To think that yr3 is not too young for sex education?(115 Posts)
Obvs age appropriate. Another mum is DS2's class was outraged that her DS had to hear such things as he is so innocent and naive.
I am quite happy with it as tbh he has heard all of this already from his older brother. FWIW the boy in question also has an older sister so chances are he knows too.
But AIBU? There seems to be a difference of opinion in RL!
No. There is no such thing as too young for sex education.
Too young for details of penis in vagina in my opinion. They're only 8!
My daughter starts year 5 in September and doesn't know about sex yet. I was 12 when my mum told me.
Kids start puberty around 9, it would be irresponsible not to
"I was 12 when my mum told me."
Forgive me- but your mother was utterly irresponsible.
My daughter knew that sex was pIv when she was 7
Not at all different levels of knowledge obviously something age appropriate.
I try and talk to my kids all the time so that it’s normal and natural not something to hide and giggle about.
I has p in v sex Ed in year 4, I was 8. I hadn’t previously known the details so I was a bit shocked, I styled it out though!
My DD is only 4 though, I might be less breezy about it when it’s imminent!
Agree with Bertrand. Especially true if children are old enough to ask questions - they should be given straight answers.
In the age of the internet there is no way a child wouldn't know what sex is until the age of 12.
I would rather them get real, truthful and honest information from me or a teacher rather than off mates and google.
Mine are 9, 8 and 6 and know what to expect in puberty (dd is the middle one - only gone into a lot of detail re periods with her, but boys know the basics) BUT no sex yet. Can’t remember when I found out - think it probably went over my head a bit initially.
My 5 year old asked how the sperm gets out the man. I told her it comes out his willy. She doubled over, laughing. Sex should just be an ongoing conversation and not this big "now I've deemed you old enough" awkward talk.
There is no such thing as "too young" for biology. Age appropriate info (dd knew from being able to talk what a period was and the whole sperm meets egg story) should be readily available and willingly given.
Y3 is what, 7 to 8yo and puberty can start at 9 so yes. Start young.
Nope, as Bertrand said, no such thing as too young.
We started teaching DS the basics, in an age appropriate fashion, from age two, primarily as the David Attenborough documentaries he loved were prompting those kind of questions and we didn't want to lie to him.
Lols at people who think that children haven't already discussed the penis and vagina scenario at age 8!!! Honestly get a grip. Like it or not kids are curious and lost of them have older siblings or in my case, a friend who tells all the truth of how babies are made.
I have no issue whatsoever with my DD being told age appropriate information, to remove any taboo from what is a perfectly honest part of life and how we're all here in the first place.
By making it as matter of fact as possible I'm hoping DD will actually feel able to talk to me when she does have those sort of questions. Unlike my mother who regards any reference to sex as something from the devil.
Age 8 is too young? Not for mine. They have known since 5, and not just about penis in vagina sex because that excludes a sizeable percentage of the population including some of their relatives. Childhood innocence is overrated.
There's no such thing as too young for sex ed, provided it is age appropriate. So obviously not dumping all the info on them in one go, but like early on there's no harm in them knowing the right names for body parts etc and building from there as they grow
See I don't think its too young either. What is the point of secrecy? DS2 handles it easily and for me the earlier it becomes normal knowledge the better.
No it’s not to early.
Your child’s innocence doesn’t end because they know about sex.
The so called "sex education" involves naming parts of the body correctly (no big deal they should be called their proper names anyway) sharing the NSPCC pants rule and discussing relationships as in, who we trust, who can we confide in, who should we never trust, what sort of behaviour should we report. All great stuff for keeping children safe. It never fails to amaze me how many parents hear the word "sex" and react as if the children are being shown hard core porn!
I can't imagine sex ed in year 3 is actual sex. It is probably body parts and puberty stuff. What has the teacher said?
The problem is that people confuse innocence and ignorance.
My children are 7 & 6. They asked us a lot of questions & we spoke to them recently about sex (my youngest’s treacher is pregnant & she wasn’t buying the seed & egg anymore & wanted to know exactly how the seed got to the egg!).
My oldest is in year 3. As far as I can tell, they’ve not even talked about puberty this year, which concerns me as some of the older girls in her class are changing body shape already.
oh and I told DS1 as and when he asked, but by the time I got round to telling DS2 he already knew via DS1
Can anyone recommend any good books on this for different ages? I’m never sure what to say. A couple of close friends are pregnant so my DD has started asking questions.
Fred DS2 knew how the sperm got into the egg in great detail and was slightly horrified that this meant that DH and I had had sex twice
He was actually far more interested in the biology than the sex bit
How on earth have your children not encountered books like "Mummy Laid an Egg" in the school library? 9 is NOT too early. Especially if you have pets who have reproduced. What do you think is inappropriate about the basic mechanics of mammalian reproduction? Much better to get it over with before they reach the giggling, stupid, pre-teen embarrassed phase.
My 8 year old knows all about it in an age appropriate way. Was 6 when had I youngest DC so lots of questions to answer! Plus is nosey little wotsit and science obsessed. Also I feel it's important from a safeguarding perspective to know what should be kept for consenting adults.
The other thing is, lying about where babies come from, how women get pregnant etc, or making up stories about "the stork" as my parents did, makes it into far more of an issue than it is.
Its simple biology, why isn't it viewed like learning about any other bodily function? Besides DS laughed when we told him about Father Christmas and has never believed - the stork has a snowball's chance of being convincing!
Its simple biology, why isn't it viewed like learning about any other bodily function?
I feel like this. Why not tell them - in simple terms - the truth? Is it really any more disturbing than the idea of a cabbage patch/stork etc?
My 3 and 4 year old understand the basics of reproduction. I’m a trained sex Ed teacher (primary) and strongly feel that factual and age appropriate information is vital. Children need to know what body parts are actually called and what they are for.
Zintox I started my period when 8
I was on holiday with out my parents who like you thought to young told me nothing I thought I was bleeding to death my periods are still traumatic till this day
I don't think that knowing the 'penis in vagina bit' makes children any less innocent...I had a junior encyclopedia when I was around 8 that showed a cross sectional diagram of sex and sure I thought it was interesting but I was just as interested in the pages about volcanoes or about different languages.
Many are fine for small children to lye about their biology but not to know the truth
One of our Y3's had a simple, age-appropriate lesson on the topic, and point-blank refused to believe it, on the grounds that his mummy and daddy wouldn't do that as it was rude (he was one of four, so I suspect this was untrue). If they're not ready for the information, it goes over their heads. But more seriously, I have read threads on Mumsnet where abused children have realised, when taught at school about bodily autonomy, have realised that what was being done to them was wrong.....don't confuse innocence with vulnerable naivete.
My ds had a sex Ed class at 8, I asked him about it and he rolled around the floor laughing. He’s 10 now, still vague about the difference between penis & peanuts and doesn’t know how babies get in their mum’s tummy. He’s watched Call the Midwife enough to know how the baby gets out though.
I’ve offered to explain and he just said “what’s for tea”. I’ll tell him when he asks.
Since 3 my child has known the mechanics of it all. 8 seems a bit late to start tbh
Innocence is about protecting children from the worst of humanity - rape and sexual violence.
Biology is suitable from the very first questions at 2/3/4 years old.
It’s been always discussed with DD throughout as she asks, she’s yr3 also. I’d like to think it’ll be as open and organic as she grows up. Much better than an 11 year old me being mortified by “the talk” and insisting to my mum I’d been told at school so she could shut up!
Not too young at all. As a pp said, there is no way in this day and age that someone in y5 doesn't already know. Best to find out properly than from kids in the playground.
if the year old asked fair enough to answer the questions. Otherwise absolutely not. We need to let kids be kids.
Of course 8/9 isn't too young. My d's is 4.7 and has asked various questions about how babies get here etc. I honestly wouldn't know where to start lying about it, he would just keep asking until the lies got ridiculous. He's seen my friend get bigger and bigger , then show up with a baby. Telling him she found it in the veg patch would be utterly ludicrous to him!
There is no such thing as too young for sex education, why do people make such a big deal about? Its only scary and confusing for your 7 year old becauses you've been lying and hiding it for their whole life.
My 3 and 4 year olds know and they were both fine with it.
I started my periods at the age of 9, and had a womanly shape from the age of about 6.5. I looked about 14 or 15 years old at the age of 9, and used to get frequently leered at and harassed by men and teenage boys.
I am extremely fortunate in my opinion that my parents had informed me about puberty of both sexes, and information about sex and contraception. I have always been very mature as a result, and used to try and educate my friends on these matters. Their parents or school should have been doing this, not one of their peers.
Y3 is definitely not too young.
The problem with sex ed in England isn't too much, too soon", it's too little, too late.
Should already be talking to your kids in an age appropriate way about this to avoid having "the talk" at some point. It should be a conversation where you are a trusted voice not "the talk".
Sex should just be an ongoing conversation and not this big "now I've deemed you old enough" awkward talk.
I think you hit the nail on the head here, TheMobileSiteMadeMeS
Also, porn access and expectations of young people are hugely different to when I was growing up, and I’m only 32. I believe it is therefore even more of paramount importance for young people to be as informed as possible - including on STD’s and slang and proper terms and words for body parts and sexual practices. I’d prefer it if young people could be as innocent as possible for as long as possible, but in today’s society I believe the best thing to do is to arm the young with as much knowledge as possible - it could help to prevent exploitation and abuse, especially if they understand a range of sexual terminology.
Its definitely not too young and age appropriate consent education should be under way well before this.
Its basic biology and with the amount of disinformation children get the sooner they get proper, factual, information the better. You don't keep children "innocent" by keeping them ignorant.
Sex Ed in yr3 at our school is a video of kittens giving birth. I know because they’ve watched this video this week and I asked their teacher what would be covered so I was prepared to answer DS’s questions if any arose. Pretty tame really for a bunch of 7 & 8 year olds. More detail heading their way next year.
I bought DD a great DVD that explained everything about making babies in lots of scientific detail but in a child friendly way. We watched it together and she then chose to watch it several times. She was about 5 or 6.
Being knowledgable about a completely natural process doesn’t rob kids of their childhood you know...
I’m not sure what people think will happen to their kids if they know what a penis is for?
I asked my 10 year old DS the other day, as I was sure he knew, but sex Ed was coming up so I wanted to check. He knows it all... puberty, sex, babies, periods. He’s always known so there’s never been a ‘big reveal’. Why wouldn’t you just answer questions as they happen?
My eldest DC is Y3 and has had zero sex education. I might speak to the school actually. It never crossed my mind because we talk very openly at home, they know all about it: mechanics, emotion, consequences, consent, body ownership. In an age appropriate fashion of course. It never even occured to me that school-based sex education at this age could be thing. I'm totally for it.
I'm guessing the people who think its too young only have the one child?
Otherwise what did you say when your kids ask how the baby got in your tummy and how is the baby going to get out?
it's building a base level of understanding very very basic really just about naming the parts not a full on graphic description of full on sex . If they were that bothered they could of gone in and there child did not have to attend the lesson .
Start with the "who has what" stuff when they're 2 or 3 ... answer all questions honestly, but don't give any more information than they're asking for until they're asking for that information, iyswim.
My 4 year old & 6 year know the facts of life because they watched me being pregnant with their brother and wanted to know why he was in there, how he got in there and how he'd get out... I told them the truth but keep my answers very short, they didn't seem especially surprised and didn't ask for any further details... it either didn't seem that or relevant or that interesting to them at the moment, so they've either forgotten or taken it in their stride.
I'm happy with that - I don't want to overload them with too much information too early, but at the same time I don't want it to be this big mystery that arrives as whispers in the playground before they've got the facts straight.
@upsideup - I only have one and I don't think it's too young. As I have already said , should already be an age appropriate conversation going on.
of course its not too young. Not telling kids about sex doesnt protect them it leaves them even more vulnerable to abuse because they simply wont have a clue what is going on or how to talk about it or what is and what isnt appropriate behaviour towards them or from them. The more taboo it is and the more adults act like its something mysterious and only for adults to know about the less likely children are going to come to you and talk frankly about any concerns and problems they have. They will be more likely to turn to things like porn or the dubious knowledge of other children for information.
In Germany kids are taught this in 1St or 2nd year of school so around 7 years of age, maybe 8. There is no option to exclude your child and everything is taught in a factual way. End of.
I am not certain but I think Germany has lowest teen pregnancy rates in Europe, certainly lower than UK anyway.
Do people really believe that them knowing at that age means they are going to do it?
Actually quite fascinated by the replies here about age appropriate etc
When kids learn about genocide rape serial killers torture and the holocaust. That’s the end of innocence.
Not when they learn how babies are made 🙄
I'm 41 and we had sex ed at school in y4 (I think? Second year juniors anyway). It was v basic, naming body parts accurately, changes that will soon be happening to our bodies, how a baby is made.
Now that puberty is starting earlier, I think that moving it to y3 would be sensible (only one girl had started her periods while I was in junior school, now it seems quite common)
I don't think it's too young, as long as it's explained in the right way. I remember being very frustrated after asking my mother how come a neighbour's son looked exactly like his father, when the baby grew from an egg inside the mother? She wouldn't tell me - this was many decades ago - presumably she found it too embarrassing.
A friend's dd at 8, asked her - while friend was peeling potatoes! - whether it was true that to get a baby, the dad put his willy, etc. etc.
Friend thought Oh Lord, but answered, ' Well, yes, it is.'
'Oh.' (Brief silence.). 'Did you and Daddy do that to get me?'
'Well, yes, we did.'
'Oh.' (Brief silence.). '*YEEEEUUURRCH*! 😄
My eldest is seven.
Of course it’s too young.
Kids of five knowing about sperm and willies...
Let them be children. Please.
A male friend of mine was shocked that my DDs knew about sex and reproduction. In the end, he came round to my view that it's better to be be straightforward about these matters. "Better than the way Qi found out", he added. "How was that?", I asked. Answer? "From another kid in the playground with a copy of Razzle." Quite....
"Let them be children. Please"
I really don't understand this. Why does knowing how bodies work stop them being children?
How is knowing about sex not letting them be children?
Itchy do your children have genitals? I'm genuinely interested in what you tell them they're called and what they're for. What do you actually say when they ask where babies come from? Just lie randomly? How does that help them to remain children?
Let them be children. Please.
I can assure you my children who know what sex is are still very much children.
Happy children who will never have to hear something they dont understand and thats not true on the playground that upsets or confuses them, won't ever have to experiance something natural and normal happen to their body that scares them and always feel they can come to me and ask questions because they know I answer them.
It's not too young at all. We've always been open about most things here (periods, body hair etc) and there was a brief sex in very basic age appropriate talk when I was pregnant and eldest was 5. I helped out on a school trip recently and heard a couple of kids on the coach (age 7) sniggering about sex and it made me immediately want to have more of a talk with my 7 year old so he's not hearing things passed from school mates no doubt originating from older siblings! I have bought www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0785PCRNM/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1&tag=mumsnetforum-21 and it looks really good. I'd much rather it all wasn't some mysterious unknown that my son only heard about through peers.
I agree with napqueen about it being an ongoing conversation. My kids are 4 and 8. We talk about 'naked cuddles' and they have an idea about an egg and seed. But we don't bang on about it, we answer their questions when they ask them, but don't go into loads of detail unless they ask further questions. It's just a natural part of life, isn't it?
I agree with the poster who says that learning about the Holocaust etc is far more appalling and destructive of innocence. Sex is or should be a positive thing!
Seeing as there are at least 4 girls started puberty already in year 4 then, yes, late year 3/early year 4 is age appropriate.
What is actually shocking is how young kids are starting puberty now compared to when I was a kid ie one girl with boobs in year 6, nobody else.
My two kids have had BO since age 6 and 7 and I definitely didn't have it until about age 12, periods started age 14.5.
But I guess it depends on child/setting
It's not taught in dc school I'm Y3 and I'm happy with that.
My eldest is going in to year 3 in September and hasn't a clue about sex. I always said I would be completely frank and open with her - but she has no interest in the topic at all and has never asked me a single question. It didn't occur to her even when I was pregnant with her sister. I feel really awkward now that we are going to have to have "The Talk" because she's just so oblivious to the whole notion.
Depends what they are showing them and how the teacher handles it. Naming body parts and biology textbook diagrams is one thing, but in yr 4 my DS’s class were shown, with cartoon videos, all about how babies were made, culminating in an access-all-areas video of childbirth. They all came out of school screeching about how disgusting it was (‘my eyes! My eyes!’), like a horror film etc, and some of the girls are now determined that motherhood is not for them. Personally I’d rather teach them about this stuff myself, as and when they are curious, or it becomes relevant, rather than leave it to the school to traumatize them!
What is wrong with knowing the penis goes in the vagina or are we supposed to talk about belly buttons and other such bullshit.
Its a scientific fact fgs. I'm amazed at the amount of handwringing that goes on re sex education.
It isn't PSHE, it is Science and it is about naming of parts and that comes under the Science Curriculum. I have had to deal with an irate dad making the same assumption. If it is PSHE, you will get a note... but frankly schools do not consult when talking about basic biology.
I also expect him to send me a letter complaining when children discuss this in the playground! Because we get one of those every couple of years, too.
And this thing about knowing about sex meaning a lack of innocence is bizarre.
LittleDorrit I think it's different if a child has never shown an interest or asked, it's just that when my ds did ask I wouldn't have seen any benefit in lying. The first thing he asked when my friend was pregnant and 'had a baby in her womb' was 'how did it get there?'! He's also seen that his sister and me don't have a pen and asked why.
It would be far worse if your child lost their innocence if they were coerced into inappropriate actions due to being sheltered from life's basic facts.
I learned it all at a very young age (7) in graphic detail due to the very detailed Osbourne facts of life.
I also used to sneak into mums room and read the joy of sex. I still managed to wait till 16 before I lost my virginity. Despite peer group pressure.
I wonder if the French or Spanish are so worried about sex ed?
No school gives their Year 3, 7 and 8 year olds, PiV talks.
It's about body hair, puberty, periods, the PANTS stuff. 'Sex education' is a misleading term for that age.
No, I don't think it's at all necessary for 7 year olds and younger to know about PiV sex.
Teaching your five year old about PiV is pretty grim.
Oh god my
baby ds is just about to go in to y3!!
I suppose I don't really have a problem with it, it's obviously going to be a gentle introduction - they're not going to settle them down on the carpet and put on a porno are they. They have already been discussing the PANTS thing at our school which is more important at this age in my opinion and something we have already discussed at home. We have not broached sex though in any way - despite just having a baby brother arrive recently. I'm embarrassed to say I "grew him from a poppy seed in my tummy"
"No, I don't think it's at all necessary for 7 year olds and younger to know about PiV sex"
Can you explain why not?
Not too young for basic biological facts. If they don’t get the actual facts from a parent or a teacher they’ll get some half-baked nonsense from the playground.
It's a curious scientific fact that the earlier children learn about sex, the older they are when they start having sex.
I think it can be done in an age appropriate way though.
Diabolical, I think that would have been my instinctive reaction initially too but ds would have just wound me up in circles! 'Why a poppy seed? Why didn't you grow a poppy? If I plant a poppy seed in the garden will I grow a brother?......... It would go on for hours.
@InDubious I know, in hindsight I wish I had been more honest, I'd been thinking he might ask but never really decided on what would be the best / most appropriate way of approaching it, without knowing what and how much detail they're told at school. What if I tell him the full p in v thing and he goes in to school and tells his friend and his friend tells his mum that littlediabolical said such and such, when friend's mum had gone down the gooseberry bush route. My ds is only six at the moment, one of the youngest in his year and won't be 7 until after they break up for summer. I'm going to keep telling myself that... <denial>
As an aside, when do you stop being naked around kids, I'm thinking now, perhaps even should have been before now, I'm breast feeding and ds sees everything fairly frequently, I'm usually sat topless in bed in this bloody heat when he comes in of a morning. Should I be covering up? He still comes in whilst I'm in the shower to ask
who my favourite wrestler is random questions. Should I be asking him to knock by now? Or is there benefit whilst he's still pre-pubescent or seeing what a natural woman is like before he even comes across porn later in his teenage years 🙈 (that sounds really wrong and I hope i don't come across like Norma Bates and don't worry I'll be discouraging porn!!!)
Sorry, I don't mean to derail the thread...
"No, I don't think it's at all necessary for 7 year olds and younger to know about PiV sex"
Can you explain why not?
Because it's just not relevant. It's not something any seven year old needs to know so I can't see the point in purposefully telling them about it.
I suspect they make that decision for us! I think I'll be led by them as to when they want privacy etc. I know some of my friends saw their parents naked for the entire time they lived at home, so 18 ish. Given that I now actively avoid seeing myself naked where possible I can't imagine it going past the point at which we all have to shower/bathe at the same time to stay safe and get out of the house on time!
I knew PIV aged 5, obviously decades ago. Matter of fact. Thought it all sounded a bit yucky.
DC4 knows the biologically correct facts and terms, it's just part of an ongoing conversation, and he asked. Older DD has known for years too. They're completely matter of fact about it.
My DDs had sex education early in school but in the early years it was just biology and then the importance of self respect, learning that no means no, boundaries etc. That is a really important lesson, it's not all about the physical part of sex.
I've always been open about the subject too, why not. DDs had lots of questions and thought the whole thing was hilarious for a while then it became no big deal. I didn't force the subject on them but they naturally had questions and I can't see the point of skirting round a subject. I think this has stood them in good stead now they're older.
And you can't pull the wool over my DC's eyes. If it doesn't make sense they keep asking. They can tell.
i.e. How do you make a baby?
1. You need a sperm, like a seed, and an egg, and they are like 2 recipe books which combine to build a whole new person.
2. Then they ask where the sperm and egg come from.
3. Then they ask how the sperm get to the egg.
4. Then they ask how the sperm gets from the willy into the vagina...
There is absolutely no issue with your child seeing you breastfeeding! It's normal!
Most of the parents I know have just gone the honest answers when questions are asked route and it seems to work. They know the facts before they get to those embarrassing preteen years and also know they can ask their parents questions.
The horror on 1 dad's face when his preteen daughter asked him to explain what tea bagging was, after she heard it in the playground, did make me wonder if it was all for the best though
Where human babies come from and how they are made is one of the most fundamental pieces of knowledge in the basic kit we all require to pursue our lives. Children need to grow up not even remembering where they learned this, so embedded is it in their culture to talk about sex and reproduction as a biological function.
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