|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Explaining Sex to 8 Year Old

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: I told my eight-year-old the facts of life today. I've always been a fan of not rushing kids, since I think the innocence of childhood is a gift we should cherish. Accordingly, I'm worried that I just "turned a corner" -- made a change in him forever, and told him stuff that he didn't need to know. He seemed interested, and, once I was done talking, ran off and did his kid things again. Did I jump the gun?

A: It sounds like you did a good job explaining the basics to your son. Sex education is handled best when a child begins to ask questions and express interest, which is exactly what your son did.

The key is to not overwhelm the child with technical information and to leave the door open for future questions. We should always answer our children's questions, using the correct terminology. They will absorb what they are ready to hear. Be ready to answer further questions as they come up. You don't have to focus on only the "big" talks -- you can always bring the subject up yourself as the situation presents itself, such as when someone you know is pregnant or the topic comes up on TV.

You should feel good that you handled this situation well and that you gave your son the information you wish you had received as a child. The fact that your son ran off to do "kid things" after your talk should tell you that he got the information he needed and that he felt comfortable with you in getting it.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!