Not sure I can add much since I don't have my own kids yet. But I do know that when I was a kid, my parents had to teach me in first grade when several sixth graders asked me if I knew what "****" meant. Several years later, when puberty was coming up, they gave me a book designed for kids my age of both genders. When my younger brother approached puberty, I had no desire to share this information with "my little boy". My parents wanted to give him my book and I absolutely refused. First of all, I wasn't ready to part with it yet. And, more importantly, I was freaked out by the thought of him reading _my_ book and losing his innocence. I was totally fine with my parents getting him his own copy so it wouldn't feel like he was getting his info from me.
So my advice is be honest with all of your kids, but, at least when they're old enough for the conversation to seem more personally relevant, keep it separate. While I didn't mind sharing this info when we were young enough to run around the apartment naked, it was incredibly humiliating when I was in my early teens.
My oldest son (almost 9) just started asking questions about sex. A couple of weeks ago he said "having sex is when you hug someone" and I said it is kind of like hugging but when you are naked. And you ONLY do it when you are married! And this how a baby is made. Well he just laughed out loud at that. He said "so you and dad did that two times, once for me and once for my brother!"
He has known for years that he has half mine and half his dad's genetic material - we had talked about that. Well the other day he said " I've been wondering and wondering, HOW did I get half of dad's dna and half of yours?" He really seemed puzzled, like he was trying to figure it out! So, I said there is a special cell in mom and a special cell in dad which have half the dna and they get together to make a baby".
When we have these little conversations he seems satisfied with my response and then changes the subject. I take this as a sign that he is not ready for more information yet. I hope to have many small conversations geared to his level of understanding.
So, today I was driving the kids and their friend to the movies and talking about some problems they are having with a friend who says a lot of mean things to them. I said, this is a good life lesson. There will be people like this boy to deal with throughout your lives. When you are older I hope you can stand up for your rights, for example if a girlfriend treats you poorly, you can go your separate ways. Well, my son asked "What if she gets pregnant - I can't break up with her then"!!!!!!!!
He is only 8!
I think he really needs more information. It seems now every day he has questions.
I think I will look up the book Sweet recommended for him and sit down and really, really talk. His friends ask me questions too - they need to talk to their own parents. I already had to call my neighbor because I explained a little bit when her son was over. I was rounding at the hospital last week and I was telling the boys about seeing the preemie babies in the hospital who came out of their moms too early. Well, did that ever start the questions!!
I really appreciate hearing from others who are dealing with the same things!
I guess what really gets me is, once he knows all the facts, I feel like he will not really be a child anymore. I feel I will relate to him from then on as an adult and not a child anymore.
Did anyone else feel this way and was this true?