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    Wren #113600 10/12/11 10:45 AM
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    Originally Posted by Wren
    Anyone have ideas on how you explain things and also suggest they do not explore this...?

    Seriously, can't you imagine telling a young child how the sperm gets to the egg and in a playdate these little kids start experimenting?
    Honestly, I can't imagine it, no, but maybe that's just my little kid! I've always talked about it as a thing grown up people do. More generally, while in our house we're quite comfortable with nudity, we make explicit the point that some parts of the body are more private than others, and that it's not right for anyone to touch a private part of someone else, or touch someone with one of theirs, unless they're sure both people are completely comfortable with it. I think this is important to make clear to maximise the chance that if anyone tries to abuse your child sexually, the child knows that what's being done is definitely wrong. I also think it has a role in discouraging exploration - or at any rate, any exploration I'd worry about!

    I have also had the experience, now partially erased from my memory, of DS then aged ?5? asking very loudly in a restaurant lavatory "How do people catch AIDS Mummy?" Yes, I explained.


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    Dude #113601 10/12/11 10:49 AM
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    Originally Posted by Dude
    Besides, until the hormones take over, kids are pretty much non-sexual beings, and we should let them enjoy that for a little while.
    I have an academic book on my shelf entitled Child Sexuality. One of the most interesting papers in it is, if I remember rightly, a comparative study of adult attitudes to children's sexuality done in the US and in the Netherlands. You just exemplified what they found: American adults insist desperately that there's no such thing as childhood sexuality. Hint: the rest of the book is about this non-existent thing :-)


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    Dude #113608 10/12/11 11:54 AM
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    Originally Posted by Dude
    Yeah, these kids are going to experiment with what they know whenever they know it. If they're missing a vital piece of information, it means the experiment will not be a complete success... which is kinda the point. Ignorance is a form of protection, until their judgement has advanced to the point where they will (hopefully) make better decisions.

    Pretty much all the research shows the opposite. When parents talk to kids about sex these kids are more likely to postpone sexual activity and to behave more responsibly when they are sexually active.

    When you refuse to answer a child's questions it doesn't make a child less curious or less likely to have questions. If anything, it may increase the child's curiosity because you are acting secretive. Kids will still seek out other sources of information - it might be inaccurate information from friends or from wildly inappropriate information and images found online.

    To me it seems silly to suggest that young children can't understand the basics of reproduction. Kids on farms have always had this information and took it simply as a part of life. Many parents here have shared this information with their young kids and didn't find it lead to the kids engaging inappropriate experimentation. Rather it was the beginning of parents establishing that they are reliable sources of information.

    Also, I think it is worth a mention of the sad reality that for many people their first sexual contact in life isn't wanted or voluntary. Making sure children have basic information about anatomy, the Internet, and privacy is something that every parent should take seriously. We can't prevent all bad things from happening, but making sure kids know basic information and know they can talk to us is a good place to start.


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    Originally Posted by Madoosa
    How and when did you discuss with your gifties the whole sex thing?

    How babies are made, when she was just over 3, because it had some relevance to her life. She wasn't made in the traditional way, so I think we didn't get to p-in-v until she got It's Not the Stork, and that was when she was 6.5yo.

    I don't think that a 4yo is too young. Kids just gloss over a lot of stuff they aren't ready for. DD (who thinks everything sexual is the most disgusting thing she's ever heard) has only in the last 6 months started saying "ewww" to sexual comments on TV / in movies, even though she's been exposed to them longer than that.

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    Originally Posted by ColinsMum
    You just exemplified what they found: American adults insist desperately that there's no such thing as childhood sexuality. Hint: the rest of the book is about this non-existent thing :-)

    Yes, exactly. I find an odd contradiction in some of what is being said here. On the one hand we are hearing kids aren't sexual beings but on the other that with any information they instantly become sex charged demons getting it on during playdates.

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    Originally Posted by passthepotatoes
    http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Stork-Families-Friends/dp/0763633313/ref=pd_sim_b7 This is part of a longer series of books. It is recommended for ages 4-8 - big span and of course it will depend on the family. This is not a book for people who prefer to avoid giving their kids information, but if you are comfortable with biological information we found this series to be a good one.

    Opinions will vary but I come down strongly on the side of providing information. Sex is an important part of life. Being evasive can give kids the message that sex is something that is shameful and that you aren't a reliable source of information. Too many kids rely on peers (or the Internet) for information and when that happens you've lost the opportunity to be a source of influence. If you want your fourteen year old to talk to you - answer your four year old's questions.

    thanks have ordered the book.

    I do want to answer him the next time he asks, but I want to be able to do it in a factual way. I don't think he is ready for the emotional side of things. I am leaning towards pointing out that it's only something Adults do, preferably married ones with someone that they love and also wants a baby...


    Mom to 3 gorgeous boys: Aiden (8), Nathan (7) and Dylan (4)
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    Originally Posted by passthepotatoes
    Originally Posted by ColinsMum
    You just exemplified what they found: American adults insist desperately that there's no such thing as childhood sexuality. Hint: the rest of the book is about this non-existent thing :-)

    Yes, exactly. I find an odd contradiction in some of what is being said here. On the one hand we are hearing kids aren't sexual beings but on the other that with any information they instantly become sex charged demons getting it on during playdates.

    Now you're just being ridiculous, because nobody said any such thing.

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    Originally Posted by Madoosa
    I do want to answer him the next time he asks, but I want to be able to do it in a factual way. I don't think he is ready for the emotional side of things.

    Ideally these conversations happen in little bits here and there over the years. So, don't worry that you have to cover it all in one shot - you'll do fine.

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    My older DD was about 6 when we had the conversation on the "mechanics".... she replied, "And people LIKE to do this?"...holding back laughter, I said...not until you are much older! she said, "Oh when I learn to like wine?" lol

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    Mamabear -

    very insightful DD!

    Madoosa - That is how I am going to approach it. Like wine/beer, going to work, driving -- some things are for when a person is older/able to make responsible choices/an adult.

    - EW

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