when do you talk to your kids about sex?

Heather - posted on 02/12/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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i have a 12 y o daughter and 13 y o son, when do i tell them about sex? they already know a little about it, should i answer all their questions about it? please, i welcome all advice

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Nina - posted on 02/13/2010

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.I have 3 girls, 17,16,and 15. We have had the conversations many times!. I have always been open with them, If they asked, I answered. When my oldest turned 16 she had a boyfriend who pressured her into having sex by saying he loved her, that was all it took. I was so nervous for the next 3 weeks counting the calendar days till her next period. My middle daughter explored sex for the first time by thinking she had to lie to me about it. She finally had a breakdown and told me. She thought I would be mad, instead I hugged her, and the waiting game again. My mom talked to me about sex way back in the 80's and that was the best thing she could have done for me. I have taught my girls to be comfortable, buying condoms and asking to be put on birth control. I have two on it and getting ready for the third. I also hope that by being open with them and comfortable talking about sex, they will come to me with questions and not their friends who might steer them the wrong way. Love my girls!

Janet - posted on 01/08/2012

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I think it's an ongoing discussion on an age appropriate basis. I've always tried to be open and have emphasized that they can come to me with any questions. With my 15 yr old we've talked about the physical and emotional ramifications of sex but I've also told her that sex is very natural in a loving and committed relationship. I never told her not to have sex but I've told her that it needs to be special and with someone she feels she loves. And she also understands the need for condoms each and every time and she's on bc so I know they are practicing safe sex.

Tina - posted on 02/15/2010

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as soon as my kids understood a conversation talk to your kids now! Kids there age are haveing sex my niece is and she lives with me birth control right away trust me do it now

Barbilee - posted on 02/13/2010

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Great question! And there is no one answer.
What do you want to "talk" about?
What is it that you think they should know?
What do you think they already know?
My daughter is 14, we have "talks" but she is not interested in "the talk", the one I thought we should have. My daughter doesn't even want to kiss a boy yet, why on earth would I talk to her about sex? I make comments like..."you know you can have sex when you are married" and she'' say..."yeah when I'm 35!" She is not ready. My niece on the other hand needed the talk at age 13. She was already in LOVE and talking about getting married and having babies as soon as she finished high school. We spoke about sex (she didn't want to talk to her mom), we talked about the consequences, pregnancy, STD's etc. She still got pregnant at 18.

My advice, get a feel for what they know or want to know. DON'T ASSUME anything. Ask them what they know. And if they don't want to talk to you, find a responsible adult that they will talk to. It's kind of gross to talk to mom and dad, and that is okay. Just support them where they are at.

Does that make sense?

Barbilee
Family Success Coach

38 Comments

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CASSIE - posted on 01/08/2012

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I NEVER had the talk about sex from my parents.. just NOT TO DO IT until I was married. I answered questions from my first daughter who is 19 now... but when my 2nd daughter came along and in KINDER started asking questions, I talked to her..I broke it down to her level and talked about physical as well as emotional. She was hearing things at school and wanted to know what it meant. I didnt get too technical, but I opened the door to where she feels very comfortable asking me about pretty much anything. Which is scary sometimes. She is now 11 and she hasn't started yet. She's going to be very tall, so she is developing a little slower than her classmates. I went through that too, and I thought something was wrong with me. I wanted her to know as well, that there's nothing wrong with her and what she needs to expect. She's a very caring and well rounded pre-teen.. and I hope that her will to come to me to ask questions will continue..

Roxanne - posted on 12/03/2011

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I have a 8yr old son that came to me and told me he knew what sex was, well in his eyes anyway. I asked myself do I go on and tell him what the correct meaning of sex is or do I let this ride out and he'll forget about it all? Well I told him what sex was cause I figured that if i didn't do it either someone else will or he will learn it through TV. Granet I got a lot of heat from his father (who I am not with) but in the long run I feal like I did the correct thing for me and my son.

Rachel - posted on 10/10/2011

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I feel age 9 up is ok .when my two boys now 19 and 16 ever asked I would answer the questions. They both know about safe sex. I know my 19 year old uses condoms with his partner , so its oneless thing to worry about. I got them a kids book on sex when they were 9/10 from usbourne books.

Lisa - posted on 10/10/2011

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we are raising b and g both 12
we set down and answer any thing they ask
we talk in common every day words

JuLeah - posted on 10/07/2011

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The sooner the better ... conversations about sex and sexuality need to start happening as soon as they can talk ... you actually communicate a lot to them with your non verbal language, so they already know your feelings about this topic

This is about self respect, respect for others, how to handle big feelings, how to take emotional risks, how to say no, how to say yes, how to hear no and yes, how to set limits, how to be emotionally safe .... there are so many many issues that are bigger then how to use a condom, though that is important and has a place

If you don't have an open door, how ill they come to you with questions? Who do you want them to learn from?

They know far far more then you think, but also know you have big feelings around this .... your post makes me think you think there is somehow shame to be felt, something here to be uncomfortable about ..... they have picked up on that I am sure and have not really talked with you to protect your feelings :) Kids always know more then we think

Jessica - posted on 10/07/2011

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YES! My daughter is 12 and has a friend who is 13, I dont know if this friend has been talked to about sex but she is now pregnant and considering an abortion. Talk to them and don't forget about talking about birth control (even if you teach them to abstain before marraige they need to know about birth control and better from you then their friends). I am sure they know more than you think they do, kids talk. Good luck!

Shontay - posted on 02/18/2010

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As a mother of three i thought talking about sex would keep them from talking to me as they got older. So i started talking to them by the age of 8yrs old because they were curious about what they would see on T.V. or when they would walk in the room with my husband and I in the middle of you know what!lol Early is best!

[deleted account]

Another thing you can do at this age is get them a book. I got my daughter the "What's Happening to my Body?" book when she was 11 or so and she still uses it for reference at age 17. It is more about puberty but will help your daughter with her body image....I think they have one for boys too...

Terri Ann - posted on 02/18/2010

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my oldest daughter is 9 and will be 10 next wed. Believe it or not she started her cycle in oct. so I gave her the mother daughter then in a way she could understand..That was hard.

Kristina - posted on 02/18/2010

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I began talking to my children about sex around age 2. I think that as soon as they can understand that they have private parts it is time to start teaching. I never hide anything from them but I do explain things to them so they can understand. I also don't initiate the conversation about sex but will talk to them about people touching them and so forth. I say when teaching about pottying and bathing teach about good touch and bad touch. That opens the door for sexual exploration.

Angel - posted on 02/17/2010

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My kids started asking questions at around 5 about where babies came from so I told them. By the time they were 8 or 9 they knew about sex. They came to me with questions because kids in school were talking about it.

Shannon - posted on 02/17/2010

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I have an 18yo daughter, and a 15yo son. That's how we started. They started asking questions, so we answered them honestly. It was a bit weird, but we realized it was better for us to be open and honest than to have them feel they couldn't get info from us, and turn to friends instead. I went a step above and beyond what a lot of people do. I actually took my daughter out and showed her the expense of having a baby. I showed her everything you would need for a baby, how many of them, and she was amazed at how expensive they were, and how much stuff they needed. It may not seem like much, but it made a world of difference. Not only are my kids aware of sex, but they are aware of the cost of an uh-oh.

Oh, and yes...you do get those questions that you don't want to answer, or are embarassed to answer. My daughter heard about "69" at school in 9th grade. She came home and asked me what it was. It was a bit more than I wanted to explain at first, so (don't laugh), I used two stuffed animals to demonstrate the idea. That's a laugh that the kids still have at my expense to this day. LOL

Christina - posted on 02/17/2010

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Don't wait till they ask questions, talk to them about everything at this age.

Christina - posted on 02/17/2010

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Right now they are starting to hear things from their friends. I think they should know all about it, before they hear it from their friends. I would say that a parent's context would be better than another preteen or teenager. I told my daughter everything when she was 9 or 10. She just turned 12. So I would say you need to have the talk immediately and separately.

Malinda - posted on 02/16/2010

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You should have already been talking to them about it.... these kids are not stupid. They hear so much at school. I am really lucky. I have a 13 year old (she will be 14 next month) and I have always been open with her on anything and everything so that she felt like she could always come and talk to me. Now she tells me everything... even things I really do not want to know. I know who at her school is doing drugs, smoking, sleeping with who, and so on. She had 4th graders talking to her about sex when she was in the 1st grade. So, I told her.... "don't ever listen to anything you hear at school, if you have a question, you come and I ask me and I will tell you the truth." And there have been times she has asked me some really hard ones, but I got through it and so will you. It is better than them learning from kids at school who really don't know and peer pressure is a lot hard today than it used to be. The only way we can make sure that they will not make a mistake is to make sure that they are educated and they know all that comes from their actions. I hope this helps.

Lillian - posted on 02/16/2010

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Now!!! There are 12 year olds popping out babies. They probably know more than you think they do, at this point. Be open and honestly answer ALL questions they ask. If you get upset or feel u need a break from explaining and answering then take a break. I have 3 daughters ages 6,12 and 15. I was 15 when I had my oldest daughter, so I make sure they know and I answer their questions fully.

Joy - posted on 02/16/2010

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We are a very open family.I think having a big sister who got pregnant helped us talk about things sooner.As toddlers they knew how babies are made,we had a book on it to help.My 2 always asked questions so that helped let me know wheat the knew.Good luck.

Traci - posted on 02/16/2010

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I liked the way my grandmother put it. She simply said that when hers asked a question, no matter how old, she answered it straight forward manner. (Age appropriate, of course.) I lived by that, at it's worked for my girls, who are now 15 and 13-1/2. They know details and have for some time, because they felt and feel completely comfortable asking me questions. When they were younger and they felt that they knew all they wanted to at that time, and they asked a question about something they heard and it turned out it was about sex in one way or another, I simply said, "You don't want to know," or just gave them "the look/our look", and they knew it was about sex and left it at that. We laugh about it now. I say information is power. The more I give my girls, the better off they are when it comes time to make important decisions. My 15 year old just french kissed for the first time a few months ago, so talking to them about sex does not make them run out and do it. She adores her boyfriend, but she has no intention of "going all the way" for quite a while. I'm very proud of her for thoroughly thinking it through, which she did, and then she came to me and told me and we talked about it and continue to talk about it. I talk to my girls in actual facts, not in the fantasy crap they show on t.v.

SHIRACYEL - posted on 02/16/2010

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NOW!!!!! They are talking about it in public schools, in class, in the locker rooms, at lunch, trust children are talking about sex. Just like any other topic if your want your child to take interest in your opinion you have to give it to them. Help them make a decision by letting them know where your stand is and how you feel about the whole idea. Be open up front and use correct english therefore they do not think it is a joke. Relax sex is a part of life. But would you let them drive with giving them lessons or would you just let their friends, teachers, and coaches tell them. This is the same thing. They are your kids you have input in everything else don't drop the ball on this topic!

Cathy - posted on 02/15/2010

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I would have to say now would be good because odds are they know more than you think. Kids talk among themselves & you would be amazed. So many kids see things at a very young age because they aren't supervised or simply sneaky. With technology today such as computers and cable, kids see & learn things that I didn't learn until I was a young adult. When I sat my 13 year old down she said to me "what do you want to know mom because I probably know more than you". When I asked her how she learned so much her reply was "kids talk on the bus and at lunch". She also informed me there are a lot of girls out there that have no respect for themselves, which sadly is true. One thing I did tell my girls is that I knew that they would have sex when they felt ready regardless how I felt so no matter what the age I would not criticize them but wanted them to let me know so we could take precautions to avoid pregnancy but that didn't make them safe from VD diseases. I got lucky with my oldest she was 17 before becoming sexual active & did come to me. Answer all questions & there are lots of material you can provide them with if they aren't comfortable talking to you.

Kristi - posted on 02/15/2010

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I say talk to them both NOW...don't let their friends be the ones to tell them about things,they will most likely be inaccurate. Let your daughter know that you are hopeful she will wait for real true love and marriage,but if that does not happen,use safe sex NO MATTER WHAT. As far as your son,let him know that safe sex is always best,and commitment is above all else. What feels good today can result in a life time of pain and problems later.No exceptions.They may react with "gross" or disgust with you being their mom,but they will hear you.If you say nothing,they will get answers elsewhere.Hope this helps..my daughter is only 14,but we have talked about this on several levels since about age 11...she isn't "dating" yet,but has expressed interest in guys.I figured better talk before it happens.Hope this helps!

Joanna - posted on 02/15/2010

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My daughter is now 10 and my policy with my kids is to always answer the question if they ask. Be honest with them. The more they know the better they understand later how important it is to have the respect for themselves in giving the "other" the privlage to do such acts.

Michelle - posted on 02/15/2010

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I have a 17 yr old son and 16 yr old daughter. I started talking to them when they entered jr high. Although my son has had sex, I have talked to him and his girlfriend about sex and pregnancy. It was very embarrasing for them to talk to me at first, but keep talking that's the only way for them to know that they can come to you.

Tina - posted on 02/14/2010

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As everyone one is suggesting, talk to them now. However, you do not have to encourage or ignore abstinence in the conversation. If you inform your children properly, let them know the consequences of having sex at an early age, let them know why it is best to wait until an appropriate mature age, why some people believe in waiting for marriage, explicitly explain to them all the pro's and cons; point out the natural urges they will have and how secure and strong teenagers do not succumb, etc.
Bottom line is you must give them all the information possible so they are thoroughly informed. If they are intelligent, good children they will get it and you will not have to worry about them having sex at a young age.

Ruth - posted on 02/13/2010

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Well I have a 14 and 16 yr.old boy and girl..and I think that it is good to talk to them early ..from what I hear they talk to kids now days in 6th grade so maybe even 5th grade.. kids now days are even having sex in the 6th grade...that is sad.....but I also think it depends on theire maturity levels too..

Lisa - posted on 02/13/2010

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Absolutely talk to them and let them know that you would rather they be responsible and take precautions. I did and still my 17 year old is pregnant...she went to get on the pill but was already pregnant. They say they were using condoms but obviously didn't use them right!!! It only takes once....good luck!

Sherry - posted on 02/13/2010

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The sooner the better! If YOU don't talk to them, others will & they may not be getting correct information. And children as young as 11 are now having children. That's SCARY! Be honest with them, talk to them maturely...it's not a talk any of us want to have, but we have to. You'll probably be surprised at some of the things kids these days can teach us adults! Good luck!

Joan - posted on 02/13/2010

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hi

you should start the conversation when they ask the first question. sounds like you may be a little behind the ball here. i would answer all of they're questions honestly.



good luck

Theresa - posted on 02/12/2010

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Yes, you should probably have "the talk" with them soon. Give a very basic, not necessarily detailed explanation and then answer questions they may have. Depending on your kids they may feel more comfotable talking one on one,so they don't have the sibling of the oposit sex there when they ask questions. If you can have their dad there too (or another trusted adult male) that may be a good thing too. Just let them know that if they have any questions you want them to come to you, or suggest a couple other trusted adults that they could go to if they would feel more comfortable. When I talked with my sons I let them know that I was emberassed too, but that it was important that they know the truth and that they get the correct info. Good luck!

Jane - posted on 02/12/2010

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One word answer...."NOW"!!!!!! I'm surprised you waited this long to talk with them. Answer anything and everything they ask!! it's interesting you say they already know a little....I guarantee at their ages, they know a LOT and some of what they know may be inaccurate. Do not wait another moment longer...talk, talk and more talk...all the time, anytime and discuss most importantly PROTECTION. While we all would LIKE to think our children will wait...and some parents will try the "require" it tact....make kids promise abstinence, etc., the reality of it all is that no matter what a parent tells a teen about sex, it's not 100% guaranteed that they will wait so make sure they have what they need and know what they need to know to have safe sex. Do not live in a unrealistic world where you believe that your child will wait...for sure be hopeful, but don't believe it will happen and if it does, and they wait, then yay!!!!!

Allie - posted on 02/12/2010

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12 yr olds now are having babies so I would surely talk about it now. I have a 12 yr old daughter and I was 15 when I had her so I made sure I talked with her about it. She knows the basics and about STD's and pregnancy. We talked about birth control and the proper way someone is suppose to be touching her now which would be hugs and holding hands anything more is not proper or age appropriate. I also make little comments when we see a young mother about how hard it is for her and watching a show I make comments about what is on this way I dont bore her but it is a consent reminder to wait or talk with me if anything arises. Kids do listen to our every word it just depends on if they want to follow what we say.

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