Let’s Talk (to our kids) About Sex

Let’s Talk (to our kids) About Sex Picture

Last week, we asked a question on the Community Chalkboard: “What is something you do NOT want to talk about with your kids just yet?” While I expected to see some similarities in the answers, I was surprised by how many parents answered with one thing: sex.

I can’t say for sure how often or how much my parents told me about sex. What I can say is that I learned exactly what it was – in very graphic detail – from a boy down the street when I was in second grade. What does that have to do with you talking to your kids? If you aren’t talking to your kids about sex, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t learning about it. Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone run off and explain to their seven year olds the exact mechanics of intercourse. However, I do think that sex is a conversation that you can’t wait to begin.

Sex is everywhere – and I don’t just mean reality television and celebrity scandals. Adding a new sibling into the family, private time and physical affection for mom and dad, and discovering that boys have penises and girls have vaginas are all a part of a child’s ongoing sex education. As the American Academy of Pediatrics points out, “You need to become comfortable with these discussions as early as possible, so that you can lay a firm educational foundation and establish a pattern of openness and easy dialogue before puberty.”

We want our kids to learn all sorts of things: honesty, integrity, independence, and the ability to make good decisions. If we want them to make good decisions about their bodies – whether that means knowing how to deal with an adult that makes them feel uncomfortable or knowing that they don’t have to have sex with someone to be loved – they won’t learn it if we aren’t teaching it.

As an adult, I’ve grown to have a very open relationship with my parents. Now that we're all adults, I've gotten to the point where I can talk to them about anything – even (gasp!) sex. My mother never got to that point with her own parents. I’m hoping that I can stay there with my children. Yes, I talk to them about sex. We talk about the parts that make them boys and girls, that a daddy has to give a mommy a seed to grow a baby, and that you never have to let anyone touch you if you don’t want them to (and it’s always okay to say NO). For now, it’s enough. When it isn’t, we’ll talk some more. There may not be a more embarrassing or challenging subject to tackle, but there may not be a more important one, either.

So, are you already having the conversation? If not, when will you begin?  

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What do you think?

Let’s Talk (to our kids) About Sex

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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9 comments

  1. Nicole says:

    I believe that if parents don’t act embarrassed or like sex is an awkward topic, then their kids will feel more comfortable talking about it with them and not feel ashamed to talk or ask question about it.

  2. proudmom3 says:

    i had my 1st son when i was 15 and my mom never gave me the "sex" talk so i definitely plan on having that con versation with my children at a young age..probably around when they are 12yrs old..

  3. autumn says:

    My kid will have the sex talk when they start middle school (if not before! via sex is how you make babies when you are OLD) I know from my middle school there were kids participating in active sex just as well as kids who couldnt handle the topic. Education is key, the earlier the better because even if you dont tell them about it, parental control your television, etc.. they’ll hear about it from someone somewhere (even if your precious child is only 10 or 11 years old) and you want what they know to be first heard from you, only way to garuntee your words are the first they hear is talking to them earlier than you would even think they need it and REPEATING your words over and over (with more information as they get older)
    Don’t talk sex down like it’s horrible and you never ever want them to have sex, because kids like to do what you tell them not to. But preach the positivites of waiting and the negative facts and statistics of not waiting. As well as all the methods of birth control and dont freak out if your 14 year old daughter asks for birth control, doesnt mean she’s having sex, but in a way shows responsibility on her part to protect herself if she would happen to make the too commonly awful mistake at such a young age. Kids are cruel to each other and parents need to be a strong foundational rock for their children supportive in every way and a guiding light or these kids are gonna be left to fend for themselves. Sex is a part of life, be honest about it.

  4. I think sex is the one thing parents should talk to there kids about, im 15 weeks along and me and my fiance want to make sure that our child does not end up pregnant at a young age like me. My mom never talked to me about anything sex, period, etc. she was to embarrassed to bring it up leaving me with no knowledge and leaving me to find out along the way from friends or just hearing about it. I think it will also give your kids a chance to talk to you and not feel like they cant talk to you about something embarrassing.

  5. Danielle says:

    My daughter is eleven months and has a firm grasp on body parts. She was even quizzed by a stranger in the grocery store and answered all correctly; even if she points to her temple for the word "eye." I am enthusiastic when she starts pointing to body parts and tell her the name of each. I feel guilty (and like a perve) when I don’t show the same enthusiasm when she touches her vagina, responding with "that’s your vagina….where are your toes?" wanting to change the subject. I hope time gives me the strength to talk sex without making it risqué.

  6. dulce says:

    I thnk yu shud talk to yur kids bout sex, dependin on the age they are. Its better to know than the topic to be ignored

  7. Sharee says:

    No its far from time to have that conversation i wonder what gave me the mindset to be a virgin until marriage altho i didn’t quite make it there i was grown and thought we would stay together of course it didn’t stay that way. but atleast i was above the age of 18.

  8. Lyndsi Greim says:

    I think this is a great a blog post. Thank you for your advice and insight!

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