explaining that porn is like action films - its an idealised view designed to look good on film and bearing very little relationship to reality!

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    blonde vixen13 [sign in to see picture]
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    From personal experience my mum told me about periods at 8 and sex at 10. By the time I was 10 I already knew what sex was, so that made the birds and bees conversation really harassing for me because I was trying to pretend I didn't know anything.
    My children are still to young to think about the talk but I reckon I will start telling them bits slowly around the age of 8 x

    1384877336
    Fluffbags [sign in to see picture]
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    Mine are 9 and 7 and my older one (girl) is extremely curious about bodies, babies, boyfriends and girlfriends etc. At one stage I was worried she was too curious for her age, until I read stuff online and remembered back to my childhood and realised she is just taking after her mum!

    I have talked with both of mine about how babies are made and about periods. I started with "The dad has the seed and the mum has the egg" and got a million and one questions. "How does the seed get to the egg" "Where does the dad keep the seed" "How does the mum keep eggs inside her" "Doesn't she lay the eggs" lol

    It turned into a full chat about babies and periods. Then my daughter very proudly took that lesson and went and drew a picture for me of making babies. All I was thinking was "please god do not draw that at school" lol

    I think I will have the more "sexual" chat with them at about 12/13. Right now they just know the biology and mums and dads do this when they are "in love"

    I want to make sure that sex talk is not too embarrassing, so if they ever have a problem, they feel they can talk, but they probably wont talk to mum anyway at teenage, so I will make sure they know it is okay to speak to other people (health clinics, teen help lines, educational websites or whatever there is) if they need it.

    1384877389
    swingcouple [sign in to see picture]
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    We both had parents who were very repressed and uncommunicative about sex, leaving us ignorant. The subject wasn't covered at our schools, either, so our education consisted of hearing things from our friends and discovering things ourselves, accompanied by a lot of guilt!

    Because of this, we brought our children up (in previous marriages) to be aware of sex right from the start. We answered questions honestly and in detail, and later R allowed her sons to sleep at home with their girlfriends (as long as their mothers approved) reasoning that they would do it anyway so it was best to provide a safe environment and contraception..

    Our children have turned out as balanced and sexually liberated adults.

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    myghost [sign in to see picture]
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    when i was a kid 9-10 years old in primary school everyone in the year excluding the children whose parents chose not to let them be involved got taken in to a room to watch a series of videos explaining the birds and the bees and puberty the girls got a pack of pamphlets explaining everything and some pad samples i don't know what the boys got in secondary school we didn't really learn anything i think there was one lesson and all the girls were given a box of tampax

    i don't remember getting any sort of talk from my parents my mother didn't explain about periods and other female stuff until i was about 12 and i started needing to know

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    MrsMcX [sign in to see picture]
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    My mum sat me down in front of a VHS about sex education that she bought. We both sat there and watched it. It was so embarrassing at the time, but now I think about it, it was the most gentle and tender way of learning about it. It discussed periods and sexual intercourse, and then afterwards she asked me if I had any questions to ask her, which I didn't because I was so embarrassed!! But I can imagine actually having a conversation with her would have been much worse for me. I was 10-11 when this happened, just after I started growing hair, and I was preparing for senior school so it was good timing for me. Then when I did start my first period I was really prepared. My mum wasn't home, but she had showed me where she has a supply of pads and how to use them and I felt so grown up that I was able to do it all myself and my mum was very proud of me too! I was 11 years old, that sounds so young!! But it's best to be prepared. Even though it was embarrassing, I wouldn't have had it any other way :)

    1385251966
    Poppicat [sign in to see picture]
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    geebee wrote:

    My daughter is 8yrs old, and i know that she is far to young to be told anything yet, even to do with periods, but is it better to give them the info early so they know and they can talk to parents or do we wait and hope were not to late?

    8 years old is not too young to start talking about what is going to happen to her body etc. I started getting boobs at 8 and got my period at 9 and a half! My mum told me pretty early. I remember it, I was in the bath and she told me that my body was changing and showed me a book on puberty. I amm glad she showed me it early on or I would of freaked out.

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    maltedmilk [sign in to see picture]
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    Poppicat wrote:

    geebee wrote:

    My daughter is 8yrs old, and i know that she is far to young to be told anything yet, even to do with periods, but is it better to give them the info early so they know and they can talk to parents or do we wait and hope were not to late?

    8 years old is not too young to start talking about what is going to happen to her body etc. I started getting boobs at 8 and got my period at 9 and a half! My mum told me pretty early. I remember it, I was in the bath and she told me that my body was changing and showed me a book on puberty. I amm glad she showed me it early on or I would of freaked out.

    Similar to me. I was in year 3 or 4 when I had my first period but my mum had already got me a period book as she thought I was getting to that age. I had mini bras haha! I didn't have more periods though for a while. It's upsetting because you worry is it too early and do your friends have them too. My primary school didn't have sanitary towel waste bins yet and because my mum told them I had had a period they got some for the toilets and had to send a letter to all the mums of girls. I felt really guilty for it. Xx
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    maltedmilk [sign in to see picture]
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    Sex I don't remember finding out. I remember having chats about it, but not finding out. I knew a long time ago. In first school. Your kids might even know already.
    You have to teach them to be safe though. Scare it into them! Xx

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