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Explaining Sex to Kids

By Jodie Lynn


My seven-year-old twins have been asking plenty of questions lately about sex. My friends think this is fine and to talk to them about it. However, I think that they are much too young. Exactly what should I be discussing with the boys at this age?


This is an age when many questions about unfamiliar situations, phrases and words will crop up. My six-year-old daughter came home at the end of school and asked me about the birds and bees. I asked her teacher if there had been any discussions about sex in the classroom and she informed me that she had read a book to them. I feel that it should be mandatory for schools and teachers to send home a note a few days before doing something like this so that parents can decide whether or not to keep their children home for that day. - C. C. in Seattle, WA


The first thing you may want to do is ask where they have heard the word and what they think it means. Although there are probably more incidents than you think where they are hearing it, just be sure that it is not from a babysitter, a specific staff member at a childcare facility, a teacher or from an instructor of an activity that they are participating in for the summer or any other time. Be sure that they understand that they are not going to get in trouble for telling you and neither will the person who they are hearing it from. There are going to be many reasons why your twins have decided to all of a sudden start asking questions about this topic. They could be hearing certain phrases on TV or radio that they are not used to hearing that contain the word "sex" within it. Or perhaps one of their friends has an older sibling that has been using it within earshot of the boys. Regardless of where or when, you just want to be certain that there is no present danger for the two of them. In fact, if they say TV or radio, when you are all together and they hear it, tell them to come get you the next time so you can explain it better to them. Once you get enough information, you will know how best to handle the situation. If you do need to explain it, base your explanation on what you have found out. It may need to be pretty basic for now. You might also bring it up to the teacher for the new school year and ask if there are any plans to approach the subject. If so, ask how, when and where so you can be aware of the possibility of updating your previous explanation.

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There are certain stores that I do not allow my children to patronize for clothes, supplies and various merchandise. They become upset with me because their friends shop at these places. What should I say to them to try to make a valid point for my decision but not make them feel they have the right to say the same to their friends?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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