At what age do you think it is appropriate to discuss sex with your child? How much would discuss? If they ask a question, do you tell them everything or just answer what they have asked?
I have heard someone explain it as a 'special cuddle' between mommies and daddies that can sometimes make a baby, I thought that was kinda cute.
My approach has always been to be led by the child and to just answer their questions honestly, keeping answers age appropriate. Like Kirsten said, a special cuddle is the kind of explanation I'd give a child under 5. We've also talked about mummy having an egg and daddy having an egg and when they join together a baby is made.
My experience is as children get older, they ask more direct and pertinent questions and will want more indepth information.
My opinion is that you do not wait and let the child ask questions as they become curious. In this day and age by the time they are curious they have either already sown their oats or have their own subscription to a "well-endowed" magazine.
You, as a parent, must take the lead and charge in the virtues you expect your child to retain into adulthood. I've started my discussions with my kids at eleven years with the basics. Every six months I have a sit down with them, individually, and discuss the issue as I perceive they need disclosed.
1) Allows the child to know that those opportunities are approaching to gain answers without the extra pain of asking a parent (which hardly ever happens in the real world).
2) Let's them know that mom and/or dad cares and is on top of their education in the matter.
The key is to always adjust your attitude to allow a confidence and friendship to blossom with your child. Have fun with them yet also provide for them. Earning their respect is key to earning their trust.
I agree withGoldenpath-
I would not wait. I have heard of young children experimenting with sex and you want them to be educated before that happens. By making it age-appropriate, the child can relate to what you are saying in their own way. As they get older, more details should be offered. But I wouldn't wait until they asked because they may never do that.
This is certainly not my experience! My own children have been asking about where babies come from since they were about 3 years old and having worked with children of all ages, most ask questions long before they are ready to sow their oats. All these questions are an opportunity to educate and build an open and honest relationship. Starting the conversation at 11 years old is far too late.
I agree, so let me rephrase. Those deeper subject lines regarding human intimacy should be age appropriate and those, for me, starts before puberty. No problem there.
I'm glad you've had wonderful success with open children. However, as one who's counseled thousands of children over the past fifteen years it has proven to me that their deepest curiosities are not often brought to bear. This is why I've stayed on top of my own children's "education." I don't claim to know all of their curiosities or even that they are divulging their entirity to me but I do claim that I am doing all I can to show I care and that they can trust me.
I am truly glad for your success! It's always good to hear of kids being helped in positive ways.
Age three is about when they want to know where babies come from. Telling them the facts dispassionately is a good idea, and usually they accept these facts without any problem. What they normally do not understand at this age is the erotic significance of the facts. So the discussion about sexual pleasure has to wait a few years. At age three, children assume that procreation is the only reason for sex.
Well I come from a family of nine children ,and whenever we had questions they were answered. My dad was a natural teacher ,and usually encouraged our curiosity with 'what if "questions or" how do you think that might happen". He did not like the superficial method many schools used ,and their arrogance in insisting they knew ALL children better than their own parents.
A three year old has the capacity to understand a general answer ,like 'where do they come from"? etc ..Answer 'From Me'..'How"? Use hands to your whole body ,emphasising your belly and expanding, then as they digest that information-wait ,it may be enough of an answer for them ,for now. You will get to continue later on...an hour later , a day later , week,month etc.
I think it helped alot too ,that we had farmyard animals around when we were growing up and sex just seemed logical, but you could use other resources like books, musems, DVD'S etc as well to initate or further re-inforce a point.
The main thing is dont feel embarrassed or awkward explaining our physical bodies and sex, its as nataural as being born and dying..
Relax and trust in yourself .
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