How old should children be when you start talking about sex?

Jennifer - posted on 01/17/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I am a mother of 7 year old twins and I was wondering what age is the best to start talking about sex?

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Jodi - posted on 01/17/2013

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The conversation should begin right from the time they talk, with things as simple as calling their private areas by the correct name, etc, and then it should become an ongoing conversation, right up to the point where they are beginning to get curious about where babies come from. Definitely have the full conversation with them by about the age of 10 or so. I have always maintained a really open relationship with my kids when discussing sex and babies, answering their questions at age appropriate level of understanding. They feel comfortable asking question because I don't brush them off, and they KNOW I will discuss it with them in a way they understand and feel comfortable with.

So basically, you start with the small things, and as kids ask questions or become curious (eg. how does the baby get out of your tummy?) just fill in the gaps, and eventually, it gets to a stage where you just decide to sit down and go over it all with them. My daughter is almost 8, and we will be discussing it later this year, because I know some of her friends are already at an age where they will be starting to get their periods soon, and although my daughter is clearly not sufficiently developed, it is important she understand it so that she have some empathy for her friends when it troubles them.

Even AFTER you have talked to them about sex, it should continue to be an ongoing conversation. Even though you may discuss things like STIs with them, THAT should be an ongoing theme of discussion. With my older kids, we have had discussions on pregnancy, abortion, adoption, drugs, alcohol, STIs, love and feelings, masturbation, etc. If the topic comes up, it is open for discussion at an appropriate time, and often, there will be something happening in the world, or on TV, or something, that will bring on more questions or discussion.

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