Thursday, October 13, 2016

Don't Wait Till they are Teens to Teach them about Sex

There are a lot of opinions about when parents should teach their children about sex. Ideas range from, as soon as they can understand (5-7) to, not till they reach puberty which is 12-14, or even 15 for some. RJ and I talked about this quite a bit and we have decided to teach our children as soon as they can understand.

RJ has a daughter from a previous marriage and she was taught about sex around 6 or 7. When she was asked if she knew where babies come from she would say, “Yes”. When someone asked her to explain she would say, “Ew, no that’s gross!” If you tell children at the right early age, and catch it before they are too curious about sex, you can curb the curiosity until they are old enough to understand the consequences.  
 When I was about seven, I had a friend tell me what sex was. She didn’t seem to know too much about it. I remember feeling awkward as she explained how a man puts his parts inside a woman, and then bounced a lot. My parents had not told me anything about sex or where babies come from. A couple weeks later I was talking to my older sister and she was shocked I knew what sex was and tattled on me. My mom asked me to explain to her what I thought sex was, I told her, “A man puts his parts inside a woman”. My mom said, “Yep that’s right.” and that was it. No further explanation, no reassurance to check I actually knew what sex was, nothing. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with that girl again, and things were awkward between her, me, and my parents for while.

My parents were very shy about teaching us about sex. One of my sisters who was at least 13 at the time, overheard boys talking about sex, blow jobs, and other sexual terms on the bus. She was too shy to ask my parents, so she started googling things. My dad found a long history of porn on the family laptop. She had been taking it up to her bedroom and searching words she didn’t understand. One night my parents called us all into their bedroom to confront us about who had been searching sexual topics. None of us fessed up but apparently the one who did it came back to my parents later that night and explained why she had started searching things.  

The mystery of sex to children is like Santa or The Tooth Fairy. Once little kids learn the secret they cannot keep it to themselves. I want to teach my children about sex as soon as possible. I want them to understand it’s a “adult thing” just like there are adult words and drinks. It’s not something our children need to talk about with their little friends. It’s a very important thing to know.

I do not want my children to be taught about sex by other children. I do not want my children to google sexual terms they don’t understand. I do not want to undo confusion caused by other children, or need to undo confusion caused by clicking on the wrong tab on the laptop, or purposely searching things.

We try to always use scientific terms with our children. Rose can already say vagina and penis. The other morning after RJ got out of the shower she was very curious about his penis. We just told her, “That’s daddy’s penis, boys have penises and girls have vaginas”. She understood, and hasn’t asked about it since. I think she was initially so curious because daddy looked different than her.

Children are very easy to teach. If you teach them, “this is how it is, this is normal”, they just understand and do not feel the need to question. The older children get, the more they question, the more explaining they need. It’s easy to explain sex is for adults.

We plan on using all scientific terms to teach our children about sex. Mommies have eggs, daddies have sperm. When a daddy puts his penis inside a mommy’s vagina he puts his sperm inside. The sperm and the egg together make a baby. The baby grows inside the mommy’s tummy for a long time, then the baby comes out of the mommy’s vagina. Sex is for making babies and to have fun, but it’s only for adults only.

I was extremely curious about boys when I was a teen. I think this was because I was never taught about sex as a child or even properly taught as a teen. I had my first boyfriend when I was 12, and was exploring more than kissing with boys by 14. I remember searching porn around 14 when I got my first iPod touch. I had internet access, but it was private, and history was erasable. I do not want my children to seek out porn for answers, porn is not bad, and is fine in moderation, but it is as close to real sex as James Bond movies are to real spies.

Some people who do not think children should be taught about sex till their later years think teaching their children about sex is taking away their innocence, or will force them to act older than they are. Teaching children about how their bodies work is very important. Educating children about sex will not make them grow up the second you tell them. Kids will be kids, they will be curious, don’t let them try and figure it out on their own or let other children confuse them.

This blog post was inspired by a small debate I got into with a friend about this. To hear her opinion (which is polar opposite of mine) please check out her blog post! "Frolicinflorida: I will not be teaching birds and bees"

Thanks for reading!

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