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wundayatta's avatar

Dads: When you had "the talk(s)" with your son, how did that go down?

Asked by wundayatta (58377 points ) October 21st, 2011

My therapist threw a book at me last night and told me I was two years late. Sheesh! At age nine, I didn’t even know what the f-word meant. When a neighbor kid told me, I didn’t even believe it.

So I’m supposed to read this book (it’s a thick book, filled with drawings— you know the sort), and thus explain to him the realities of sex and love—in particular, making sure he knows the dangers of AIDS and how to protect himself. I’m pretty sure his school covers that stuff.

What I don’t know about is whether anyone covers love and the relationship between love and sex, and god knows, how the hell do you know when you are in love. How many times a day do we get that question? For some reason, the “could I be pregnant” questions have disappeared. Are they being modded?

I know what to say. What I don’t know is how to feel normal saying it. It’s one thing talking to a teen or a young adult over the internet about this, but it is quite another talking to someone you have to live with every day who is barely a tween about it.

Do you remember your feelings about the talk? Did you do it once or over a period of time? Did you do “just the facts, son” or did you talk about feelings, too? Did you talk about what sex means to you?

If you haven’t given the talk, did you receive one? How did that feel? Mothers, did you ever have to give the talk to your son? How did you feel about that? Any older sisters or brothers who explained the facts of life to a brother?

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9 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

Quit worrying about how you “feel,” and just DO it! : P

wundayatta's avatar

To fill in that story about the neighbor boy who told me what fuck meant when I was nine, it was pretty weird. As I said, I was shocked and I didn’t believe him. But here’s the really weird part. He offered to make a bet with me. He said that if he was right, he got to do it with my sister, and if I was right, I got to do it with his sister.

I remember wondering how he thought he had the right to make a wager like that, and why he thought I could get my sister to agree to something like that. Where did he even get this attitude? This was in 1965, and I don’t remember if he was older than me or not. Probably he was. I think I found it pretty disturbing because I left the game (a bunch of us were playing) to go home right after that. Hmmm. I wonder if it was the police chief’s son. He lived right behind us.

As it was, the way my parents told us was by taking us to see a movie. This was profoundly uncomfortable. They asked us if we had any questions as we drove home. The movie had been full of warnings about pregnancy and diseases and god knows what, and I remember asking, “If sex is so awful, why do people do it?”

So what? Do we scare our children?

I remember my father’s answer more vividly than almost any other memory I have, and it has kind of destroyed a word for me. It just makes me feel so creepy that I don’t even want to tell you what the word is. His answer: “Because it is so pleasurable.” The way he wrapped that word around his tongue has forever altered its meaning for me. I hate it. It makes my body squirm whenever I think about it. It’s worse when I say it and I avoid saying it at all costs.

Besides which, as far as I’m concerned, it pretty much misses the point. Yes, it feels good, but that’s barely the beginning of it.

YoBob's avatar

“I’m pretty sure his school covers that stuff.” <—- ?????

Perhaps so, but as a parent it is your responsibility to make sure he understands.

As for me, I was raised as my father’s reluctant ranch hand. You don’t spend too much time around livestock before figuring out the difference between males and females and where the new stock comes from. So… the “talk” was really not necessary.

As for my kids, in a way it’s somewhat the same. We have multiple pets and as a part of good animal husbandry the whole reproduction thing is just, well…, a fact of life. As for the love thing, my kids have the good fortune of being a part of a pretty well adjusted family so that isn’t really an issue either.

Yes, I had the talk with my older son when he was around nine(ish). He started asking questions about the topic and I was basically frank and direct about the whole thing. He now has a “girlfriend” and we have talked about responsibility and protection. He totally understands that when the time inevitably comes (which it hasn’t) they both will be prepared. Until then, their relationship is more about hanging out together with the occasional light making out thrown in.

As for my younger son… well, he has an older brother so gets exposed to more “information” than he probably should… ;)

JLeslie's avatar

When I was little I was given the book Where Did I Come From? Cute book on the topic.

Is he even asking about sex, and where babies come from?

Luiveton's avatar

Demonstrate it. ;)

Cupcake's avatar

We talked about everything in an age-appropriate way his whole life, so there was never 1 big awkward “talk”. And I never planned on sharing diagrams… but I would find them if the discussion warranted it.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yes @wundayatta it is time. I began dialoging with my son about this already and he’s 6.

Your son at 9 may already be masturbating.

If you didn’t read this thread the first time around, it’s worth a read. A lot of jellies were told little to nothing. @tranquilsea shared a story about her youngest son on this thread opened my eyes to the fact that I needed to get my son more info earlier on.

tranquilsea's avatar

My husband cannot get beyond, “come to me anytime you have questions”. That even came waaay too late.

I’ve had the talk with each of my kids. My first born ended up asking questions from penises and vaginas all the way to what makes gay people gay…when he was six. I had to tread a very wobbly line but he ended up asking so many questions that he by the end he knew about sex, masturbation, babies, teenage sex, gay sex and on and on.

I had to trap my daughter in the car to get her to listen the first time. She was about 10. Subsequent talks went much easier. We can talk about most things now with her saying, “MOM!” and covering her ears.

My youngest son was the one who broke my heart. @SpatzieLover linked to my post in that thread. I’ve never been a boy so I had no idea that they could start masturbating so young. I still feel badly that he felt so guilty for so long.

The net result of all this talking is that my oldest let me know when he lost his virginity. I nearly passed out when he told me. The little $%&* didn’t use birth control even though he had some. My kids all come to me to talk about what ever they have going on. Sometimes it is uncomfortable but I’d rather they did so we could talk the straight dope than have them wonder on their own or rely on people who may not be reliable.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Much like @Cupcake, My wife and I covered it in age-appropriate conversations all along, and when puberty set in, added personal responsibility to the mix. It was made easier by the fact that his twin sis and he had to share a bedroom for a while up until about age 10.

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