Monday, October 22, 2012

How to talk with your kids about Sex - an extremely unofficial guide

I am noticing an uptick in traffic, partly due to the nature of this post. If you are here because of a google search, please visit XXX Church, instead.

Last week I wrote about how we have an open policy when it comes to talking about sex with our kids. We want our kids to feel comfortable enough to ask us anything and know that they can trust us.

If you haven't yet talked about sex with your kids and want to, here are a few tips that worked for us.

1. Seven seems to be the magic age where the kids ask about sex and remember the gruesome details. Both our older kids asked when their sister was born, but neither really cared at three and four. At seven it leaves a little more of an impression.

2. They asked if we "did that" and if we still do ("because, eww, mom!"). We were honest ("Uh, heck yeah!") and then used it as a good time to say, "Hey, that's one reason why you knock before coming into Mom and Dad's room!" or "Yeah, that's why mom and dad aren't always super excited when you want to sleep in our bed at night." Both those comments got sheepish laughs from my kids. Tyler always knocks now. Always.

3. We discussed our beliefs about sex, about waiting for marriage and acknowledged that not everyone has the same beliefs we do about sex and marriage. We made sure to point out that in our own lives we have seen the benefit of why one might want to wait for marriage. We haven't gone into detail about our own pasts, but when the time comes and as it's appropriate, we plan to.

We also talk about being respectful of other people's choices even if it isn't what we are teaching them. We have already been talking about how hard waiting for marriage is, and that they might get some pressure from their peers not to. This does not resonate now, of course, but it will, and probably sooner than I want to admit.

4. We kept it light - when the kids were grossed out, we laughed with them. We aren't overly serious about it nor do we treat it like a big joke. It is what it is.

5. We told our kids that talking about sex is like telling other kids Santa Claus isn't real. It isn't a topic you should be talking about with other kids. We don't know what other parents believe about Santa or sex, so please do not discuss either at school.

And in regards to abuse we told our kids:

1. No one should touch your privates, ever.

2. No adult should ever ask you to keep a "secret" from mom and dad.

3. If you are ever touched or asked to show your body to anyone (another child or an adult) run to the nearest adult you can find. I read on another parenting site recently to have your kids to find a mother - mothers can usually be trusted since policemen, firemen, teachers, the usual go to adults, can't always be found easily.

4. If an adult or another child makes you feel uncomfortable in any way with how they talk, or how they touch you, even if it isn't specifically "inappropriate" tell mom or dad immediately. We want to address uncomfortable situations before they become a problem, send the message to our kids that we will believe them if they find themselves in uncomfortable situations and help them learn to stand up for themselves and what they are comfortable with.

Just to appease my own curiosity I asked Tyler if he was embarrassed to talk about sex with us. Without hesitation he said, "With you guys? No way. But absolutely not with other people."

It's awkward, but I definitely think getting the conversation going with kids about sex and other touchy subjects only gets harder as they get older.


  1. Love this. Tucking away for (far, far, far away) future reference.

  2. Thanks, Ashlee! I still can't believe my boy is eight. Those years snuck up on me!

  3. Lucky number 7. Noted. Also keeping this handy for someday. :) Thanks!


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