What is the appropriate age to have the "birds and bees" talk with your children?
I don't know if there is a appropriate age to have the talk. I think it's when the child ask the parent about it. I don't think a parent should force the birds and bees talk if the child isn't interested in it.
I have taken a lot of parenting classes and was always told to answer the questions simply and honestly when they come up, with enough details for the age. Let your kids know that they can come to you with any questions because they will get false information from the schoolyard. I would say that girls should know by the age of around 10, as so many girls are starting their cycle earlier these days. 12 for boys.
Interesting question...I would say the birds and bees biological differences talk should occur very young and into the 4th or 5th grade...the actual sex talk should definitely occur by the 6th grade. As a therapist I work with kids all the time who know WAYYYYYY more than we think they know at that age (and of course it's all whacked out wrong information). Parents have the tendency to turn a blind eye to the realities of what kids talk about and know so they like to think that their kid is too young to have that talk. Well....it's not.
When my daughter was six, I averheard her friend asking if she was having sex with her boyfriend! When her friend had gone home I asked her if she knew what sex actually was and she replied, 'it's where you get naked and kiss and cuddle in bed'.
The birds and bees talk, I think should be done when they start showing that they are curious about it or, as already said; when they ask.
But I think that it's important that before they go to a mainstream school they are taught that their bodies are their own. That the private parts are to be touched by noone other than themselves and to come to you if they have any questions or concerns about the goings' on at school.
Kids are growing up way too fast these days and they are more aware than any of us can imagine. Even if they are completely innocent and showing no signs, there may be a child or two in the classroom that is more advanced or has experienced or witnessed more than they should within the home.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I realize kids know way too much these days. My son is shy and embarrasses easily. Doubt he would ask questions so I occasionally bring up the topic and gage where he is at. My daughter is 5 and doesn't show any curiosity.
If they don't hear from you they'll hear from schoolmates. I never had that talk with my parents, but I knew some of it by the time I was 10 and all of it within a couple years of then, so I guess it's whether or not you want to beat older siblings and friends to the punch!
I think a parent needs to be open and prepared for the questions as they come rather than to plan for the "big talk." Answer as briefly as possible. Your kids will ask for more info as time goes on. Te most important thing is to be open, relaxed, and free from embarassment. If you're not comfortable, find another family member who can help. Your feelings about sexuality will influence your kids.
I teach college kids and we used to have an essay we read which was about birth control and schools. Over the years, during our discussions, I questioned the kids about where they had gotten information about sex. Very, very few got most of their information from parents. So my goal has been to be sure my kids felt comfortable talking with me and my husband. I told them anything they asked but usually they haven't wanted to know as much as I was willing to tell! Most of all, I gave them the message that I was willing to answer any question they had. I told them that if I did not know the answer, I would find it out.
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