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September 19th, 2013 11:42 PM #16
I was told about procreative sex when I was about 7 or 8 and given a book; I learned about oral, anal, and digital sex when I was around 11, and was, again, given a book. We did sex ed in middle school, which I convinced my mom to get me out of -- a mistake, in retrospect. When I have kids I want to start comprehensive sex ed as soon as they're old enough to understand it.
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September 20th, 2013 02:35 AM #18
re: Terminology for private parts:
I'd just like to interject, it is best to teach your children proper terminology for body parts at a young age.
For one thing, if you teach them that a vagina is a vagina rather than calling it a pee-pee or cookie or little bum or whatever, it can help to avoid potential embarrassment and mystery or confusion later.
For another thing, (and of course nobody obviously likes to think this is a possibility) it is a deterrent for potential sexual predators to hear children use proper adult terms for their body parts rather than cutesy names. It clarifies for caregivers or teachers the need to be concerned if a child says someone wants to see their vagina rather than see their cookie, or their penis rather than their rocket or whatever. Also, if your child is sexually abused and needs to testify, they need to be able use proper terminology or their testimony may be considered "up for interpretation", and not hold up legally.
Obviously, you will do whatever you feel most comfortable with as a parent.
There is a movement called "Darkness to Light" that has a straightforward chart about healthy sexual development for different age groups. http://www.d2l.org/site/c.4dICIJOkGcISE/b.6292241/
Edited to add: there is also a children's picture book called What Makes a Baby, that I think could be helpful for parents that want to be open with their children about sex but aren't sure how to facilitate that conversation. What makes a Baby is also inclusive for adoptive families, gay couples, transgender couples, IVF families and (apparently) just about every other type of family.
I don't remember ever NOT knowing about my body or sex & reproduction, so my parents I guess were pretty open about it from a young age. I have an older brother, so maybe he would tell us what he learned in school or something. We did learn in more detail through sex education in school, which is part of our science curriculum. I think in school we started learning about it in grade 6 or so. I used to work in an elementary school and I had children as young as 6 asking me questions (standard answer was that they should probably ask their mum or dad) - but if they were asking me, they were probably asking their friends as well. So I would suggest starting the conversation earlier than that to hopefully avoid misinformation.
Last edited by katieydenberg; September 20th, 2013 at 02:56 AM.Azula Rosemary 1 July 2012
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September 20th, 2013 04:13 AM #20
My personal experience was via health classes at school, reading magazines for teenage girls, and my friends. My parents said NOTHING. Seriously, they weren't good when it came to any slightly uncomfortable conversations. I mean, I had issues with eating disorders as a child/teenager, which my mother knew about, and she did nothing.TTC #1
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September 20th, 2013 10:29 AM #22
Growing up my parents were always completely transparent with me. There were no secrets and certainly my questions were always answered honestly. I was one of those kids that asked the basic; but only ever really touched on the others if an issue arose. When I was three or four, I asked mum where babies came from, when she told me I was disgusted. So I refused to talk about it anymore! haha. As I got older we had routine talks about everything from being yourself to puberty. She always said, "It's not icky and its not gross. I never bring it up to embarrass you." She also had a mother who told her nothing about puberty and poor mum thought she was dying when she got her first period. In regards to the actual act of sex, I picked up on bits in school as kids do, but we talked about it as well. She acknowledged it wasn't just "mechanics," there's also the emotional and physical side of sex. If its hard for grown women who have had sex with a partner and split up to handle then a teenage girl will struggle just as much - if not more. Plus (without threatening) she always made it very clear that if I ever did become sexually active it is a responsibility, there are risks of STD and obviously pregnancy. I read the Girls Stuff book by Kaz Cook growing up (not because mum bought it,) I bought it because I was interested, its virtually a bible on everything girl-related and that helped as well. Because sometimes there will be questions kids get nervous to ask. I think as well, in a sense, my brother was taught to respect girls and the "mechanics." Where I was kind of taught the emotional factor because I was always the girl with my heart on her sleeve.
My school was religious, they were, in honestly, quite lax in their sex education. They only ever focused on the religious views and not so much on anything else. We only had sex ed in year ten and one random one day program on STDs. By the time we had sex education, half my year level had lost their virginity, and had multiple partners! I was the minority. But yeah, I think honesty and transparency is the key, I can talk to my parents about ANYTHING. Really. If I needed pads, I could approach my dad without feeling nervous, and I come home and tell them how my dates go or how a party I went to was. My mum also always told me that if I were having sex, she would have no problem with that, and its not the end of the world. But obviously I would need to talk to her about contraception because I have no experience. I think that was one of the best things my parents ever did for me. I trust the implicitly because of it. They never lied or fobbed me off and sex wasn't a dirty word. Oh, and in regards to using the correct words and terminology when I was really little I knew that people referred to a vagina as a "wee" and to me that was just fact. It was confusing or anything. It was just a short clause for vagina. As long as they know that its fine.
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September 20th, 2013 10:49 AM #24Senior Member
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I was also going to mention the importance of teaching a child proper anatomy terms.
When I was 8, my mom and I read through an American Girl book about bodies....it talked about everything from eating healthy, dental care, to periods. I saw a video in school about a year later, and we discussed it (that's also when I learned about boys' bits, erections, intercourse, and so on).
I'm not sure I knew how babies were made before then. I don't think I ever asked anyone.
My mom had this book for adults on how to talk to your children about puberty. I stole it and read it at age 11. That's how I learned about recreational sex. My mom never actually talked about sex with me. She's not prude at all and we have an open relationship though, so I don't know why that is. We had sex Ed once more in middle and high school each...maybe learned a bit more about STDs andBC.
With my daughter, I plan on having a continuous and open discussion on it...things like the emotional side of sex, slut shaming, pornography, etc. I do hope she'll wait until AT LEAST age 16 to become at all sexually active.Lillian Elizabeth 6.16.13