December 02, 2007

Sex & Children

This past October I took on the challenge of explaining to my almost seven year-old son where babies come from. It was an interesting discussion that from time to time we have revisited to cover new ground and or review the basic facts.

A couple of my friends have asked/suggested that perhaps I should have waited until he was older to engage in this talk, but I disagree. I didn't want to lie to him about this. No crazy stories about storks or any sort of make believe. The bare minimum was enough to satisfy most of his curiosity, although he did ask me to explain in greater detail what positions are required to have sex.

It was a relatively innocent question along the lines of "dad, I don't get how you put it in. Do you have to stand up?"

So I told him that you could stand up or lie down. In fact, that is almost verbatim to what I said. He nodded and said ok and we went back to playing with his Lego set. Little did I know that a short time later I was going to have another sex talk of a different nature with him.

Let me set the scene for you. He and a few of his cousins are watching bloopers like this on YouTube. I sit in the room watching with them. After three or four of I decide that I want a cup of coffee and leave the room. Before I leave I instruct them that they are not to surf to any other website without an adult in the room, but they can click on another bloopers show.

As you can imagine this is where things went awry. I should have asked them to wait for me or had one of the other adults go in, but I figured that the bloopers were innocent enough and they were quiet. If you are a parent you can appreciate what quiet is like, especially after a good 10 hours with them.

In fact it initially appeared that things were fine because it only took all of ten minutes for them to follow me out of the room and that is when I found out that things had gotten farther afield than I would have liked.

"Dad, I just saw the funniest thing!" I looked at my son and said tell me about it. "Dad, his penis was in her mouth!"

I didn't want to blow up or make it into a bigger deal than it needed to be so with some effort I maintained a poker face and listened as he gleefully explained what he had seen.

"She took his penis and put it in her mouth." I carefully asked why he thought this was funny. He responded by saying that he knew the man peed in her mouth. I asked him if he saw that happen and he said no. I asked if he saw anything else.

He said no, just that the man smiled and that was how he knew he must have peed because sometimes when you pee it feels really good so you smile. He didn't ask any questions so I let it drop and went over to the computer to try and figure out how they had stumbled onto this.

It seems that during my absence they clicked on a YouTube link called "Porn Bloopers." I felt better knowing that they had innocently stumbled upon this. Since that time we have taken steps to see that this incident cannot be repeated. The primary one is just making sure that the kids are constantly monitored when they are on the computer.

The hardest part of the experience was responding to a question that my son asked in front of my mother. "Dad, is that something you like to do?" I could feel my mother's eyes upon me. I took a deep breath and asked him to repeat the question.

"Dad, I want to know if you like doing that?" I looked at him and asked him why he wanted to know. "Because that looks like a grownup thing and you like doing grownup stuff."

I breathed a sigh of relief and told him that I enjoy doing all sorts of grownup stuff. He smiled and said "that is what I thought" and went off to play with his cousins. His place was taken by my mother.

But that is a post for a different day.

10 comments:

Joan of Argghh! said...

Yep. No doubt about it. Sex is pretty funny to the child-aliens!

Here's to not growing up too fast.
:)

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding puritanical, you've got to be crazy to think that it has ended there. You also have got to be crazy to let kids of that age surf the net without parental supervision AND a filter.

Jack's Shack said...

Here's to not growing up too fast.

You said it.
At the risk of sounding puritanical, you've got to be crazy to think that it has ended there.
Why?

Miriam L said...

Jeez Louize. Now I'm glad I got my kids when they were already 12 & 14 and (probably) knew more about sex than I'll ever know.

Jack's Shack said...

Mirty,

Could be.

Jaime said...

a few years ago my daughter asked about how babies were born, and i gave her a very dry explanation about sperm, egg, ovaries, chromosomes, sperm meeting with the egg, etc. BUT, I didn't discuss with her how the sperm gets into the woman's body in the first place, NOR did she ask. WHEW!

So far, that seems to have satified her curiosity.

Anonymous said...

The reason I say this won't end is bc children are inquisitive by nature. Also, they talk to their friends.

Go filter man, go filter.

RR said...

He asked you that in front of your mother??? How embarass-king!!!

Good answer, though :-)

Jack's Shack said...

So far, that seems to have satified her curiosity.

Good luck with that.

Anon,

The filter is in place.

RR,

It was interesting to say the least.

dailypiglet said...

holy crap. i think this is the danger to raising smart, and informed kids. i've always tried to answer my kids' questions as honestly as i could, coming from the "b/c i said so" parenting style.

i am so not sure what i would do if/when this happens.

i do like the way you handled it.