When to have "The Talk"

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2003
When to have "The Talk"
8
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 10:31am
Hi All, I haven't been to the boards for a very long time. I can't believe how much they have changed. I used to be 2kidz1dog but recently changed my userid. It's nice to be back. Don't know how often I can visit, but it's nice to know you are all still here.


My son turned 10 in June and will be entering 5th grade in a couple of weeks. I'm wondering if I should start thinking of having the "Sex Talk" with him. It will probably be me, I can't see dh doing it. I think he would be telling him a lot more than he needs to know.


I believe they have films in the 5th grade for boys and girls. Maybe I should wait until then. It just seems that all his friends are mature than him and seem to "know" more. BUT on the other hand, I don't want to rush it.

Oh, what to do, what to do???


:o) Chris

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 11:22am
We'd had bits and pieces of the talk back in 4th grade; the school showed the video and had q/a right at the end of the school year (ds was 9 at the time). He's glad to know the 'truth', as he'd already heard some rumors. (The cutest was that he thought you might be able to get pregnant from kissing..something through swapping DNA...) Anyway, I let it be at his comfort level; thus that usually meant piecemeal. There are some great books out there too, but some are quite explicit and you might want to 'screen' them before reading together, or handing the book to him. Good luck - you'll be glad when you get it done!

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Thu, 08-14-2003 - 4:16pm
Hi Chris, welcome back!!

Robert and I have been talking off and on with our son since he was 7½. I was pregnant with his little brother, so it seemed to us to be an appropriate time to start discussing sex in general and how babies are made in particular.

I've already had to clear up a lot of misconceptions that Sean has learned on the playground. Part of me wants to laugh at how wrong they get it, but another part is scared for him and his peers - there is too much danger in sex nowadays for them not to be better informed, IMO. I worry since they seem much more advanced than I remember being at that age. Though the funny parts are the ones where they get is so very, very wrong - like my son telling me that his friends told him that periods were when girls laid in bed naked. It was so hard to keep a straight face with that one, but I managed.

You might try to find out from your son how much he already knows or thinks he knows. In 3rd and 4th grade both, Sean would come to me with things he'd heard about sex and growing up from his friends and ask for clarification. When you do have the talk, be prepared for laughs, giggles, severe embarrassment, shock and even disgust. I've always tried to keep it very simple, explain the basics and then let Sean ask questions to direct the conversation. I end with a reminder that he should come talk to me or his dad to verify anything his friends tell him. I don't put them down, I just explain that it is a confusing subject and it is easy to misunderstand some of it. I also explained that I felt sex and the possible consequences were too important for him not to have the information necessary to make good decisions.

Good luck!!

Best Always,

Sherrie

co-cl

Sherrie Rainbow

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 4:47pm
hi there im new but welcome back to this wonderful board. im just letting you know that its in grade seven here when they do the films so maybe you might tell him now so he is ready then.

dianne, mom of rebecca 12, josh 13 and isabella and bailey 2 months (twins)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-21-2003
Sun, 08-17-2003 - 5:41pm
here, they actually start talks and films in K or 1st grade- they only learn about self esteem, etc in the beginning, but every year the children learn a little bit more. My 6th grader's first week of school this year had a boy/girl seperate talk already. I don't know what the boys learned, but my dd knew that she could talk to her female teachers about their problems/ etc if they were uncomfortable talking with their male teachers. I would not wait any lnger to at least bring up the subject- and perhaps Dh will suprise you- it could happen!!

Cat

dd9/91

dd3/94

dd 8/99

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 5:48pm
Welcome back, Chris! I remember you!

I really think now is the time for you to have the talk, unless you want school and/or his friends to be the ones doing the talking ;-) Like you, I had the talk with ds as well as with dd. Dh is just not as comfortable. When Sam and Rachel (twins, remember? ;-) were 9, I used the book "What's the Big Secret?" by Marc Brown. Even though it's cartoons, it was straight-forward, not too much information, and a good basis for dicussion. I wanted my kids to know they could come to me with any questions about what they hear in school and from their friends, and I think that is more likely if I'm the one raising the subject, not waiting for them to come to me. JMHO, of course! (For girls, I really recommend "The Body Book for Girls" published by American Girl.)

Glad you found us again. Hope to see you often!

Janet

co-cl

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 4:23pm
Chris,

I am a lurker, as my kids are 5,3,1. I do have nieces who are 6,7,and 10, so I like to hang around here to get good advice on their behalf. Occasionally, I come across a topic I feel qualified to give my two cents about. In my pre-mom life, I was a social worker. I have worked with foster children, pregnant teens, and victims of sexual assault. Here is my answer to your question: YES, talk with your son NOW. But here's the thing: this is not a one time talk. It must begin today and be ongoing until he leaves your home. Start small, keeping the discussion age appropriate (basic gender and intercourse info). Give small amounts based on the feedback you get from him. If he seems to have heard enough, table the discussion for about a week. The most common mistake I have seen parents make is to have a one time discussion in which both parents and child would rather be getting a root canal, everyone is embarassed, and important info is left out. Or, parents overload their kids with everything at once. At 10, he is probably most curious with the changes in his body and feelings, then in girls, then in the specifics of sex itself. Both you and your husband can give him important info that the other can't. This should be a joint effort between you. You may be better able to teach him about the specifics of intercourse and girls; let your husband talk to him about guys and what's going on with his body. Just as your husband simply cannot understand what it is like to be a 12 year old girl, there are a lot of things you really can't relate to your son about. (sorry if I am repeating what has already been said; I didn't have a chance to read the replies before offering my opinion!) Good luck.

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 08-28-2003 - 5:45pm
Thanks so much for your thoughtful response! -Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 09-09-2003 - 11:10am
I was thinking about this very same ?. My ds has never asked any ?'s about anything concerning the birds & bees. He has two older sisters but has never even asked me the the difference between boys & girls. I always figured I would wait until he asked me but since he has not I think it is time to have a talk. I always believed that since I talked to the dd's my dh should talk to the son but since I've been waiting 14 years for dh to paint the kitchen ceiling, maybe I should do it. After all, I can talk to him about respecting girls from a girls point of view. My girls asked lots of ?'s, we talked about feminine hygiene, etc. when their little brother was born they watched a birthing video. They claim to not recall it, traumatic memory loss maybe. (the mom in this didnt cry or yell and there was no direct view, it was a good one for kids)Anyway, I have had this book called "Isnt It Amazing" but I find it too blunt, not that it is bad, just I think too much information all at once. I never had to talk to a son before and it is a new adventure. MAtter of fact, I hardly have to post about him at all, Mr Mellow, but the girls.... have mercy!