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What to say when and 9 yr old starts asking about sex

93 replies

taylor74 · 26/05/2011 10:59

My sister called today fuming her DD had told her that some boy in the class asked her if she was still a virgin. Now she was shocked and didn't know what to say so she said when we go to see grandad we take the virgin train. Her DH said she should have told her the truth, me I think she did the right thing. AIBU to think we should keep children as children I think 9 is way too young to be discussing these matters.

OP posts:

motherinferior · 26/05/2011 11:03

You mean a nine year old doesn't know about sex?

Sorry, but I find that a bit shocking. Also improbable, given the playground gossip.


DamselInDisguise · 26/05/2011 11:03

She should have told her the truth. Otherwise all she'll learn is misinformation from the playground.

I really don't understand why people feel so outraged that their children might find out about human reproduction.


TotemPole · 26/05/2011 11:06

My DD is around the same age and knows about sex, periods, puberty etc.

I think you need to be honest with them so they have the facts from an adult not half facts from other children.


Scheherezadea · 26/05/2011 11:06

If kids aren't taught it by their parents, then they learn it from their peers - and 9 year olds are not experts on reproduction!

My mum didn't want to talk about it with me, and I remember ringing childline when i was 13 to find out if you could get pregnant from giving a blow job. And I remember another girl in hysterics, because she thought she might be pregnant. Because she had kissed a boy.

(Note, I hadn't actually GIVEN anyone a blowjob, but me and friends were talking about it)


lesley33 · 26/05/2011 11:08

She should have told the truth. Other wise she will just get information, a lot of which could be wrong, from the playground. And it won't be long until her periods start. She really needs to understand this in advance, othwise she could be very scared when she realises she is bleeding.


SenoritaViva · 26/05/2011 11:08

Your sister should have told the truth. Her daughter will be exposed to this, whether she likes it or not, rather she 'controls' it by telling her the right messages than finding out in dirty (and incorrect!) secrets in the playground. She is likely to get teased due to her innocence - I knew people this happened to. 9 is not too young, either to know about sex, but also to set the right moral tone that your sister would like to set.


squeakytoy · 26/05/2011 11:10

9 is certainly old enough to know the basics and be told that although her body will start to change very soon, she doesnt need to worry about having sex for quite a long time yet ...


ashamedandconfused · 26/05/2011 11:11

the younger you tackle this subject the better, they accept it all in a very matter of fact way just like you explain all sorts of other things to an inquisitive child - its only when they get to hear "rude" "embarrassing" words on the playground, and start getting hormonal, that they get embarrassed about discussing stuff like this

basic facts of life about mummys seed and daddys seed are appropriate from a very young age - definitely age 4/5 , and even younger if they know a pg woman and are interested in how the baby got there/will get out etc

also, do not shy away from using REAL names of parts - its only because they have been initially taught euphemisms that children find the real words dirty/rude/funny - if they are just matter of fact they are no more funny or embarrasing than elbow or foot!

that said, i dont think my 9 and 11 yos do know the word virgin, but i would tell them the simple truth if they asked. If you want them to trust you and come to you with their problems./questions, you have to be open and honest and not embarrassed yourself

there are PLENTY of books to help pearents with this too!


Thingumy · 26/05/2011 11:11

My 8 year old ds doesn't know about sex yet.

Why is so shocking that some children haven't had sex education or playground gossip forced down their necks from a young age?


ashamedandconfused · 26/05/2011 11:12

oh, and 3 of DDs classmates have started their periods in Y6 (aged 10) so 9 is no way too young for these conversations


cory · 26/05/2011 11:15

Children are still children even if they know the facts of reproduction. You don't magically put an end to their childhood by teaching a few biological facts any more than you put an end to their childhood by teaching them the times table or the capital of Lithuania.

To my mind, the perfect reply to that playground query, from a confident and well educated 9yo would be: "yes, of course I am, I am 9 years old, you're just being silly".


LoveBeingAbleToNamechange · 26/05/2011 11:15

I think she's missed a useful window. Not just sex but about peer pressure and wrong info etc.


motherinferior · 26/05/2011 11:15

I didn't 'force sex education' down my children. I gave them the information. They were rivetted.

And promptly told all their friends Grin

Let's face it, it is pretty fascinating, knowing where babies come from...


TotemPole · 26/05/2011 11:16

lesley, that's why I wanted mine to know as much as possible. There's a pattern in our family of starting periods around 10/11.

Even though I knew about them beforehand, I remember letting out a little scream on the toilet.Blush

This is good book for puberty and periods:

Have you started yet


squeakytoy · 26/05/2011 11:16

Thingumy, has your 8yo never asked where babies come from then?


ashamedandconfused · 26/05/2011 11:16

I think some parents also find it hard to separate telling their DC the facts, the mechanics of what happens, from the adult emotions and sexual feelings that go hand in hand with the physical acts. This is a separate matter - telling 9 yo about how babies are made is not going to make them all go out and start having sex!


motherinferior · 26/05/2011 11:20

I said on another thread recently that my seven year old knows about condoms (from that very useful What's Happening To Me book I bought her sister); but I've never seen her inact Inappropriate Situations with her build-a-bears Grin


Thingumy · 26/05/2011 11:24

nope,he is not asked,he's not interested and prefers to talk about Lego.

dh and I will broach the mechanics of sex when I feel my child is ready and at the moment,my child is not interested and has certainly not come home with questions about virginity.


valiumredhead · 26/05/2011 11:24

Why on earth didn't she just tell her the truth? At 9 she could start her periods and so could her class mates - not fair not to arm a 9 year old with the basics!

It's not 'too young' - they will be learning it at school. I'd rather tell my ds than leave it to a teacher and hope they grasp the facts!

Out of interest what age does your sister think she should be told?


ginnny · 26/05/2011 11:26

I think if they ask they are ready to be told and should be told the truth, but we shouldn't force it on them until they are ready.
Some horrible little boy told my ds when he was only 7 and he came home and asked me if it was true. I sat him down with the book and told him but he got all embarrassed and silly and I could tell he was just too young to really get it. Now he is 11 and has read the book cover to cover in his own time and every now and then fires a question at me and its fine.
DS2 is 8 and imo would react the same way if I told him now, he hasn't asked, and when he does I will tell him.


cannydoit · 26/05/2011 11:28

tell them,simples.


valiumredhead · 26/05/2011 11:29

And imo drip feeding info is far more appropriate than sitting them down for 'a big talk.'


mummakaz · 26/05/2011 11:31

My 9 yr old knows about sex, not from me though but from his friends at school. He has asked questions and I have been honest with him and so should your sister imo :)


chicletteeth · 26/05/2011 11:33

Tell the truth!


AKissIsNotAContract · 26/05/2011 11:33

So what will this poor girl do when she starts her periods and doesn't know what's going on? That happened to my nan and she thought she was dying.

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