There are three ways to use the new PKR:

  1. Browse and click on color-coded boxes that appear as if by magic as you scroll down.
  2. Click on a category for all the ParenTips under that particular category.
  3. Go to the Site Map (link) for an:
    • a) alphabetical list of all ParenTips.
    • b) A list of all 8 categories with every ParenTip in that category listed alphabetically.

Or mix and match! Have fun as you get the information you need!

close directions

Sex Q & A

Parents get lots of questions from their children.

First come the endless “Why?” questions from the curious preschooler. These can be so frequent they get annoying. But it’s fun to realize the child is really asking for your help in figuring out how the world works. Answer and enjoy watching your kid’s brain make useful connections!

Most parents are initially speechless at the almost always unexpected questions about sex. I recently reviewed nearly 50 such questions sent to me from parents. Savvy parents want to answer but they have trouble finding the right words. They can handle the early “Where do babies come from?” questions but stumble when asked about details.

A recent example: “My son is asking me a lot of questions about sex. He is 9, and in 4th grade. Sample questions: what is it like, how to do it, where to do it, if it is mostly in bed, etc. I asked him why he was asking these questions. He said he wants to know if it is too much, and if it is, he is not going to do it. Can you help me to answer him appropriately, are there books or DVDs we can read or watch together? I hope whatever he learns from other kids will not be misleading, and he will develop a right attitude toward sex.”

My answer: Sadly, our children are sexualized way too early. Parents used to be able to protect their kids from the dangers of the adult world they were not ready for, but these days that world comes into our homes on all those screens we cannot completely control.

I suggest you answer him quickly as his list of questions tell me others have been talking to him or he has learned things on TV. The good news is he came to you, the bad news is this may be troubling him. I would say: sex is wonderful and beautiful and important…it is the way we continue the human race. BUT it is powerful and dangerous to children and teens who are too young to understand it.

Then say either: I will answer your questions as best I can and then we will go to the library to get books OR You want details I am not comfortable talking about but we will go to the library and get books that we both can read.

Hit the library or book stores to find books that are in tune with your own values. Look online for ideas and titles but browse in a store before you buy. Books come in two varieties: books to inform parents and put them at ease in what can be an awkward situation and books to read to the child or have the child read on his own.

Some of my faves for parents are Sex and Sensibility by Deborah Roffman, Raising a Child Responsibly in a Sexually Permissive World by Sol and Judith Gordon, and Sex is not a Four-Letter Word by Patricia Miller.

Because sex is personal and parents have their own values, look in a book store or library for the books suitable for YOUR child.

One amusing personal anecdote: My daughter and twin grandchildren were on an airplane lined up waiting for takeoff. The plane’s engines were at that quiet before the roar when Hannah asked in the audible piping voice a 4 year-old produces, “But how does the Daddy’s seed get into the Mommy?”

I suggest parents with young children prepare themselves for such questions in public. You never know when one of these will come at you!