Not to want my 7 year old to know about sex?(74 Posts)
Ds (7) has a friend round to play. They were upstairs messing around on the keyboard and pressing the different sound effects. One of them is a woman sighing. Ds's friend then laughed and said "It sounds like a lady having sex." It then went quiet. After he regained his composure Dh shouted upstairs "Right, keyboard away now lads." They put it away without question and found something else to do (I think ds assumed they were making too much noise). This friend has never come across as streetwise unlike a lot of the children locally and we're glad he and Ds have become friends. Dh and I are really shocked by what we heard and don't know if we should raise it with Ds later or just pretend it never happened. We're both fairly sure that Ds had no idea what his friend meant. I am nowhere near ready to have a conversation with him about sex. I could probably handle him asking questions about how babies are made and would be able to give him some age appropriate answers but this isn't about reproduction. What the friend was referring to is sex for pleasure and that is a whole other subject that I was hoping not to have to tackle for a good few years yet (complete with obligatory lecture about the law, contraception and STD's). How much do your children know about sex or how much did they know at 7? He hasn't had any sex education in school yet by the way. I know it's pathetic but I feel so sad, I'm not ready for my little boy to be so worldly. I want him to be a child and think about childish things not sex! Oh no, I bet you're all going to tell me that I need to wind my neck in and and stop being so PFB aren't you?
Well, yes, frankly. Sex is just a bodily function, in the end. You're making out that not knowing about it is delightful childish innocence and knowing about it is somehow the death of childhood. Neither is true.
But I'd definitely tell him early the way you'd like him to hear about it rather than leaving it up to the schoolyard.
Has the lad got older siblings? That would explain a lot...if not, I would be a bit worried too.
But yabu a bit as my DD who is 8 knows all about sex and where babies come from. I had to tell her gradually as I just did not want puberty to come as a shock and it can happen at 9 these days...quote often does too.
I doubt he will ask anything, but if he does, just answer it in a correct manner.
At 7, I'm surprised he hasn't asked these questions yet. It will be playground banter all the time. Why do you think sex makes someone any less innocent? It's not a bad thing.
What do you think he might ask?
I also think you need to get a good book and read it with DS...or he'll be hearing all kinds of crap about it in the playground.
I am terrified of having to tell my DC1 (8 this week) about sex. I don't want her to know that things go in things, as she's likely to start putting things in things! I have no idea if that is related to her ASD or if it's just her but she has had incidences in the past of putting things into things and hurting/upsetting herself.
I know I lose parenting points for saying so, but really I have no idea what/when I will tell her stuff
I think a 7yo wanting to know where babies come from is one thing (disclaimer: my eldest is only 3yo so I'm not talking from personal experience), a 7yo talking about sex noises is quite different, so YANBU in that respect.
I don't want my 7 year old to know about porn but I do think they should know about sex.
Ah, sorry, I skimmed that a little bit. I agree with Earnest.
You need to tell him about the basics, you don't want him learning about sex from the school playground, there were alsorts of panics at my primary school about cuddling causing pregnancy, also it will teach him boundries and whats right and wrong.
Already you are aware of an inappropriate conversation and him not understanding, that will be happening at school too and he will be (probably wrongly) piecing information together.
Okay the kind of joking making it smutty kind of stuff the boy said is something I would not like. However dc should know about sex and relationships at quite a young age and what are appropriate boundaries.
My friend deals with sex offenders for a living, she advised me to do this.DC were told the basics in age appropriate language at about 5. DD lost her virginity at 21 so it's not like it made her want to experiment at a young age.
DS school did quite in depth sex ed at 7.
Yanbu at all, I totally agree with you, but I would nt offer information until one of my dc asks (dd asd 6, ds 14 months). I am certainly not going to impart any information just yet. It's up to you as parents to do as you see fit.
I don't have DC yet but I know that at 7 I did know about sex for reproduction and pleasure.
This is a very personal view, but I feel strongly that you can't and shouldn't separate the two. My parents bought me an age-appropriate book which discussed 'special cuddles' between grown ups and how these could lead to a baby, but sometimes it was just for fun.
I don't think there is anything wrong with this. A child can appreciate physical play that is just for fun, and knowing grown ups have a special way of playing that is only for grown ups is fine, imo.
Also, by 8-9 loads of children are talking about this on the playground. It doesn't mean they have been abused or anything, it's just a hilarious bodily function like having a poo.
Also disagree that this is 'smut', necessarily. 7yo boys find willies etc hilarious. This is just part of that. I think seeing it as being all 'phnar phnar' is adult projection onto silly, innocent child's play.
Not all silly, innocent play is appealing or tasteful...!
No, I don't think YABU. At 7 my DSs knew only that babies grew in mummies' tummies. I'd have been worried too. How does your DS's friend know that "It sounds like a lady having sex." That's what I'd want to know.
My younger DS was very upset by another boy showing him extreme porn online. He was older than your DS, 11, but it really freaked him out. Luckily he told me while we were sharing a room on holiday and we had a long, long talk in the dark which resolved the issue. Darkness is helpful when someone wants to talk about embarrassing things.
As you say, your DS didn't understand what his friend said, and I would ignore it, as you did.
But that doesn't answer the question: How would a 7yo know what a lady having sex sounds like? Sounds as if he's either been exposed to something in rl or, in my view more likely, an older child has shown him stuff online.
I'm very bad at confronting people about sensitive stuff, especially other parents. But if I were the sort of person who had the courage I'd go and speak to his mum. Tell her what he said. Her response will tell you a lot. If she's as bothered as you are, she may be able to identify the older child and, more importantly, talk to her DS to find out what he's seen and what he made of it.
YANBU I don't intend on my DCs finding out about it till they're 21..... Hopefully?.....
You don't have to tell your dc about sex at a young age if you don't want. I learned about sex late in my teens, it did not really egatively affect me. I have had relationships and married dh in my 20,s. I don't understand this rsh to tell dc about sex ultra early, like it's going to arm them if you dont
I think a child knowing about sex in a basic way is fine, and knowing that adult enjoy it doesn't ruin their innocence or take away their childhood.
Think you need to have a chat with him so he doesn't just go on what other kids say in the playground, although kids talk a lot of sh*t in the playground, I hear them every day, and mostly the other kids seem to take what they hear with a pinch of salt.
Does you DS's friend have older brothers? How would he even know what a woman having sex sounds like? Inappropriate tv possibly?
I certainly was not scared of sex
Btw, I didn't mean that you have to tell your chidlren about sex, obviously! That is clearly an individual choice.
But rather that I wouldn't assume the other child had been exposed to something naughty. He might have a 10yo brother, or accidentally walked in on his parents watching a soap opera, or anything like that--it's just life, I think, not a CP issue.
Mentioning it to the other mum might make you feel better, but do be prepared for her to say that she has chosen to inform her child about sex already, and if so, please don't imply that she has harmed him.
I would be seriously concerned about a 7 year old making that kind of comment tbh and wonder what the hell he is being exposed to and by who.
It could very well harm a child not to know about sex from someone with their best interests at heart,
If they aren't getting the information from their parents they could very well get misleading information from someone with their own agenda. The fact that parents haven't spoken to their child about it only encourages the secrecy element of it too.
Ds2 (my 6 year old) came home from school singing Gangnam Style which includes the words "Hey, sexy lady" His friends (including younger kids) all seem to know the lyrics too so I think that many children have heard the word sexy.
Ds knew about sex and reproduction by the time he was 7, he did not know about noises etc.
pigletmana education lets you make informed choices when and if the time is right. I think you are extremely naive if you think that leaving it until you are in your late teens might not lead to some very ill informed choices along the way. Sorry, but can't work out if your post is a piss take or not so I am assuming you are being serious.
I wouldn't automatically assume it's a CP issue at all either.
YANBU to not want your DS to learn about sex, especially through playground jokes.
YABU to not talk (or get /dh to talk) about it with him. Just the basics, as he knows the truth, that he can discuss these things with you and so he's harder to manipulate.
Well they would ask. I just wouldn't want to I just don't understand the rush to tell. I never heard about sex being talked about in the playground at primary school, but I know that they do sometimes. Yes it is up to the parents if they want to tell tem and how much
Yes, the friend does have a teenage sister. I've always answered any questions Ds has so he is aware of babies growing in the womb and the birth process. He knows that the Dad has to give the Mum a special seed and sometimes it grows into a baby and sometimes it doesn't (although I think he's under the illusion that the Dad buys the seed from somewhere and the woman takes it like a tablet). He also knows that girls/women have periods and why (must fix the lock on the bathroom door ). He just hasn't asked any questions about the baby making process. It would be easier if he asked but I don't want to be the one to start the conversation. I don't want him to be the only one who doesn't know the facts of life but really didn't think it was appropriate to get into at 7. I'm going to have to have a chat with Dh now as he thinks Ds is way too young for a chat about it.
I feel so sad, I'm not ready for my little boy to be so worldly. I want him to be a child and think about childish things not sex!
You seem more concerned about what you want and what suits you, rather than what you should be addressing for your son's welfare.
Sex isn't dirty, its just a natural bodily function. As a few other posters have mentioned the real issue here is what has influenced your Ds's friend...
You may keep your child sheltered from sex on TV, in films, etc, but it doesn't mean that everyone else does too. The kids will absolutely, no doubt on this earth, have heard some things you don't want them to at school. Sex is everywhere, they can pick up sound effects like that from The Simpsons, which most children of that age will have watched at some point.
Being no where newr ready to have the conversation probably isnt the best way to start.
He'll catch you off guard one day believe me and you'll have to be ready.
My son is 6 and knows how the baby 'gets in there.' And has done for a year.
This may be because I was having a baby right at that time of course.
I think you are being a bit U.
Dear Chubbymummy - I'm afraid I think the longer you don't tell him about the facts of life the more likely it is that he'll hear about them from kids at school who might tell him all sorts of rubbish.
There's a lovely book by Mick Inkpen called 'Who made me' that covers all the basics in a really child friendly way - you might find it helpful.
I wouldn't think it was a CP issue either.
You're making far too much of a big deal about sex, just tell him the truth.
Thinking babies cone from seeds you buy, at the age of 7 is going to lead to a very confused boy when the playground discussions about sex start.
Oh and it's MUCH easier ime to explain the facts of life to a younger child than a stroppy teen, I am VERY glad I didn't leave it until ds was older as he would know nothing as he wouldn't listen to me
Valium that's because teenagers already know everything! [Wink]
Ha ha ha ha yeah, they THINK they know everything when in fact they usually know the crap they have been told in the playground [ground]
Agree it's probably easier to talk to them when they are younger and just curious. I usually go by their lead but we have had lot's of interesting conversations started by them which usually originated in the playground. I prefer to they and talk openly and hopefully age appropriately and just answer their questions when they come up. What do you do when you pick them up from primary and one asks what 'cunt' or 'pussy' means - I'd rather they feel they can be open with me. This has been going on from about 8yrs old and then younger siblings often follow from a younger age.
My DS1 (now 8) heard the words "having sex" on the playground at school last year and came home and asked me what it meant.
I didn't go into a lot of detail as he didn't ask, but I explained that it was a special cuddle for adults which could make babies, which he understands. He also know that if he wants to ask me anything else then he can. It's not dirty or shameful and you don't have to go into loads of detail initially if they're not ready for it.
You can't "protect" them from this knowledge and tbh it's not really protecting them anyway. I think that it's much better that he hears the truth from me rather than bits and pieces from his friends and so that we talk about things going through his childhood and into adolescence.
Sometimes when I read MN I think I must have gone to primary school on a different planet.
By the age of 9 or 10, I can distinctly remember boys and girls making jokes about 'bushes', 'sex noises', periods - definitely.
This was in the late 80s/ early 90s in a posh area.
We picked material up from random bits of tv we saw, from pictures on the covers of mags in the supermarket, from cheesy RnB songs, older siblings. It didn't mean we were all being abused, or even knew that much about sex. It's just in the culture.
It actually really hacks me off when children mention anything about sex and people immediately get their spidey senses going. Children parrot random stuff they hear, and you can't keep them insulated from talk about ex and violence until they are 18, you just can't.
Revolting I went to the same small village primary that my DS goes to and didn't expect to hear it as early as I was totally clueless until about 14 but you can't control the environment of other children and they will get to hear phrases especially if they have older sibs.
Pretty sure I went to the same school as Revolting...
I can also clearly remember the secondary school assembly when I was 12, telling us about the first pregnancy in my year.
I told my 7 year old about sex a few months ago. She asked "what's sex?". She already knew how babies came out, but I had to get rid of the whole special seed idea. It was a simple 5 minute conversation. I also told her 5 year old sister at the same time. I knew dd1 would impart some info and I didn't want anyone to get confused.
Every so often I ask are we all ok with what we know, any questions etc?.
I'm almost 39 and the girl next door told me about sex when I was about 8, I'd rather my kids heard actual facts from me that silly giggly nonsense from friends.
I agree with you totally. Far too young to know about sex and its not necessary to know at that age. I think now days innocence is gone far too soon.
Ha ha ha ha yeah, they THINK they know everything when in fact they usually know the crap they have been told in the playground
Exactly why parents need to calmly discuss these things with kids when they come up, however they come up. Young enough that it's while parents still have influence over what kids choose to believe.
Village what do you mean by "these days"? Private bedrooms used to be a lot less common and children would have seen the mating of livestock in pre-industrial times.
I totally get the need to talk to children early about sex. I remember the foul jokes we used to tell in primary school (i was 9 when I first heard the chocolate biscuit one, not sure how much I understood though). Really must start the chats with my kids.
Have to say though I would feel a little uncomfortable with a 7 year old hearing a sigh and the reaction being that it sounds like a lady having sex. I would wonder what type of conversations have gone on and with whom, as it sounds like more than a few 'how babies are made' or what are periods/wetdream conversations.
Why does knowing about sex mean a child isn't innocent? Its basic biology
On the one hand I think it's important to arm children with knowledge about sex, but on the other hand I just think 7 is far too young to know such details about sex such as what noises are made. My son is 6 and only a couple of months ago he learnt that girls don't have a penis, they have a vagina instead. I'm not sure if I'd want him knowing all about sex in just a years time.
YY I remember talk/silliness/jokes that we didn't understand about "sex noises" by year 5ish if not year 4 which would be 8/9ish. I expect the boy just has an older brother.
I remember with a couple of friends writing down all the rudest/worst swear words etc we could think of and she wrote "ooh" and "ahh" and I couldn't work it out until she modelled it! we thought we were so daring and there was much secrecy of destroying the paper so we wouldn't get into trouble
Mrs Hoarder. I just think that sex is more open 'these days'. Thats fine but I think 7 is far too young. Let them think babies come from the stork for as long as possible. Or is that wrong too.
village the UK has one of Europe's highest teen pregnancy rates.
Is that due to the stork or is more likely that we bring our children up to think that sex is something secretive and shameful and don't encourage open and honest discussion about basic biology.
My son is 6 and only a couple of months ago he learnt that girls don't have a penis, they have a vagina instead. I'm not sure if I'd want him knowing all about sex in just a years time.
It's one of the advantages of having mixed sex siblings I suppose, but I've never not known that boys have a penis and girls don't. Funny how you never think of these things - how would you know as a child otherwise?
Let them think babies come from the stork for as long as possible. Or is that wrong too.
Yeah, a bit. Why lie to a child about where babies come from? It's not information that's going to harm them - it's perfectly natural and just a part of life. What may harm them is getting frightening and inaccurate information from peers rather than accurate and age appropriate information from a loving and trusted source.
I'm really open with my DC about reproduction and the sex act, and how babies get in and are born etc. BUT, I'd be a bit concerned about a child knowing about 'sex noises'. I don't think that is necessary yet. I'm not sure that mine know that sex is for pleasure rather than just reproduction, I will address this next time they ask me something, I won't initiate the conversation.
Oh FGS, I had my first orgasm at 6.
Tell them properly when they are young enough for them to have YOU tell them first and correctly.
Well, we're in for some interesting times in our house I imagine. Dd is seven and knows how she was conceived but as far as I know doesn't know about sex! She and her two siblings are donor conceived so she knows about the sperm and egg needed for a baby and that daddy didn't have any. I guess sooner or later she'll be interested in how it happens when it's not at the hospital. I do wonder whether she'll assume for a while that dh and I never did - and be blissfully un grossed out.
Apart from the fact that we felt we should tell our children about their origins so it never felt like a big revelation, I'm a strong believer in answering questions simply as they arise and sometimes that will be prompted by what another child has said or hinted at.
My DD(just 6) has been asking for well over a year how babies get into their mummies tummies. After stalling for as long as I could, I told her the basic facts a couple of months ago. She was fine with it, but as far as she's concerned, mummy and daddy have done it twice!
Starlight quite. Me and the DSisses grew up in a naice naice suburb and I clearly remember sniggering about vaguely sexual stuff with them from an early age, and 'experimenting' in the bedroom we shared after lights out. As far as I am concerned, that is 'innocent' in the sense that we really didn't know what we were doing.
I also had sexual feelings from the age of about 8 when I first slid down a fireman's pole at school and 'it felt tickly'. I knew then instinctively that I shouldn't tell my teacher about that and that it was a private feeling.
Bertie 'ooh' and 'ahh' were also hilarious words at that age I have no idea at all where we got that from.
Personally, I think children do have developing sexual feelings and making up a pack of lies to tell them simply indicates to them that these feelings are shameful. I think it makes them a lot less likely to be honest with you. When a doctor remarked to my 9yo DSis that she was 'sexy', she knew exactly what that meant and told my mum straight away! That sort of knowledge is a protection, and if you don't give it to them, a 'cooler', older child will.
My 7 & 9 year olds know about the mechanics of how babies are born. My eldest asked me me he was about 5, so I told him. I didn't want to get all cagey about it and make it into something 'naughty' that he couldn't discuss with me. He has asked me more questions recently, which were getting a bit near the knuckle - he's nearly 10 now, and is picking up things at achool. I started to say, 'you're a bit young for this' - but he stopped me dead by saying totally innocently - 'Well, who can I ASK - I'll need to know when I'm older?' I really want them to be able to ask ME, so I was straight with him and answered his questions, in a matter of fact , non sleazy way. He seemed to be quite happy with my answers, and I really hope he'll keep asking me the questions.
I have 2 DS's 7 and 9
they both know how babies are made. they know that daddy's willy put the seed inside mummy.
DS1 knows that sometimes people have sex because it feels nice and it doesn't always make a baby. He knows that because he stated as fact that you get married then you do that then you get a baby and I felt it was right to be honest that you don't need to be married to have a baby, and you don't always get a baby when you have sex,. He was confused as to why you would do it if you didn't plan on having a baby, so I mentioned that if you both really want to do it, and only if you are both wanting to do it it can feel really good, if one of you doesn't want to do it, it just doesn't feel nice.
I will have a similar conversation with them over and over again between now and when they are older. I want consent to be an integral part of their thoughts about sex.
the other thing about saying things when they are young is that it can just be absorbed as the total norm, as far as I understand from friends with older children it can be easier than when they are older.
A child in DS1's class has talked about his girlfriend sucking his willy and that is something that concerned me.. a bit too graphic for playground chat.
Neverknowingly that sounds like a very similar conversation to the one I had with my 9 yr old son.
it is good to know willyoulistentome I had been a little uncertain to start with that I had gone too far but it is too late after the fact
I agree that talking about sex (in appropriate language) is a good thing, even with young children. My ds started asking about where babies come from when he was 4 and I didn't want to lie to him. He's now 8 and has got more detailed info as the years have gone on. We've also talked about his body and about how some parts are private and only for him to touch - not that there is anything shameful or naughty about them but just basically so that he has agency over his own person. He has since last summer been coming to me with all sorts of giggly 'information' he's got from his friends about sex and I'm glad that I can remind him of what he already knows and we can continue to discuss it frankly. If I wasn't talking to him about it, all that he would have to go on would be playground nonsense, and I think that would be selling him short.
kids can sometimes refer to an embrace or indeed any kind of cuddling as 'sex'. Disclaimer - not my own dcs. It may well have been that the friend saw something slightly fruity on tv as opposed to them hearing/seeing real people doing it or watching elder siblings pornography.
fwiw my kids know about sex and then they forget and periodically re ask. Have done for years - twins are eight and my eldest is sixteen. I have no problem explaining it to them, as I want them appropriately informed for their age. I feel the same talking about that as I do when explaining any other bodily functions. There are some fantastic age appropriate books available too if you need to research for yourself
great book. well worth having to read with children when they are ready.
Bug fuss over nothing, kids have always had a smutty giggle over that sort of thing. The crazy notion of 'childhood innocence' as equating being unaware of sex is an absurd Victorian construction, not some natural state. In fact working-class children born before the second world war were probably more clued up about the mechanics of sex and masturbation than the current generation, as they often shared a bed with older siblings and parents.
What do you imagine he will do with this new and terrible knowledge? It won't be the start of some infant Rake's progress, he won't be out and about the nightclubs of the west end trying to pick up some page 3 stunner next weekend or off dogging in his pedal car.
@ "dogging in his pedal car"
And I agree that children are of course aware of sex. They even have sexual feelings. Little boys get hard-ons. (I have even heard that baby boys can get hard-ons when they're breastfeeding which opens up a massive can of worms.) And they all get pleasurable sensations and have urges and natural curiosity etc.
Exactly, why this prudishness about sex being an enjoyable and pleasurable adult experience?
As Wallison said, pre-pubescent children are capable of sexual feelings, I remember rubbing myself against the bed at a similar age to the OP's son and finding it nice.
The reproductive aspect is all well and good, but why not explain that thinking about sex is normal and not always connected to having babies?
My 7 yr old doesn't know about sex, but understands all about periods and that babies come out of your (whispers) vagina. (laughs uncontrollably.) Every times she asks, I answer her honestly. I'm terrified of the day she asks how the baby got in there. She hasn't quite wondered yet.
Watched a few programmes where the word 'sex' came up and so far she hasn't wanted to know, and I'm in no hurry to tell her.
BUT when she does, I'll tell her. It won't destroy her.
DD1 & 2 (7 &5) were pretending to be mating frogs yesterday. 1 was crawling around with 2 clasped onto her back. They are very interested in mating creatures of all kinds but, oddly enough, not human creatures.
...and with regards to myself, I had absolutely zero interest at the age of 7 in the facts of life. I do remember getting very bored when my mother tried to explain, but I can't remember anything she said.
I don't see the point in obliging young children to learn anything more than is required to keeep them safe - and that is a fair distance from knowing about the mechanics of sex.
It's quite likely that DS's friend had picked up "ladies say aah when they have sex" from an older sibling without necessarily understanding why, or knowing much more about it.
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