1. Discussing sex and relationships with our children

    Laveila [sign in to see picture]
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    I know from very early age the basics, like 7? My parents had a book written by some experts, which gave some information for kids between 6 and 10 I think. They also had a book for kids between 11 and 14, which then gave more information.

    The first book explained a bit about both man and woman bodies and pregnancy, including bit of info about period, but not like actual sex. That was in the later book and my parents discussed sex more with me round when I was maybe 11 to 12.

    Plus I had really good sex education. Which included session about just how female body works when we were about 11 to 12, which explained the circle, ovulation, period etc, and we were given information on various hygenic products and also a calender to mark the time when we actually get the menstruation and to keep track. I think this talk about this age is appropriate, as some girls can get menstruation when about 12.

    We also had a talk about sex and STDs, including how to protect ourselves from STDs, which they are, what they look like, when they appear -they used photos, how they can be treated. And we had session with HIV positive person too.

    We had a talk about how to prevent pregnancy too, with either doctor or nurse. Explaining various methods, what can be the problems with each one. And we also had a talk about abortion. What methods are used for what stage of pregnancy etc.

    But I am not from the UK, so this is different for me. But I think it was really good education though provided by school, and some of it would be pretty hard for my parents to provide, e.g. the detailed information about STDs with photos. Back then, most people did not have computer and internet, yet

    mrs average [sign in to see picture]
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    Hi there. i have a 12 year old daughter and 9 year old son. I haven't had a formal "sit down and lets talk about what sex is" conversation with them as I feel doing that is very stilted and it's not like suddenly one day at a pArticular time they need to know.
    But if question crop up a opportunities arrise I tackle the subject at the time on an as and when basis.
    Eg: when they asked about babies breast feeding I told them that is how babies get their food and all about how it happens. when my son noticed his sister didn't have the same toilet tackle as him, I explained the difference between boy and girls. a couple of years ago I spoke to my daughter about periods as girls need to know do they don't get a shock (shes only 12 so not had to deal with that physically but at least she knows what is expected and that its normal).
    My daughter did have the sex talk at school in yeAr 6 (age 10-11) just the mechanics and how babies are made. all parents had letters about this about 3 months before hand so that you coukd chat to them before the talk and be prepared for questions after, or indeed exclude your child from the class if you didn't want them to know.
    This was helpful but generally I would say take it as it comes.
    I personally don't think that 8 year olds need bombarding with sex education.. let them play on their bikes, watch scooby doo and giggle at words like pants and boobs.
    if they get missinformed by school friends you can be there to put them right, and if they ask then give an honest answer; and make the most intelligent conversations about relationships and let then know they can always ask stuff when they need to.
    Don't worry or be embarrassed just go with the flow and trust your instincts about your kids. You will know as and when they need tAlking to about sex and relationships as you know their maturity level and all children are different.

    Janny [sign in to see picture]
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    Difficult thread, but interesting one.

    the_drew [sign in to see picture]
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    A really interesting question.

    My kids are 4 and 6 and know about sex, we haven't told them about sperm and eggs but they know what job their "bits" do, that baby's live in mummy's tummy before being born etc.

    My wife and I discussed having a strategy, but in the end just decided that since we're always holding hands and being affectionate with each other, the kids will observe our intimacy and ask questions (note that does NOT mean we're bonking on the sofa while they're watching Fireman Sam....).

    So our strategy was just to create an atmosphere at home where they can ask questions, and we answer them honestly. The worst thing I can imagine is getting all Victorian and filling their heads with a load of "Stork drops it down a chimney / birds and the bea's" mumbo jumbo, that just makes for an uphill struggle later in life.

    So to the OP, my response is to tell the kids when their curiosity provokes the question.

    the_drew [sign in to see picture]
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    To add to my last post (which I can't edit for some reason).

    It's important not to only teach kids about sex, the biological function (which is what schools will do), but to include intimacy, love, affection, trust and boundaries in the conversation.

    Kids are sponges for information, discussing all this stuff when they ask about it is easier for you, by taking the stigma out of the conversation and gives them guidance for how they can live their life.

    My kids, young as they are, know about love, affection, intimacy, trust. They know that sex is best with someone you love, and that there's no rush to do it.

    They also say "gigitty" everytime they see mummy and I kiss, make of that what you will... :-)

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