April 28, 2013
Scarring Children For Life: When Kids Walk In On You Doing The Nasty (Part2)
For tweens, it may be a little easier. “Aw man, gross!” or “Ewww!” may be some of the responses by a tween walking in on coitus. They probably know what’s going on at this age, and you should probably just explain to them that “sex is a private, enjoyable activity that takes place in adult relationships,” says Nichols.
Teens are probably the easiest; “Older kids are sometimes amused when they guess that their parents have been sexual, but if it’s in their faces too much of the time, it can create discomfort and anxiety,” says Klein.
“Teens can better handle the idea of their parents as sexual beings, but they really don’t need to see it. Ask any teenager: They’ll tell you themselves whether they want to see their parents getting it on. I promise you, the answer is no.”
The accidental exposure you may or may not give your child isn’t always the biggest fear, though. It’s important to let them know what’s going on in the world around them before they find out for themselves. From masturbation to pornography, they may be finding out about sexuality from sources you wouldn’t prefer. You’ve got to beat the world to the punch, so to say; this way you can shape their view of intimacy to align with your beliefs and practices.
As illustrated by sexual health educator, Amy Lang of Birds + Bees + Kids, “The average age a kid sees porn is 10. It’s everywhere and it’s naive to think your kid won’t see it.”
For example, when I was young (I don’t remember exactly how young, but it was surely younger than 10) my friends and I had discovered a hidden stash of pornography.
In the front of my childhood neighborhood there was a small strip center with a convenient store, a hair salon, a laundromat, and a video store. In the alley behind the strip, was an overgrown bush that turned into a cave-like tree where we’d hang out. One day we stumbled upon a box full of VHS movie cases, all of which were porno movies. We rummaged through the box looking at all the pictures discussing what all of it meant. Although we were too young to know what it all was, we definitely knew we liked it, and that we shouldn’t go telling everybody.
Things like this are probably happening in alleyways in a neighborhood near you, and your child may be getting all the wrong info from all the wrong sources, and that could lead to trouble down the line. It did for me.
Tell them about pornography before they find out about it on their own.
However you choose to address the topic, “you want to remain low-key, not emotional. Try to assess where your child is coming from and what his or her unspoken questions might be, give appropriate information and be sex-positive,” says Nichols.
And for God’s sake, prevent an encore. Lock the door. If there’s no lock, get one. Maybe run the shower, turn up the television, or turn on some tunes, so they can’t clearly hear what’s going on. Emphasize private mommy and daddy time and encourage them to make their presence known when entering a room.
All of these things could prevent or help you when the awkward time comes for your child to see you getting it on.
Image Credit: Guryanov Andrey / Shutterstock