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When is it Okay to Talk to Your Child About Sex?

It's probably not your favorite topic to discuss with your kids, but who else are you going to trust to teach them about the birds and the bees?

It's a simple question, but one with remarkably layered and complex answers.

When is the right age to start talking to a child about sex?

There is, of course, no one-size-fits-all answer. As a parent, you don't want to have "The Talk" too early lest your lecture go over your child's head. Nor do you want to have this discussion too late, lest your child end up a character on "Teen Mom."

Of all the subjects you'll tackle with your kids, this may be the most awkward and uncomfortable. And if you feel that way, imagine how your child feels.

So what to do? How do you broach the subject? And when?

Let's hear what those who have been in the trenches (so to speak) have to say. Throw in your two cents in the comments section and let us know what has (or hasn't) worked for you when talking to your kids about s-e-x.

Susan Pascal May 18, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Moms Talk is live! What's your opinion?
Charlene Ross May 18, 2011 at 09:47 PM
This can be a tricky one. Like everything else in parenting, a lot of it depends on your kid. My son hounded me and hounded me about "how a baby got inside a mommy's tummy" I felt he was a bit too young to know the truth (he was probably about 8 or 9) and tried to be as vague as possible - "Well, the mommy and the daddy love each other in a special way," etc. He would have none of it - he wanted to know what the special way was. I told him very technically with proper words and he was shocked beyond belief. "You did that?! Twice?!" was his response. (I've actually written a pretty funny Agoura Mom File article about the experience.) My daughter was pretty unfazed when I told her last year and just shrugged her shoulders. School introduces the subject in 4th grade - so I think that's a pretty safe time. The great thing about starting the dialog is that it makes it easier to be open and honest about all the different things that are happening to our kids bodies as they age. They might not always like it, but I think my kids appreciate the fact that we have the type of relationship where we can talk about these kinds of things. Even though it can make all of us a bit uncomfortable.
brenna May 19, 2011 at 03:42 AM
I do agree that it depends on the child. I think if they ask you should talk to them about it in an age apropriate way. I have talked to my 4.5 yr old about it a little because I am pregnant & he is supper obsessed with how the body works. I have show him books & videos about the sperm meeting the egg & how the embryo turns into a baby & he is very interested. As he ask more I will add more age apropriate information.

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