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Drat! Did I Tell My Kid Too Much About Sex??

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Guest blogger Politically Incorrect Mommy: Help! I think I told my kid too much about sex too soon!

Shocked Girl

Last week, an innocent question asked by my 7-year-old daughter -- about where and how babies come out of a mother's body -- led to an inquiry about how babies get in there in the first place.

I'm not a big fan of the stork, so I told my daughter the truth. While I didn't offer a play-by-play commentary on the process of procreation, I did talk about penises and where they go. My second grader reacted to the information the way that I expected most 7-year-olds would; she shrugged her shoulders and went back to coloring.

All was well until I got several angry emails from the parents of my daughter's classmates who were "irate" and "outraged" that my daughter had shared the facts of life with her friends at school.

I'm torn. One part of me feels bad for unwittingly introducing sex ed into the second-grade curriculum. The other part of me wants to tell these parents where to go. While I would have preferred that my daughter kept the details of our conversation to herself, I also don't want to teach her that sex is a taboo subject, or something that is always shrouded in mystery.

You tell me: Did I screw up? Did I tell my daughter too much too soon?

What should we tell our children about sex ... and when?


next: Haleigh's Brother: Man Took Her from Bedroom
17 comments so far | Post a comment now
Niknik February 24, 2009, 2:08 PM

You didn’t do anything wrong, as far as I can tell. You told your kid the truth and didn’t graphically explain it to her. You may just want to tell her to keep it quiet next time, because even though you are doing right by your kid others are trying to make sex disappear until their own kid reaches about.. teens heh.

MarMar February 24, 2009, 2:20 PM

I’m with Niknik on this one. I’m pretty open with my daughter, who’s almost 6, as well. I haven’t explained the mechanics of it yet, but she understands some things, like the reason why the kindergarten class guniea pig has no baby guinea pigs is “because she doesn’t have a boyfriend.”

Anonymous February 24, 2009, 2:37 PM

Nope you did the right thing. Actually when I was a child the same thing happened to my mother. I informed everyone about the truth. Parents were outraged, but my Mom handled it with grace. She informed the outraged parents of exactly what she had told me and it wasn’t more than the bare minimum. You have the truth on your side.

Anonymous February 24, 2009, 2:54 PM

well, my step son asked when he was 5 and i just asked him where he thought they came from and he said “the heart”. i told him that was a very good answer and we’d go eith that for now. at 5 he didn’t have the attention span he does now, so he went to a different subject after that. then when he was 8 he asked his dad what his balls were for (LOL!!!)

Barb February 24, 2009, 3:06 PM

I don’t think you did anything wrong. The truth is always the best choice.

Kat February 24, 2009, 3:49 PM

You did the right thing by being honest…There is no “rule book” on being a parent and going with your gut seems to be the unwritten “rule book”. Good for you!

lexi February 24, 2009, 3:54 PM

when i asked my mom at age 7 she told me the truth, like you did. when all my friends asked their moms and dads they lied and brushed it off. but because my mom told me the truth i wasnt so curious when i got older, as opposed to my friends who the second they could spell intercourse they had it. i think you did the right thing. but then again im only 17..

Gail February 24, 2009, 4:17 PM

My mom told me the basic mechanics when I was 6 and I remember thinking that they must have REALLY wanted a baby to be willing to do “that”. LOL. When my kids asked me, I was honest and told them what my mom had told me. I managed to get to the age of 25 before getting pregnant, so I suspect that honest information is a good thing that more parents should share with their children. I would really rather have my kids ask me, and know that they can trust what I tell them, than to have to get misinformation on the playground because they think I won’t be honest.

Karen W. February 24, 2009, 4:25 PM

I explained the same subject to my daughter at about the same age, very matter-of-factly, and in a very straightforward manner. I also added at the end, that while sex was nothing to be ashamed of, it was a private matter and that it was for each family to decide what to teach their children about it and when, and that it would be best she not share any of what we had talked about with her friends at school, sports activities, etc., so that her friends could learn about it in the same way she had, from their own parents. She understood, and we never had any problems.

Anonymous February 24, 2009, 4:38 PM

you didnt do anything wrong…but I would have emphasized to not talk to anyone about it and that it is for their moms and dads to talk to them about it…however, how are you suppose to know your daughter is going to go talk to friends about it.

bleh February 24, 2009, 5:32 PM

i found out about sex in 2nd grade but it was from a friend, so it probably would have been better if my mom told me. the other kids would have learned about it anyway, i don’t think you did anything wrong

ame i. February 24, 2009, 5:40 PM

I fault you not. My older daughter started menstruating at 10, so I felt I should start explaining what was going to happen and why when she was 9. I did tell her not to discuss anything with other children.

Uly February 24, 2009, 11:23 PM

1. You did the right thing. The truth is always the best option.

2. Those other parents need to get a grip and realize they would’ve had to speak to their kids about this sooner or later.

3. However, next time you discuss a sensitive issue with your kids - sex, Santa, socialism, whatever - be more careful to remind her not to spread it around in case other people are sillies about it.

kixqueen February 24, 2009, 11:56 PM

You did nothing wrong. I commend you for being honest! For the parents nagging at you, let them know what you said to your daughter (that way they can be prepared for possible questions, etc.). Then for any future inquiries let your daughter know that while sex, etc. is not bad, it’s important that each of her friends learn about it from their parents like she does from you.

father of 3 boys February 25, 2009, 1:39 AM

I fully agree that the truth is indeed the best choice. And in my opinion at age 7 or younger the truthful answer should be: ” you are too young for that kind of stuff, we will tell you when you are older”. Just like they are too young to learn the truth about war and high level math. It is not that I want to keep my 7 year old uneducated about high level math, etc., but he is simply not ready for it to deal it appropriately. So far we have told our 7 year old that kids happen when parents love each other a lot.
The big question, for which I don’t have the answer yet either, is when is the right time? I am currently guessing at around 10 years old. But for sure I would add the caveat that this is a sensitive subject that for now it is not appropriate to talk about these things with other people. Especially since talking about it can easily lead to looking at the physical evidence and experimenting ….

P.S. clearly most of us agree that the need for truth does not apply to santa ….

MrsEmbers February 26, 2009, 10:30 AM

I think some other kids’ parents need to understand that their kids are probably curious, too.

My mom didn’t officially have “The Talk” with me until I was about 12, and by then I’d learned it all from books, anyway. If kids’ parents don’t tell them, they’ll get the information elsewhere. I know I’d rather my kids get it straight from me or my husband than from less reliable sources.

I guess when the time comes we’ll try to explain the distinction between “private” (which this information is) and “shameful” (which it is not).

Afqolucb June 24, 2009, 6:10 AM

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