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Not to want my 7 year old to know about sex?

(74 Posts)
chubbymummy Wed 03-Apr-13 16:57:25

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?

HollaAtMeBaby Thu 04-Apr-13 08:46:23

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.

Toadinthehole Thu 04-Apr-13 02:11:32

...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.

Toadinthehole Thu 04-Apr-13 00:53:54

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.

Kytti Thu 04-Apr-13 00:40:46

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.

ComposHat Thu 04-Apr-13 00:29:31

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?

Wallison Thu 04-Apr-13 00:13:44

grin @ "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.

ComposHat Thu 04-Apr-13 00:03:26

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.

quoteunquote Wed 03-Apr-13 23:49:26

great book. well worth having to read with children when they are ready.

trashcanjunkie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:46:40

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

Wallison Wed 03-Apr-13 23:38:32

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.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 03-Apr-13 23:33:09

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 smile

willyoulistentome Wed 03-Apr-13 23:30:50

Neverknowingly that sounds like a very similar conversation to the one I had with my 9 yr old son.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 03-Apr-13 23:21:16

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.

willyoulistentome Wed 03-Apr-13 23:19:08

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.

RevoltingPeasant Wed 03-Apr-13 23:13:54

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 grin 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.

MsVestibule Wed 03-Apr-13 23:07:17

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!

Molehillmountain Wed 03-Apr-13 23:07:04

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.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:02:32

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.

UnnamedFemaleProtagonist Wed 03-Apr-13 22:56:29

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.

ApocalypseThen Wed 03-Apr-13 22:50:43

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.

ApocalypseThen Wed 03-Apr-13 22:48:23

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?

Bobyan Wed 03-Apr-13 22:17:36

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.

villagebird Wed 03-Apr-13 21:34:38

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.

BertieBotts Wed 03-Apr-13 20:41:58

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! grin we thought we were so daring and there was much secrecy of destroying the paper so we wouldn't get into trouble hmm

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 03-Apr-13 20:33:55

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.

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