Being affectionate with your spouse in front of the kids is one thing, but being sexual?! Well, that's another!
Mom With a Mouth Writes: Last weekend, we had big plans for the day and put our 1-year-old in to the Pack n' Play in our bedroom so that we could get dressed. My husband and I were in a great mood (singing and having fun) and while we were changing, he walked up to me, threw his arms around me and said "let's have a quickie." I giggled like a school girl and said, "No! We can't! The baby is watching." I could see my husband was a little bummed that I turned down his advances, although he must understand: doing it in front of your kid is kind of weird, right??? I mean, won't she be scarred for life? I would be!
ML Parenting Expert Jill Spivack says:
When couples become new parents, sex is often the last things on their minds. After about six weeks post-partum, many women get the go-ahead from their doctors to have sex, and yet lack of sleep, constant diaper changes and keeping up a demanding care-giving schedule causes couples to have a lot of diffuculty connecting and sharing any type of intimacy, whether it's simple cuddling or sexual activity of any kind. Throw in a little new mom anxiety, some spousal resentment over division of labor and post-childbirth pain and voila! You're not likely to see spontaneous, passionate lovemaking very often. Obviously though, it is important though, that when parents have a little one, they try to maintain some sort of physical connection -- even if it's just hand-holding or hugging on a regular basis so that they (children AND parents) don't see their love for one another fade away.
When tiny children sleep in their parents' bedroom (during the first few months), there is usually no problem having sexual relations nearby as the baby is not cognitively aware of what's going on. But by the time a baby is able to pick up his head and look over his crib (if he's still room-sharing), it is time to find another place to be intimate. Not only can sexual activity confuse a young child, but it can feel strange for adults to have sex with one another when there is a cute little third party to stare them down. Going to another room can not only help with privacy, it can also spice things up a bit for a couple.
What to do if your older child walks in on you in the middle of the night: This is more common than most people think. While it's incredibly embarrassing for parents, know that witnessing sexual activity will not ruin your child forever. Ask your child kindly to wait outside the room, get dressed (whether you're finished or not), and go out to have a little chat. Once you sit down with your child, ask her first what she saw; it's important to understand what she witnessed before you go into a deeper explanation. If she has questions, you'll want to explain to her in an age-appropriate manner that when mom and dads love each other, they show each other by hugging and holding each other in private. If they are older, and more curious, you could say Mommy and Daddy were having sex, it's what mommy and daddies do, etc. But this is only if they are older and really very curious or concerned that something was wrong. If they are concerned about the loud sounds, assure them that no one was hurt. You also need to let your child know that in the future they need to always knock on your door before they enter the room and wait for Mommy and Daddy to say come in.
While kids shouldn't be exposed to sex in its classic form, it's important for them to see their parents acting affectionately with one another. Gentle kisses, touching and hugging are all important for children to witness because it teaches them about healthy displays of love and affection. Seeing parents who love one another physically is appropriate and heartwarming for young children and lays the ground work for their own future love relationships. When young children see the visible acts of love between parents, it helps them to feel more secure, as a strong marital relationship is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child.
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