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Sex Ed - when and how?

(16 Posts)
Squitten Sun 19-Oct-08 08:05:31

Hi all - just watching BBC news this morning, waiting for DS to drop back off to sleep again, and I saw a story about the debate over who should be taking responsibility for sex education for kids - parents, school, etc, and at what age it should happen.

Just wondered what your thoughts were - what age is appropriate for the "facts of life" talk? Should it be a part of school education? How did your parents handle it? How are you planning to tackle it?

geekgirl Sun 19-Oct-08 08:15:24

I think you have to integrate it into normal family life and start with age-appropriate information when they're little so it's not seen as something cringeworthy and taboo to discuss - we have always been open and honest when answering questions about where babies come from and generally about sex and relationships.
It can be hard to overcome your own embarrassment - my parents were always pretty uptight about anything to do with sex but had some wildly explicit German children's books on sex from the late 60s / early 70s - it was a bit of an unfortunate combination of it being quite taboo from them and then far too much information in these books I found hmm

I think schools do need to teach sex & relationship ed - it's too big a part of human life to leave out and you can't guarantee that it's been addressed sufficiently at home. FWIW I've watched the material our school uses and it's very good - open, honest, non-cringeworthy and appropriate for the age group it is aimed at.

Squitten Sun 19-Oct-08 18:21:18

I don't really remember much of what I learnt about it in school. I do remember having to watch a birth video that successfully put me off motherhood until I was abut 23!

Blandmum Sun 19-Oct-08 18:23:13

When they ask.

answer what they ask you and stop. If they want more info they will ask for it.

Be matter of fact and honest.

Dead easy.

Mind you, I teach it in school (secondary, so little if anything embarrasses me any more! grin )

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:26:27

With my two it is discussed when it comes up in coversation, or they ask questions, not saved up for a formal sit down talk.

I really wouldn't want to leave it until they get "the talk" at school.

Started off when they were younger when they saw things like tampons and asked about babies. I think it is important to be be able to talk about these things fairly openly so that if they have problems or questions they know they can come to you.

blueskyandsunshine Sun 19-Oct-08 18:28:33

Year 5 and 6 I think is good. It's worked well for my children.
Yes -- at school. We've been open at home but I think it's better that they have it with their peers so they can talk about it afterwards.

IMO the best book for this at home before Y5 and 6 is Mummy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole. I've put it in front of them and it's led to conversations and some laughter ("So ds how embarrassed are you on a scale of one to ten?" "Er fifty") and really it was only to let them know that they could talk to me about it if they wanted to.

Also answered questions from them but there haven't been that many really, school did a good job.

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 18:32:51

Year 5 and 6 would that makes kids age about 10ish, I would want them to have a good idea before that to be honest.

blueskyandsunshine Sun 19-Oct-08 18:45:35

Year 5 is the year they turn from 9 to 10. Yes I can see what you mean. But if you do the thing at home with the talking and being open with them it's not like the biggest shock in the world.

I was told the full facts of menstruation, in excellent detail, age about 6 or 7. It was like it had nothing to do with me and just wanted my Mum to stop and let me watch my cartoon. The school thing was in Y6 and was the right time for me, so I suppose I'm influenced by that.

Skramble Sun 19-Oct-08 19:03:54

I think the the key with younger children is to answer the question only, don't eloborate and tell them lots of other things.

Honneybunny Sun 19-Oct-08 20:14:36

by the time they get to year 6 (10-11) some girls may have started their periods, and have started developing breasts. can you imagine the anxiety if this happens to you, when your parents have never mentioned it??
personally i agree with shramble and co: answer the questions they ask in a precise and honoust way.
my ds (5 in december) now knows about periods, where babies come from, and how they are made. they will ask until the point they can handle the info, and no further is my experience.

TheArmadillo Sun 19-Oct-08 20:20:41

we started basic sex education with ds about a year or more ago (he has just turned 4). He was interested in the body at that time (still is but not as obsessively) and we integrated it into that.

We used mummy laid an egg alongside the standard 'your body' books (that mentioned some) and he found it hilarious.

We also answer any questions he has along the way.

I am all for openess as I had terrible problems when my periods started as it was all so dark and secretive. Also I think it's weird cutting off one section of human biology when you are going thru the rest, adn the most interesting part as well!

labebete Sun 19-Oct-08 20:35:43

I agree with armadillo - remember having a conversation about where babies came from at junior school with a girl who clearly had been told. I didn't believe a word she said! Similarly clueless when periods started. Desperate not to do the same to my kids so planning to be as open as poss as early as I have to be.

slayerette Sun 19-Oct-08 20:37:22

We just answer DS's questions as he asks them, trying to gauge the amount of detail he can absorb. He's 5 and knows that daddy provides seeds (which are kept in his tentacles hmm) and mummy has the eggs and that the two make a baby when put together. He knows how the babies come out but not how the seed gets to the egg. Haven't needed to discuss periods yet!

Squitten Sun 19-Oct-08 22:15:14

tentacles....

ROFL!! grin

You have to love that

sazzerbear Mon 20-Oct-08 17:37:36

Get ds to join the scouts, apparently they're going to teach them the facts of life now! Imagine him coming home with a "Sex Ed" badge, beats making knots! lol

Honneybunny Mon 20-Oct-08 19:36:49

ROFL @ tentacles!
my ds1 calls his his "little meatballs"
he actually ROFL when dh first told him that those meatballs contain little seeds to make a baby:' oh papa that's such a funny little joke! '
he then came to me and told me 'papa told me that i have little seeds in my little meatballs, but that just one of his funny jokes isn't it mama?', and when i confirmed he looked absolutely shocked. then came the obvious question:'so how do my little seeds get into your tummy to make a baby then?'

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