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Sex education at home

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#1 lunargirl

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:21 PM

Done to death I know, but anyway.

I have 3 girls, now aged 7.5, almost 6 and almost 4. I've always planned to be very open about sex and all related topics. But they NEVER ASK.

It's got to the point where I sometimes stretch a conversation to try to bring in "where did I come from" information, but they are not even vaguely interested and usually change the subject after a couple of minutes. I've borrowed a couple of picture books in the past that kind of broached the subject, but they were rejected after one reading in favour of witches/fairies.  huh.gif

I don't think they know much. About 6 months ago my middle child said something that made it clear she believed all babies were born by being "cut out of their mummy's tummies". I tried to explain that wasn't the case, but I don't know if she was listening.

So... what do you do at this point? Force them (well, the 7.5 year old) to sit for a proper "Birds and Bees" discussion? Buy "Where did I come from?" and leave it lying around?

One of her friends is showing some signs of pre-puberty - I can't let this go on forever...

#2 jayskette

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:32 PM

theres always the buy/borrow appropriate books and leaving them lying around...

#3 Isolabella

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:34 PM

my kids generally are not interested 7, 5 &3.

DS1 asked how babies were made the other school holidays. We for " mummy laid an egg" which the kids thought was funny. Also purchased secret boys/girls business for them to look at when they want. We spoke around some of the pictures.

DS 2 will tell you he was cut from mummy's tummy as I have had 3 x c/s and they can see my scar (I get hypertrophic s raring so it is very visible)

#4 noi'mnot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 06:39 PM

Interesting question. I only have a pre-schooler, so I can't give you experiences of being a parent of that aged children and talking about this.

But, I do sex ed in schools (primary and secondary). I talk to kids about where they find out about these things, and those that know the most clearly have parents who (appropriately) use every possible opportunity to educate about the topic. Whenever a friend has a child, when they get a new pet or one dies, when pregnancy or birth are discussed on TV, when relationships are discussed, when visiting the zoo, etc. It looks like you're trying to do this already, but if they're not responding then maybe it is time for a sit down talk?

The theory is that if you are honestly open to the discussion and answer questions as truthfully and as openly as possible, they'll keep on asking more questions when they're developmentally ready. They ask questions that are appropriate to their developmental stage and knowledge, so you might start a conversation about babies that they then lose interest in when their questions are answered as much as they want them to be. I see this behaviour in kids that have been taught it at home, they're comfortable asking questions and receiving answers (whereas most other kids just sit and giggle).

"Where did I come from" is a good tool to start conversations for some. In my opinion, particularly for your oldest daughter (but for all of them really) it's time to really start getting that education into them. Most primary schools don't do any kind of puberty or sex education, and this means that if parents haven't done it (or, in particular, haven't done it well!!!) then kids are going into one of the biggest changes of their lives completely blind.

Anyway, as I said, this is just my opinion as somebody who is often left dealing with kids who really do think that their mother has a zip in their tummy, or don't know what a penis is, or have never heard of a period, etc. I'm sure that a parent with similarly aged kids will be able to give you some more relevant advice soon. original.gif

Edited by noi'mnot, 13 November 2012 - 06:40 PM.

#5 BadCat

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

My kids never asked either.  I dropped hints but they weren't interested at all.  Hell, I flat out asked if they knew about various things and they practically ran away screaming.  I figured that they didn't NEED to know until they were approaching puberty.

Our school does sex ed (mostly about puberty but with the basics of reproduction) in year 5 or 6.  So when they were due to have sex ed I asked if they wanted me to give them some info up front or would they prefer to hear about it in class.  DD opted for up front, DS for in class (even though DH offered to talk to him if he preferred that).

I kind of expected it really.  I never asked about it either.  I don't think it needs to pushed until there are signs that they are approaching puberty.  Then they need to know, whether they want to or not.

#6 Julie3Girls

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

I've got 3 girls, age 11, almost 9 and 6
I wouldn't be stressing too much at the moment. Your oldest is only 7.5. That would only be yr 2 at school?

Obviously, if things come up, I would be very open and discuss it. If you see something on tv that might prompt questions, or if they are talking about something they were told at school etc.  Keep the answers simple and matter of fact. When they do start asking questions, don't make every question into a big "talk" because usually they just want a simply answer and to then go on with whatever else they were doing. If they get the simple answer, I think they are more likely to be willing to ask again next time.

My oldest was 9 when I bought a couple of books, and starting having some little chats with her. She is a very big reader, and once I let her know about the books, she started to have a bit of a look through them. Every so often she'd ask me questions, particularly at bedtime when we tend to have a bit of good night chat.
It's only been now at age 11 that I've done the more detailed chat, and showed her things like pads etc.  

My DD2 who is almost 9 hasn't asked. I think she has picked up a bit by hearing discussions with DD1, and I recently pulled one of the younger books from DD1's room and showed her.  But no real interest or questions yet.

#7 Expelliarmus

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:09 PM

Yeah, backfired on me too, they never asked. It just got to crisis point because DD1 is 12 and wants to read/watch some more advanced stuff that she needs to know about that stuff first. She still doesn't want to know but far out child .... *headdesk*


#8 noi'mnot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

I really do understand not pushing information onto a child. But, girls can start puberty as early as 7 years old. For those of you whose girls just don't want to know, do you just wait until your daughter shows some signs of puberty before bringing it up? It must be hard preparing them for these changes if they don't want to know...

#9 Expelliarmus

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

Well depends what we are talking about. I told DD1 about periods anyway - too bad, so sad. But the sex stuff, she's not listening. I am sure she knows the basics, but I didn't tell her so I don't know how much.

I dunno about 'hard preparing them for these changes' though -  they knew they would grow pubic hair and boobs because I have them, and that's all that has happened so far ...

#10 noi'mnot

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:30 PM

Ok that's cool. I don't think many kids that age really want to know too much about sex (well from their parents, anyway), I was more wondering about periods and such.

In regards to "these changes", I was thinking, in addition to periods (and vaginal discharge), about the emotional and psychological changes that go with puberty and growing up.

Thanks for answering! original.gif

#11 Expelliarmus

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:34 PM

She's so emotional the last thing she wants to hear is how she's going to get all emotional  rolleyes.gif

So we're just winging that with Girlfriend, Dolly and school sex ed. Hopefully she will glean something form there because she's gone completely prickly and I know nothing, can tell her  nothing and should be seen and not heard rolleyes.gif

#12 Chelli

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

Hi there,
I had moved your topic in the News forum to the Relationships one, and then discovered this one happy.gif. I have merged the two together so save the responses you received in the other thread original.gif

To answer your question in the OP, I have two girls who are of similar age tlo your DDs and one who is older. I find they ask me questions and I answer them as honestly as I can. If they want more information, they ask for it, but most of the time all I hear is "Ewww, that's grooooose". laughing2.gif

#13 Julie3Girls

Posted 13 November 2012 - 07:49 PM

But, girls can start puberty as early as 7 years old

7 really is the extreme end of the age range. Not many are going to start at 7.
I think it comes down to knowing your own child, your own family.
If there is a history of getting your period early in your family, then I'd probably bring it up sooner.
If you notice your daughter starting to develop, then that is a sign to start talking.

And there's also a lot of knowing the best way your child will take the information. With DD1, the easiest way was reading. She can take it at her own pace.  Other kids might prefer to sit and chat.
But it's surprising the amount they can pick up from all sorts of sources. I know DD1 has picked up a lot through tv. DD1 has been into watching 7th Heaven (she records it during the day, watches in the afternoon). The tv show has actually covered a LOT of stuff, and often prompts a few questions.
If they hang out with older kids at any point, they can notice things. My DD1 dances with a lot of older girls, so has noticed them changing.

#14 Overtherainbow

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:00 PM

All my chn are older than the OPs chn.  I won't be discussing it until year 5 as I don't think they need to know before then.  

Mine know a baby is made by 2 parents in love with each other.  They know a baby grows inside a mum.  They know that as they get older they'll become more hairy, develop breast (DD) and penis will grow (boys).

Write now we're focussing on conflict resolution skills, building an open relationship with our children to ask qns and share feelings and teaching respect for opposite gender (care to join in on the gender equality debates about gangnum style?).

I was given info. from 10 on.  I don't feel it did me any harm.  What I felt did me harm was not having a strong relationship with my mother where I could talk about what was happening in my life.

#15 Froger

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:15 PM

Kids may not ask specific questions, or even related questions, but they will ask questions that you can take as an opportunity to talk about other things. It is up to you to take the opportunities as they present. As kids will not know what they don't know, they may never ask certain questions. So you just have to get in there and use your initiative.

In the car is a good time to talk to kids, as they can't escape!

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:25 PM

QUOTE (SarahM72 @ 13/11/2012, 10:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In the car is a good time to talk to kids, as they can't escape!

That's where we had the period talk Tounge1.gif

#17 Daisy violet

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:32 PM

It is our responsibility as parents to begin this education.  Sex ed at school is not enough. It gives the facts etc.  parents need to further this with what is appropriate, particularly teaching boys that sexual contact needs to be consensual.  We need to teach them what consensual is.  Just because a girl does not say no that is not consent.  So many young girls are sexually assaulted because they are drunk/in shock/not sure what is going on.  So many boys sexually assalt because they are hormonal/drunk/in a group situation where touching a young girl feels ok because she didn't say no.  
Start as soon as possible and keep talking about it.  We need to teach our children to look out for their siblings and friends and protect themselves.  We also need to teach our children to recognise how subtle sexual assault can appear at the time.  

#18 mumtoactivetoddler

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:52 PM

I think a lot of us agree that the stuff at school isn't enough but I certainly don't think my 7 year old boy needs to know anything about sex at the moment. We use the correct body part names and are happy to answer any questions but frankly I don't think they need to know much before 10 at the absolute minimum.

#19 CallMeFeral

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:52 PM

I've already bought where do I come from! laughing2.gif And by age 7.5, yes, I think I'd maybe read it with her. It does seem a bit late to have no idea.

#20 mumtoactivetoddler

Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:54 PM

Both my kids 7.5 an 4 know babies grow in a mums tummy but as I said I can't see why a 7 year old needs to know anything about actual sex for quite a while. We do have some books around but he has no interest in them and no interest in asking questions about it either.

#21 Bluestocking

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:10 PM

My DD, very almost 7, knows that mummys have eggs and daddies have seeds and the daddy puts the seed in to make a baby grow, and that babies come out of vaginas. This is all information she has sought from me so I have give her a basic understanding. I dont think she is old enough to know any more yet.

There needs to be some maturity. I'm a bit concerned about the period side of things, my mother was always open so i saw pads and knew what they are for. However I use a menstrual cup and DD sees and knows nothing at all. Still I don't think she is ready yet, its not nice to learn your going to bleed 5 days of the month for a good 30+years.

I still remember how distraught I was when I got my first, and I was very well prepared.

#22 *CalamityJane*

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:24 PM

My twin DDs have just turned 9, and I used the wait until they ask approach too.  From an early age they knew that babies were made by Mums and Dads, about sperm and egg, and pregnancy and birth, but they didn't ask how the sperm actually gets to the egg until a few months ago.  (Of course they asked right as I was making dinner LOL).  According to them, none of their peers knew either - whether that's true or whether that's because their parents told them not to talk about it at school I don't know, but 7.5 doesn't seem especially late to me OP.

#23 LookMumNoHands

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:33 AM

QUOTE (lunargirl @ 13/11/2012, 07:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Done to death I know, but anyway.

I have 3 girls, now aged 7.5, almost 6 and almost 4. I've always planned to be very open about sex and all related topics. But they NEVER ASK.

It's got to the point where I sometimes stretch a conversation to try to bring in "where did I come from" information, but they are not even vaguely interested and usually change the subject after a couple of minutes. I've borrowed a couple of picture books in the past that kind of broached the subject, but they were rejected after one reading in favour of witches/fairies.  huh.gif

I don't think they know much. About 6 months ago my middle child said something that made it clear she believed all babies were born by being "cut out of their mummy's tummies". I tried to explain that wasn't the case, but I don't know if she was listening.

So... what do you do at this point? Force them (well, the 7.5 year old) to sit for a proper "Birds and Bees" discussion? Buy "Where did I come from?" and leave it lying around?

One of her friends is showing some signs of pre-puberty - I can't let this go on forever...

The opportunity to talk to my kids about the bolded part of your post didn't come up for us until I got pregnant again. When DH and I told our boys (6 and 5) that we will be having another baby, we thought it was important that they knew what changes my body will go through, and the details of what happens when a mother gives birth. 6yo DS's first reaction confirmed that they needed some education, because he was very concerned about what I'd go through.
We all sat down together and watched a documentary on pregnancy and birth. It was pretty funny when we got to the actual birth part, and they discovered that the baby would come out of my vagina. I think they were a bit shocked at first! It was a great way to educate them, and I'm glad we watched it.

#24 Holidayromp

Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:25 AM

The idea about this topic is not to ram it down a child's throat.  Eventually natural curiousity will happen and they will ask questions when they are ready.  

DD1 is 10 and I will be having a talk with her within the next couple of weeks as she bringing information home that isn't quite right.  However I have never hidden from her that I get AF - she knows about pads and things but not why I get AF etc.

Every child is different some are more ready to learn about it than others.  I know that I have to tread carefully with DD1 because TMI with her would not be to her advantage so I have carefully selected a book ideal for her as I found the books in the shops around here just go too far into things and at 10 she doesn't need to know about contraception etc.

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