Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 decade ago

The Talk About Sex?

At what age did you give your kids The Talk About Sex (emotional & physical changes plus some of your views)? Was it before they hit adolescence (10-12 years old) or after (13 years old and beyond)?

2nd part of this question, with hindsight looking back, would you do anything differently?

I would love to hear from the experienced parent to teens to even adolescents who have had or haven't had The Talk.


Thank you to the people that took this question seriously. I remember what I learned from my friends in school and wouldn't want my child basing their sole sex ed. information on the myths I heard (this wasn't so long ago either) : you can get pregnant if your mouth touches a guy's penis; a woman only has two "holes" and if she wears a tampon she can't go pee; if you drink ice water or iced tea after sex, you won't get pg because it freezes the sperm. Obviously these myths can be easily disproven, but why not arm your child with the correct information to start off with? Especially about how to use condoms and birth control.

34 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    10-12 is a good age because if you wait any longer you might be too late. Some kids start really early and parents usually think they know their kids and they don't. Even if they don't start having sex at that age, you still don't want to risk the chance of someone else giving them bad/false information or advise. You should not only talk to them about pregnancies but also STD's such as HPV and AIDS.

    My mother always thought she was open about sex but she wasn't. She never had the "talk" and I learned most of what I knew through my sister, who also never got "the talk"

    Fortunately my sisters intake wasn't too bad, but I would of benefited better from my mother being honest and actually talking.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm 15; I have never had "the" talk. Learned everything from the world. Believe me, kids find stuff out without parents. Sometimes this is bad if they have the wrong friends. By the time of sixth grade kids usually start having sex education in school anyway, so if you do plan on having "the talk" it would most likely be before that point; I think it's pretty unnecissary though. When i'm a parent I think I will probably just cross the subject when my child has a boyfriend or girlfriend, lightely though.

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, glad to see you got some real quality answers. Geez.

    I'm a former sexual health educator and studies show it's never too early to talk to kids about sex. Whaa? you may say...but let me explain. It can start from birth by calling your children's body parts by the correct names. For instance, if you're washing the baby you say, "Now I'm washing your little toes, your legs, your penis, your belly" etc. When a woman is pregnant and your little one says "she has a baby in her belly!" you say, "no honey, a baby grows in a uterus, which is a body part only women have."

    As the child grows, add more information. That way, there's no giant SEX TALK at a certain age.

    What you say to a child needs to be age appropriate. Does a 5-year-old need specifics? No. Does an 8 year old need to know exactly what oral sex is? Not really. It's more proper information for that part of his/her life. One way to know if it's too much the kid. If they're bugging out, are totally confused or want to run're saying waaay too much.

    Studies show that kids with plenty of information about sex and reproduction are LESS likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors and will wait longer to have sex. The best sex educator is the parent. If you want it done with your values, in a way you're comfortable with, don't leave it up to science class. Besides, in this day and age, schools are doing less and less education anyway.

  • I'm a 19 year old girl. My parents never really gave me the sex talk, I guess because they thought that they raised me to make the right decisions. My mom asked me when I was 15 if I was a virgin, and I said no. She wasn't surprised.

    Kids are getting sex-ed classes at school in 6th grade. They pretty much teach all about condoms and how everything works, its really sad to be honest. I personally think that it just gives kids ideas. I have never known any 6th grader to be having sex...

    I think it would have been really awkward to get the sex talk from my parents. Really the only thing either one of them said to me was my dad saying "Don't make me a grandpa before I'm 40"... and he sent me a video of a bratty little kid in a grocery store and the end of the video had the caption "Use Condoms." it was kind of funny.

    I dont think kids really need the sex talk these days. They learn about most things from their friends, the internet, TV, radio, ect.

    Source(s): my life :)
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm in highschool, and never got the talk. My parents just avoid that. When we watched a sex ed video in fifth grade, my mom just quickly said that I would get my period when I was older, and if I had any questions. Because they had made it such a taboo subject, I said no, even though I probably did. I went to the internet for answers, and I was pretty satisfied. When I have children, I am going to handle it differently, and I will make sure they know I am willing to talk about it and answer any questions they might have. I don't want it to be like what my parents did to me, as I was too embarrassed to even tell my mother I got my period when I did, and waited about a week and then left a note in her room. Even though it's awkward, I think parents should be more open about discussing it.

  • 1 decade ago

    It is sad there are so many sarcastic answers on here. I got "the tlk" when I was 12. It was before I had started my period. My mom didn't go to much into detail with me. That is partially my fault because I was embarrassed to talk about sex and was like "yeah, i know. i know." I would say, the best time to talk about sex with your kid would be in 6th or 7th grade (middle school). Definitely before they go through puberty anyway. I would tell them EVERYTHING. After the sex talks with my mom, I was still uncertain about everything that went on. I did lots of research online, most of which was above my head and was hard to understand the terminology. As I got older, I eventually did figure it all out. i think that yes, kids will learn a lot through movies and friends. But, not EVERYTHING. I would tell them everything...from oral sex to intercourse. How it works, the risks, etc. Encourage your child to discuss it with you. It will be easier for the both of you. I would say not to scare your child to death by saying if they don;t stay a virgin until marriage, you will disown them, etc. My dad said he wouldn't pay for my wedding if I wasn't a virgin when I walked down the aisle. This scared me to death. I still had sex, but it was kept from my parents. I told my mom, and my dad NOW knows (I am 22)., but my dad didn't know until about a year ago. I was terrified. You don't want to encourage your child to have sex, but you want to have that open communuication to discuss these things. Hope this helps!!

    Source(s): experience
  • 1 decade ago

    As a former teacher and mother of a teenager, I advocate talking about it at an appropriate level since they are toddlers. What I mean is that a toddler needs to know what his penis is and that mommies and daddies make babies and that they grow instead the mommy. It's good to use real names of things, but don't force graphic conversations or descriptions of sex acts on kids this small. Basically, you don't sit down and make a big deal. When the kid asks what something is, you just tell him and move on. Nothing detailed. Part of life.

    When the child is in elementary school, they will have more "scientific" and "relationship" questions. I think they need to know anatomy and basic facts of life. If you are at the zoo, you can answer questions. If you have a biology book showing sperm and an egg, you can talk about how amazing it is that we all come from two cells, one from the mom and one from the dad.

    I would definitely shield them from the gratuitous sex on TV and the movies, but you have to tell them what sex is before their classmates do. You really need to talk about sexual ethics, values and morals...including consequences to them and to kids they could conceive if they violate these principles.

    Preteens really need to feel free to openly ask questions and talk to you about sex because they hear about it at school and notice things in the world around them. They want to know what "gay" is, and you have to be the one to talk to them about related issues rather than letting their friends, TV or the school mold them.

    The other day when some boys were roughhousing in a friendly way, a girl who hangs out with them and who tends not to hang with the girls dared him to tackle her. He put his arm around her waist and gently took her to the ground, not touching her anywhere else or hurting her. But, I told him that he can't do that because he could accidentally hurt her and they both were young adults biologically and needed to maintain certain boundaries so as not to tempt themselves or others. He knows the plans he has to get a Ph.D. He's only a freshman in high school. He understood and agreed even though he didn't mean anything by it. I also told the girl that I told my son it wasn't okay even though I understood they were just playing around. And, then I told her mom, who was at first upset with my son. I did explain to her how her daugther hangs out with the boys and teases them, but that my son had never blamed her or said anything negative about her. The mom concluded that it was a "brother and sister" thing, which is partially true and partially a denial of their budding sexuality.

    I think sexuality is something to be celebrated but protected for marriage. I don't want my child to become infected and destroy or damage his future. He's too young to be a parent as well. So, I frequently mention things to him, but I don't make it a constant theme to the extent that it would be overwhelming.

    Basically, what I am saying is that it's not "the talk," but it's an ongoing conversation throughout their childhoods. If you wait until you think they really can get it, they are probably already biased by the media and friends. No kidding.


  • 1 decade ago

    As the proud parent of a 26 year old daughter and a 22 year old son I would probably not have done anything differently.... so here is what I did do:

    1. Decide to make yourself an "ask-able parent". That means no question is too dumb or too embarrassing for you to field - so study up on your own sexuality education early and often and keep up with information that changes with the times. Get your facts from reliable sources and do not be afraid to say "I don't know but I will find out and get back to you on that." Then do it!

    2. Start when they are young. As they are learning parts of their bodies teach them all the (visible) parts. Just like we say "where is your nose?" ask boys "where is your penis?" and girls "where is your crotch?". Do not be afraid to use proper terminology.

    3. Get a book that is age suitable for your child/children and share it with them. Suggestions for the pre-school set are:

    "Before You Were Born"

    "Where Did I Come From?"

    and if you are expecting another child:

    "My Mom's Having a Baby"

    4. Do not be afraid to use "teachable moments" as they arise in your child's life. Kids get the object lesson without being beaten over the head. I will bever forget seeing a young teen struggling with a small baby at the grocery store when I was out with my 12 year old daughter. The teen was clearly the mother of the infant. I used the opportunity to share my values with my daughter without judging the young mother.

    5. Make sure literature is always available that is age appropriate like some of the ones listed here:

    6. Don't forget girls need to learn about boys and boys need to learn about girls. Because girls menstruate we often get a chance to discuss the whole process with our daughters, but we forget our sons have their maturation issues, too (nocturnal emmissions, "blue balls", etc.)

    7. Be frank, open and honest. Do not lecture or be overly long-winded. Ask your child's doctor for more on the subject if you need to. Read, read, read - stay ahead of your kids' curiosity by knowing what they are likely to want to know next.

    8. Finally, parents often assume their kids are less ready and less mature than they are. They will remember what they understand and let the rest go. It is a process not an event. I have never believed in "the talk" - I believe in the process.

    Source(s): Life Transitions Choach for 18 years, Human Sexuality Educator for 10.
  • 1 decade ago

    It's kind of a judgment thing that you base on their behavior.

    My oldest daughter required this talk at 10 because she was so mature and I cried when I had to tell my youngest at 10 because her period started and she still played with baby dolls.

    But, even then, you talk about what is needed at that age and the rest based as it comes.

    Both girls knew about the basic sex difference and pregnancy by 13-14 and could talk freely with me by the time they were 15-16.

    Now, age 40 & 35, we talk and make jokes because it's their turn to talk to their kids.

  • 1 decade ago

    When they start asking questions. At first you just give the honest answer about the plumbing. As they get older you fill in the rest of the information including responsibility and what not. For my kids it was about 9 that they got the basic info.

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