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What age to talk to about puberty/sex etc?

(20 Posts)
Sorrento2014 Thu 12-Nov-15 14:02:13

My 10 yr old DS is quite a young 10 and has never really asked many questions and I have sort of been waiting for him to take the lead if I am honest! So far he has not mentioned anything that has been said in the playground, gets a bit embarrassed if anyone teases about having a friend who is a girl (which I always say is silly, it's lovely to have friends who are both boys and girls etc) However I would rather he hears factual information from us when he is ready, rather than half truths from others. I have bought a lovely book (one of those 'what's happening to me?' types) but it still seems a bit grown up for him, especially given that he has not asked yet. I have always said if there is anything he wants to ask there is no need to be worried etc so is it ok to leave it for a while longer and be led by him? Or am I just being a bit cowardly?!

WhatTimeIsItCuckoo Thu 12-Nov-15 16:11:37

Hi there, do you know if your son's school show a DVD about these things at all? My children's school show one to the year 5s towards the end of the school year and we were invited to go in and see it beforehand. It dealt with puberty very well but not really sex, though it did allude to it. My son has never asked a single question about it, or even talked about it since he saw it last June despite us stressing to him that he can anytime, though I think when my daughter sees it later this year she'll be quite different! I don't think you're being cowardly at all, he knows he can talk to you if he needs to and I do think boys generally approach this type of thing differently to girls. I don't think you'll stop the playground talk though, we're just going through that at the moment, I think all you can do is keep the lines of communication open as you are doing and he'll talk to you if and when he needs to smile.

ouryve Thu 12-Nov-15 16:20:20

My 11yo is very immature, but it didn't prevent him from starting puberty, this year.

You need to start having this conversation with your DS, now. If you want something to work through together, the Usborne book is very good for pre-teens, as it doesn't go into quite as much detail about sex as some of the other ones.

The PP is correct that there will also be lessons at school, but I do think you need to estalish a relationship where you take a lead in bringing up some of the more day to day stuff, as he will have some worries.

DS1 was quite revolted with the idea of facial hair, for example (it's not all about genitals) but he's grown quite fond of his little bumfluff tash because it matches mine blush

customercare Thu 12-Nov-15 16:25:55

He may never ask. I think you should do it asap but not in a formal way. I don't think giving him a book to read is adequate really, really better to talk to him about it. The book can wait, unless you want o read it together. If you think back to your own childhood, you probably felt distinctly awkward about talking to your parents about anything to do with sex, if there was any talk at all. Imo its far better to have general chats about changing bodies, feeling and emotions etc

Sunnyminimalist2 Thu 12-Nov-15 16:26:18

Start talking now. He will be taught a lot by his teacher but it's really important to have an ongoing open flow of discussion about sex education at home.

My DS learnt about wet dreams from his teacher in juniors. They cover a lot before secondary. He probably knows a fair bit already.

TheSecondOfHerName Thu 12-Nov-15 16:26:26

I was going to say 7 or 8. If you leave it too long, they will hear misinformation from their peers and/or become too squirmy and embarrassed about the subject to absorb anything you say.

It doesn't have to be one 'big talk', it can be little and often and that normalises communicating about these things, so then if they have a question or are worried about something, they can ask without it seeming weird.

customercare Thu 12-Nov-15 16:27:12

sort of cross posted with ourve but both of us are saying the same thing

laundryeverywhere Thu 12-Nov-15 16:33:28

I think it might be good to start talking about it a bit at a time too. Makes it seem less of a big deal for both of you.

claraschu Thu 12-Nov-15 16:36:00

I think that slightly too grown up TV shows (something like 'Friends') can give you a great opportunity to talk about everything to do with sex, relationships, and other sometimes difficult subjects. If you start talking about these issues just as casually as you would talk about anything else, you can start an ongoing dialogue.

titchy Thu 12-Nov-15 16:36:12

Given that the kid in question is now 10 I think it's a bit late for little and often. Talk to him NOW.

laundryeverywhere Thu 12-Nov-15 16:37:51

The Big Bang Theory is another show like that.

Sorrento2014 Thu 12-Nov-15 17:23:16

Thanks all,some really helpful comments about little and often and normalising conversation about all sorts of things and not making it one 'big talk.'Not sure what might be covered at school,will find out.I was going to use the book to support discussions if that makes sense.Thanks for your support and suggestions.

katand2kits Sun 15-Nov-15 13:28:56

Definitely give him the book and use that as a starting point for his questions. Don't put it off any longer or you will find that he gets his education from other children and the more unsavoury parts of the internet.

dementedpixie Sun 15-Nov-15 13:31:28

Both mine know and are 9 and 12. We have discussions while eating, in the car, etc so no big sit down talk.

MrsAukerman Sun 15-Nov-15 13:35:03

I was going to say 5 or 6. Make it no big deal, just a part of life. Like telling time, knowing about agriculture, food, history. Just normal. Because it is.

gingerdad Sun 15-Nov-15 13:39:21

We did it first when they where 7-8. And DD1 was in a cafe with a book and blurted out. I now know all about periods and next is sex all very matter of fact.

TrulySweet Sun 15-Nov-15 13:49:28

We have discussed puberty/periods/sex from toddler age. All age appropriate and have built on as they have got older.

DD1 is 9.5yo and knows what periods are, how babies are made, what will happen to her body and the rough timeframe it will happen in. She (and her sisters) also knows not to discuss these things with her classmates as other parents may have very different ideas on when/if to tell their children.

When they were little I talked about periods being my body getting rid of the nest it built in my womb to grow a baby in as there wasn't a baby growing at that time. As birds build nest from leaves and twigs so women make a nest in their womb from their blood. If the nest isn't needed, it comes out each month so a new one can be made. Everything else has been built up from that and new information added as they grow.

twins2004 Thu 19-Nov-15 12:10:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarfrightMcFangsie Thu 19-Nov-15 16:38:04

I've spoken to it a lot to my 8yr old (almost 9) on the basis that I'd rather do it now in slow increments than at 14.

Zippyette Thu 19-Nov-15 19:18:09

I would just add to this conversation that don't assume schools are covering it. It's not compulsory and it all depends on each school as to whether they cover it or not as well as confidence of teachers. It always helps schools to know if parents are supportive of them teaching these topics as they often worry that parents will withdraw their children.

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