Sex 101: What and when to tell your kids

sex talkI’m very conservative. I have expectations of my kids that probably aren’t popular (like, no dating until they are 16 and no sex until marriage). But, as a mom I recognize that my kids are already learning to make their own choices. I know my kids won’t always listen to me and there’s little I can do once they reach a certain age to influence their choices. Because of that and because I think it’s essential that kids understand that sex shouldn’t be a taboo subject between us (I’d rather them ask me their questions than get their answers from their equally uneducated peers), I feel strongly about being open with your kids about “the birds and bees.”

My girls are both still young (7 and 5) so I’m still in the beginning stages of this whole thing. Fortunately my kids haven’t been exposed to sexual situations that have resulted in awkward questions, but I think it’s partly just pure luck. Kids are being exposed to pornography and sexual topics much younger and it’s scary. As moms we have to take control and recognize when our kids are ready. This is my plan for teaching my kids about sex (and heaven knows it could get way off course if my girls hear something at school)

Ages 6-8:

Kids tend to be a little more curious around this age. Their teacher may be expecting a child or they overhear an older kid at school talking about something they saw in a movie. At this age, I think kids should be fine understanding that mommy’s carry babies in their tummies. Mommies and daddy’s love each other and make babies together. Understanding the how isn’t quite as important at this age. Of course, if your family is non-traditional other topics might be appropriate at this age (adoption etc.)

Ages 9-11

Sometime during this time period, we’ll talk about the details. I think kids at this age are smart enough to understand the concept of eggs and sperm. My goal is to talk to my girls about their bodies and changes during this time too, which makes an easier transition into the actual details. Still, kids at this age won’t care to or need to have the condom talk… most of the time.

Age 12 and up

I think this is the time frame that’s going to get a bit awkward for me. Kids are into or beginning puberty. Boys and girls are dealing with changes in their bodies and it’s a good time to explain why. Unfortunately kids at this age are becoming sexually active, so it’s a good time to really talk to your kids about sex and what your personal feelings and expectations. I plan on letting my kids know that I’m open to talk about any questions they have, not matter how uncomfortable they feel.

Most schools will have some sort of sex-ed lesson by this point, but I’d like my kids to hear most of the details from me. As awkward as I know the conversation is going to be, I feel like it’s more beneficial for my kids to know I’m willing to trudge through the uncomfortable topics so they can talk to me.

Have you had the birds and bees talk yet? How did your broach the topic?


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