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"The talk"

Ann - posted on 12/28/2008 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have a 10 year old daughter who is on the more mature side for her age. I am starting to wonder at what age is appropriate to talk to her about sex. My mom never gave me ANY talks and I don't want the same for my daughter. I want her to be able to come to me with anything. I have already had the talk with her about puberty and what to expect (e.g.: her period) and I don't know when to start talking to her about sex. My concern is that she hangs out with kids older than she is at her dance studio and I don't want her getting "mis-information". Anyone have any advice?

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There are many great books that help girls to figure out whats going on with their bodies and explains turning into a young "woman". Some books are questionnaires, and are great for getting to know your daughters "thoughts" better. Great for conversations. The main thing I do is be ready to LISTEN at the drop of a hat for AS LONG AS she needs to talk. I don't give advice unless I'm asked, or unless its something important. Both my kids think of me as their "best friend" and comfort zone. My kids talk to me about everything and anything. My son (22) was having a bad day at work on Saturday and called me just to hear my voice. He no longer lives at home, but its a relief for him to be able to visit and just spill his guts to someone who'll listen. My daughter (13), who we homeschool, just spent two nights over her best friends house. Yesterday she saw that I was on the computer and we goofed off for a while. I told her I was going to get a coffee, and she called me on the phone to ask why I hadn't gone back to the computer yet...lol. She said it was a different kind of fun with me...lol. Communication is a powerful bonding glue, for kids as well as husbands. Long after the kids have moved out, they'll still call when they need someone "to talk to", but more often "someone who'll listen". Good luck on your precious journey!

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Leann - posted on 01/26/2009

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With our boys (16 & 10) it's always been an open topic and has always been an ongoing discussion may it be about puberty to periods and when I went in for my hysterectomy.  It was never "mom's tummy hurts so don't hug her too tight".  It was mom's going in for surgery and if they asked why then they were told.  But you are your own best judge as to what you're daughter can understand and is ready for.  We instilled that the body has names and will be used if you have a question it is a serious matter and not a time for joking around and all questions are treated seriously and never brushed off.  If we don't know the answer we tell them so and that we will find out the answer for them.

Heather - posted on 01/26/2009

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My daughter is ten as well and I got her the American Girl series. The Care and Keeping of you is a wonderful book if your daughter likes to read. I let my daughter, Jordan, read the book and then we sat down and talked about it. It made it easier for her to not have me breathing down her neck and it allowed us to discuss sex in a mature biological manner. I did raise Jordan with the anatomical names of all body parts and this took away a lot of the oddity out of saying penis and vagina.

Dee - posted on 01/26/2009

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my daughters are 9 & 11. It has always been me and my hubbys policy never to lie when they ask us questions about sex, however, although we have answered frankly and honestly we have never told them any more than we feel they can handle. My (now 11 yr old) started her periods last year. I found a book called "whats happening to me?" extremely useful. it is a small book written in cartoon form aimed at children coping with adolecence. it covers sex and adolecence questions. We only ever read it together but they know they can always ask for the book if they have any concerns;.

It is written by susan meredith and published by usborne. Me and my daughters find it a great help. good luck!!

Amber - posted on 01/22/2009

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I have a ten year old and we have had the talk over a year ago.  When she started showing signs of puberty I bought her a book called Girl Stuff.  No one ever told me about a peroid, sex or anything!!  I am completly open and honest to any questions she has.  This book helped so much because I bought it to help with the period talk but it covers everything!!  We read it together--most of it.  And laughed and talked.  Surpising to me she knew what sex was.  Really scarry too.  But I dont want my girls to be confused and experiment.  My other daughter is 6 and is most definatlly no where near ready for the talk.  My older child is so mature everyone who knows her says it.  She is an extremely logical thinker.  I think every parent knows when their child is ready to hear it.  I knew because she was mature enough and responsible enough not to go and tell her friends at school.  She was ready.  You will know.  Maybe buy her a book. 

Crystal - posted on 01/21/2009

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I had one of many "grown up" conversations with my daughter when she was about seven (she is now ten), it happened by accident. We were in the car comming home from girlscouts and she told me her friend's mom said it hurt when his little brother was born and that his brother didn't come out of her belly but a different way and she wanted to know how. (my daughter was a c-section and of course I didn't feel much when she was born) I then started to explain how some mothers choose to get pain killers and some choose not too and how our bodies are ready when we have a baby, but she interrupted me and was like "no Mom, I want to know how the baby came out! Is there a hole down there?" Needless to say I was floored and the conversation went to a new leval, but what my point is, we just have to be open to our children, talk to them with out lecturing and ask them question as much as they ask us.

Erica - posted on 01/21/2009

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I started talking to my son about this subject last year (he was 10) because he was hearing things from his friends. I made sure to talk to him in an enviornment that wasn't uncomfortable. We actually talked while cooking dinner! I just told him the basics about the feelngs boys and girls have for each other, and a little about the mechanics of it. We also talked about what can happen when the wrong decisions are made, such as pregnancy ,diseases & hurt feelings. I was very nervous at first, but I was surprised at how easily it went. He was a little embarrassed, but he has come to me with questions several time since and confides in me about his feelings towards girls. I think it was the best thing I could have done for him and our relationship.

Karen - posted on 01/06/2009

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I answered this same inquiry on moms of teens. I also have a 10 year old daughter who will be starting her menses soon, has breasts and is 5'3. I have discussed sex, love and marriage with both of my children since they were old enough to ask questions about it which in our case was 3. You can buy books which are helpful but only if you are either reading it to them or are sitting with them at the ready with full attention to answer any inquiries. I have approached the changes in my daughters body with the attitude that she is so lucky to be female and that as her breasts grow and her body prepares for her monthly "moontime" (I do not like the word period because it means period of sickness which we certainly are not!) she is blossoming into a woman which is a powerful and beautiful time in her young life. There really shouldn't be "the talk". A one time sit down 'here is the deal' is frightening, Approach this subject as an open ended discussion and if they do not bring up the subject, gently bring it up yourself at least once a month. My mother raised me this way and I waited until I was 20 to have sex and when I did it was a wonderful experience. The other thing you may want to try is planning a celebration for when her moontime comes. My daughter knows that a very special and sacred ceremony is planned for her when she passes from a child into the realm of being a woman and she cannot wait! This ceremony need not be anything more than a pizza party, but make it something special that fits with the values of your family. We LOVE ceremonies and have had or will have them to mark 10, 13, 16, 18, 21 and 25. Humans are by definition sexual beings and allowing your children to grow into their sexual selves with the knowledge that sex is part of that wonderful package is critical to them making good choices. Make sure that you also keep in mind that the relationship that you have with your spouse/partner is the single most influential "book" that your children will ever read, make sure you write a beautiful story and show your daughter what love and respect for one another really looks like.

Leann - posted on 01/06/2009

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I have come across a great book and have sold it to my friends as well.  It's written in everyday English and that author had done a great job in it.  It's funny, serious and has lots of references to more information if you need it.  For example if you're reading about birth control and she thinks it's very important she puts a big red check mark beside it, if she thinks you might want more information on the topic she's researched websites that's parent friendly.  If she uses a medical word she puts a definition on the side.  It's by Anne Hooper called K.I.S.S. Sex.  It coveres the changes in the human body and how it changes from puberty onwards. 

Arunima - posted on 01/06/2009

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Hi Ann, i have a 12 yr old daughter and used to wonder about the same thing. I decided to wait till she asked me about a certain issue. Since she is very close to me and comfortable about talking to me about anything, she started asking me things on her own. The key is to give the right information at the right time, not too early and not when its too late. Make sure she feels that the channel of communication is always open. one important thing u must tell her on your own is about her personal space and how NOONE, can intrude. Tell her about the right kind of touch and the wrong kind.

Laura - posted on 01/05/2009

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We never had the talk in my house either.  Everything was hush hush so when I became the only mom my step daughter has it fell on me.  The biggest thing I found that kinda brought up questions was watching the discovery channel and the birth shows.  She started asking questions about that stuff and then it lead back to other stuff.  Another thing is to find out what she "knows"  she'll use words to sound like she is informed but you need to ask her what that specifically means.  They hear words pertaining to sex thrown around everywhere these days.  She's going to hear it regardless so find out what she thinks she knows and clarify.  I also found using books about growing up can lead into good discussions.  Good luck.

Gretchen - posted on 01/05/2009

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Had the first talk with my oldest kids when they turned 7. Boys are boys because... Girls are girls because... Then at 9 we laid it all out.Periods and hairy armpits, sex and love and marriage. At 10 we rehashed. At 11 my son came to me with questions because he knows he can talk to me about all of it. It is an ongoing process. We have also covered age appropriate talks on drugs, drinking, smoking, inhalants, choking and all the rest of the crap these kids will learn in school outside their studies. I was amazed that my 12 year old knows things I didn't learn until college. I think that the sooner you develop the conversation skills the better and then they feel ok talking to you about things, all things. And use the media! If there is scene on tv that makes you uncomfortable it might lead into a discussion with your daughter on respecting your body, or about keeping your body safe. We use tv and movies and radio all the time to point out what would be a better choice or how something was done so well. Good Luck!

Ann - posted on 01/03/2009

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Sarah, thanks for your response! Your lucky your mom even asked you if you had any questions!! It was totally taboo in my house growing up! My sister and I did not have a healthy respect for sex and what it should be! Many years later, we were able to remedy that, but I don't want the same for my girls...so maybe I should just ask her what she knows. It NEVER comes up, but I think I would be a fool to think she knows NOTHING! I have her and a 5 yr old daughter from my marraige and my boyfriend has a 16 yr old son and 8 yr old daughter from his marraige. I don't want to be a prude, but I also want her to have some morals in that we don't "aim" for a child out of wedlock...but it is not taboo either! She keeps saying she wants a little brother now and I keep telling her that Kurt and I aren't married...not to mention I'M DONE!!! LOL!!!



Thanks God she is ready and knows all about her period and is already shaving her legs, so some of the "growing up" conversations have already happened, but it is the next talk that scares me to death!! Never when she was a seed in my uterus did I think I would have to talk to this child about sex??!!



Congrats on the news of the new baby...and enjoy!

Sarah - posted on 01/02/2009

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I also have a 10 yr old daughter, and she got her period this time last year...age 9! so we had the talk with her about her body changing and I talked to her teacher about it and she gave me a kit that she was teaching to the grade 5's. (my daughter was in grade 4). So we had that talk last year, but now we are going to have the bigger talk with her very soon, she is talking about sex, and I would like to know what she knows and what she is hearing. That's how I am going to start the conversation with her. My mom was like yours, never talked about it. She would ask me if I had any questions, but I would have no clue what to say, so never said anything. So an open conversation is what I would be aiming for, but not too open, lol. Like I am just going to keep it to the basic need to know, till a few more years. A funny thing that happened over the holiday, we told her that we are expecting a baby, the first thing she said was, "ewww, you guys had sex!" So I know she has some knowledge, lol. Her father and I just started howling, and mumbled to eachother, how does she think she got here, lol. I guess she didn't think about that. If you have any tips please share.

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I imagine she already knows but, I would talk to her about it anyways, I have 3 sons then 2 daughters, my older 2 boys and I talk frequently about it, just because I never got the talk, but like I said earlier they already know but I want them to know my point of views on it also and the facts not just what someone heard! good luck!

Joy - posted on 12/29/2008

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The one thing that I have learnd is to talk to them as an adualt. I know it hard to think like that when you are talking to your 10,11 0r even 12 year daughter or son. Tell them what you think they can handle and then open up for questions and don't be around the bush with them it just discerages them and they won't come to you when it is the most needed. Kids can handle what you say they take it in and some of it they just let go. My son is all most 12 and we talked about it and I answer questions that I didn't think he would ask. The most questions you will get is about there oun body changes and they need to know that it is ok to talk about it with you. Once the conversation is open it getts easyer to talk to them. My 8 year old daughter dosen't know as much as my son but she knows now that she can talk to me about it.

Angela - posted on 12/28/2008

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My mom never gave me any "talks" either. I have 3 boys, 11, 9 and 8 and have already had many talks about this. What I did was sit them ALL down at the same time and ask them what they thought they already knew about it and corrected them if they had been mis-informed by their friends or info they may have gotten. I believe that talking about it and allowing them to talk about it and making sure they know that no question is a wrong one, makes them feel a little more comfortable coming to me when they do have an important question. Hope it goes well for you! : ).

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