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How much information do you share with your children?

12 replies

DumbleDork · 05/03/2019 17:29

Bit of a strange one but how much information do you share with your children regarding sex and relationships etc?

My boy is 10 (almost 11) and in year 6 at primary school. He’s done sex education the few years and hasn’t had much to say about it.

However after him overhearing myself and my husband in the bedroom one evening (once the kids are usually asleep and we had checked before we went to bed they were) he’s started asking questions about sex, relationships, terminology etc.

He asked about virginity loss, sexual partners, contraception, abortion (heard the word in the playground) and sexual terminology.

We’re of the opinion if a child is old enough to ask a question they are old enough to have an age appropriate answer, so he’s had answers to the questions such as stuff about periods, how old me and his dad were when we first had sex, how many partners we’ve had, he knows about condomns, the pill, STIs and even knows what abortion is and why it might be used.

He also knows about asking and giving consent and the age of consent and the implications of both. Hes familiar with homosexual relationships as my sister is lesbian and he knows about transsexuals as a family friend has had gender reassignment surgery.

He’s asked about what wanking means and about bjs etc and we have answered everything honestly.

However I got confronted by a parent at school that her son had heard stuff from my son she wasn’t happy him knowing. Obviously I apologised he was talking in the playground to her son and have reiterated he must not talk about this to others, but said I won’t appolgise for teaching my son things that he wants (and eventually needs) to know.

Now I am beginning to feel that my husband and I were wrong of me to talk about any of this to him?! He doesn’t seem remotely bothered or worried about anything we have spoken about and knows he can ask further questions.

I thought it’s best to establish healthy relationship and communication channels at a young age so he can always come to me and his Dad? And I’d rather he had the correct information from me than hearsay and innaccurate information as well.

What are your opinions on this?

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 05/03/2019 18:53

My option is you have told your son a lot of information. Was he asking you what age you lost your virginity and how many sexual partners you had?

It's fine to tell him if he asks, as you say age appropriate.

I think what isn't appropriate is for him to be talking about all this stuff at school.

I think you were right not to apologise for teaching your son about sex. I think you were also right to apologise for your son talking about stuff in the playground.

Maybebe what he needs to know now is when and where it is appropriate and also to understand not all his class mates will know what he knows.

Hopefully, no harm done.

I too have an age appropriate truth policy but my son is younger than yours and not very interested in sex at all.

Maybe I have got this to come!

DumbleDork · 05/03/2019 19:10

He was asking questions about how old we both were when we lost our virginity and how many people we slept with so I answered him.

I guess it’s all down to developement of children and who is ready for info and who isn’t

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 05/03/2019 21:35

Yes I agree. Although I don't feel we necessarily need to tell kids personal things about ourselves, unless we want to.

ittooshallpass · 21/03/2019 06:49

I agree that if a child is old enough to ask a question they should get an age appropriate answer.

However, I also think that children should be told that some things are private. I would not have answered questions about the age I lost my virginity and number of sexual partners in the way you did.

He is too young to realise that they are inappropriate questions (at any age) and that is what you should be teaching him.

You do realise that all his school friends now know when you lost your virginity and the number of partners you have had? The other mom probably knows too Confused

An age appropriate response to those type of questions is to talk about the age of consent and how important it is to be in a loving relationship before having sex.

The key thing here is that he is sharing his knowledge at school. This is inappropriate and the fact that he is doing this is telling you that he's not quite ready for the level of answers you're providing. He isn't mature enough to realise that these are private conversations.

Maybe for his sake just reign it in a bit and make your answers more age appropriate.

DumbleDork · 24/03/2019 14:02


He knows about appropriateness of questions and after the other mum confronting me (all because he told his friend what a condom was as he’d heard the word and didn’t know - so nothing extreme). Him asking me about virginity loss & number of sexual partners came from a chat where he was telling me about one of his friends older siblings who has got pregnant at 15. And this then stemmed to age of consent etc and then asked me if I was “old enough” etc and I was more than happy to answer him but specified these are not things that get shared around.

And he also knows about committed relationships and love regarding sex.

I just thought that by answering questions openly but making sure he knows about privacy also he knows he can come to me about anything at any time.

My parents were very uptight about this, I wasn’t allowed to share a room with my now husband until we were married when staying with parents, and I was terrified of telling them I was pregnant at 21. I don’t want this for him

OP posts:
MonstranceClock · 24/03/2019 14:05

You sound great, other mum sounds like an idiot.

brizzlemint · 24/03/2019 14:07

I answer their questions as and when they ask them. If they are old enough to ask then they are old enough for an answer, the only variable is how much I tell them.

TeenTimesTwo · 24/03/2019 14:09

I think it is better to be open and answer questions, than not, though I agree the questions about your own sex life might have been better not answered.
He was asking about terms he has heard about, so better he gets your accurate info than misinformation in the playground.

I would continue to emphasise privacy, respect, consent, legality and maturity.

YeOldeTrout · 25/03/2019 20:32

If you're open with them they are more likely to be open & honest with you. Kids who can't expect to get honest answers from their parents questions become less likely to ask their parents for guidance.

Privacy is a good point, but being open & relaxed is very valuable, too. Kids come back to ask you more questions, including about their own difficult decisions, & listen to your answers if they decide you are a reliable source of information. God forbid but truth is: the alternative in reality is gossip from friends, dodgy internet fora & trashy print sources. I dunno if OP said age-inappropriate things, but I'd error towards more info rather than less if in doubt.

titchy · 25/03/2019 20:37

Him asking me about virginity loss & number of sexual partners came from a chat where he was telling me about one of his friends older siblings who has got pregnant at 15.

Doesn't matter where it came from. Still not appropriate to share your own sex life details with him. And no he doesn't know what's appropriate because he asked you an inappropriate question, which you foolishly answered.

Langrish · 25/03/2019 20:42

I’ve always answered questions in a straightforward way - using correct terms - since they began asking. There’s no embarrassment about anything here. I wouldn’t answer personal questions though, some things are private between my husband and I and they don’t need to know about those things. They’ve never asked actually.

MumUnderTheMoon · 13/04/2019 22:00

You have done nothing wrong. I always answer dds questions. Some people just can cope with the idea of their kids knowing about or eventually having sex. Just remind your son again that while there is nothing wrong with his questions or you telling him the answers not all parents feel the same. I had to have a similar discussion with my 11 year old about swearing.

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