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I'm a single parent with an 11 year old DS who has just started yr 7. It's been just the two of us since he was four and he's had no contact with his dad since he was 9. They did basic 'where babies come from' in yr 6 and I think a lot of it went over his head. This September he started at an all boys school and he's recently started commenting on older boys' deep voices, facial hair etc. We've been talking about puberty and how your body changes but we haven't got to talking about sex because I don't think he's ready (he's quite an emotionally 'young' 11). We have a very open and honest relationship and talk about anything and everything, there's never been a 'no-go' subject and I know when he's ready/curious he'll raise it. We got some books out of the library recently and he glossed over the sex references and focused on the fact that it said that his hands and feet would get bigger first - a clear indication to me that he's not ready to deal with all the facts yet and I will let him lead the way.
My dilemma is this: at Christmas we're going away with friends and their large extended family. One of the family is a gay man who has just come out (in his 40s) and has been very flamboyant and outspoken about everything (including specifics when he's had a drink). To complicate matters this man's son (14) is going to be there too. The kids are bound to talk and I'm sure my DS will have questions about homosexuality (which I have no issue with) but I'm not sure how to handle them when we haven't even discussed straight sex yet.
I don't want to rush the 'sex' discussion just to preempt this but I may have to.
We read it together and it was really good. It goes into EVERYTHING. I think you need to have these discussions sooner rather than later or they will get incorrect information at school or from a toilet wall.
At his age he will be hearing all sorts in the playground.
I think you are going to just have to tell him or he will be hearing half truths from his peers and won't know what to think. The last thing you want is him thinking kissing can get someone pregnant or other such nonsense.
I'm not really sure the best way to go about it at his age as I have been telling my kids bits and pieces of age appropriate information since they were four, but the fact that you have an open and honest relationship will make it easier.
I have no doubt that he hears loads in the playground but I know most of it goes over his head. He is still very innocent-minded. I just don't want to rush him into learning stuff that he's not ready to hear - he's quite sensitive and even the thought of his body changing frightens him.
Over the next year it will all start sinking in though.
I have an 11yo and he has heard so much crap in the playground its unreal. I'm lucky that he is very honest and will ask me anything he isn't sure about (although a couple years ago while walking along the street he asked what a virgin was, I told him that it was someone who hadn't had intercourse yet and he said 'so why have they called a gym that then )
Your choices are for you to tell him or him to find out elsewhere, as somany says the fact he is sensitive is more reason for you to speak to him about it.
I guess it will be hard for you as well because its another step towards him growing up