10 Easy Ways to Talk with Your Daughter about Sex

how to talk to your daughter about sex, the sex talk, talking to your kids about sex

I have three girls—one who is grown, one who is just going through puberty, and one who is almost 3—and I am a firm believer in talking about sex. My husband and I both came from families where that didn’t happen well…OK, at all. And we were left to our own devices, which is NEVER a good thing when you are a kid. I never want my girls to feel as ignorant and underprepared as I was. Because whether we like it or not, our daughters turn into young women with sexual feelings, and if we love them, we want their experiences to be positive, love-filled ones. Ignorance makes it easier for young girls to be taken advantage of. And these days, unprepared sex can lead to all sorts of diseases and death, in addition to lifelong trauma. And while a vaccine like the HPV shot makes it seem like our girls are safe, not only are there risks associated with the vaccine, it only covers one small aspect of their sexual safety.

So here are my top 10 tips for talking with your daughter about sex:

1. Start early. Use real words for real body parts. You don’t have to use them all the time, but my 2½-year-old knows where her vagina is. Don’t shy away from describing the differences between boys and girls.

2. Show her you are comfortable with your own body (even if you’re not). If she walks in the room while you are changing, don’t hide. Be as open as you are comfortable being—and maybe even a little more. Watch your responses to sexual information or jokes (try not to be too disapproving). She will learn a lot more from watching how you are with your body and with your sexuality than by anything you say.

3. Start explaining at a fairly young age what is OK and not OK. If we want our kids to be safe, they have to know what is allowed and not allowed—among people they trust as well as strangers. Arm her with information to protect her from predators.

4. Make her aware of the world around her. If my 11-year-old lived in Afghanistan, she might be married by now—the third or fourth wife of an old man. If she lived in China 100 years ago, not only would she not be allowed to play soccer, but her feet would have been brutally mutilated so she could not walk. Listen to the news together. Let her know how lucky she is to be alive in this time and in this place.

5. Go to the museum. There’s nothing like beautiful paintings and sculpture from ancient to modern times showing the glory of nakedness, desire, love, and pleasure to express what sex is truly about. Use them as a tool to tell stories and explain the different aspects of love and desire.

6. Get her some books. For the gory details, it’s much better to let her read about it in a book (preferably with illustrations) than to have you be her only source. Just make sure you make yourself available for questions. I find Amazon.com has a good selection.

7. Take her to the doctor. I asked my gynecologist’s office when they like to start seeing girls. The receptionists said, “When they start becoming sexually active— around age 17 or 18.” Well, I think earlier. By then it’s too late. Don’t let her feel alone and unprepared.

8. Insist that she always use protection. Talking about protection is a good way to talk about sex, but also essential for protecting your girl. I always insist on them using condoms—because it’s not just about preventing unwanted birth, but about preventing unwanted and dangerous diseases. I have a brother who died from AIDS in 1985, so this is real for me. I also express my opinions about birth control. I think the pill not only messes with your hormones too much, but studies have shown that it interferes with choosing the right long-term partner. I think the forethought needed for the diaphragm, for instance, makes it harder to “just do it” with anyone at any time (therefore, I highly recommend it).

9. Encourage her to wait for true love. I was listening to a radio show where they were talking about the conundrum of what to tell your girls to wait for, whether abstinence while waiting for marriage seems too long and hard, what guidance can you give? TRUE LOVE! I wanted to shout into the radio (I was driving so I couldn’t call in.) Living with a lifetime of regrets over a bad first experience (or many) is nothing we would wish on any young woman—however, those regrets are too frequent. She deserves pleasure. She deserves to be treated well. She deserves to have her first experience be one that is a happy memory for the rest of her life.

10. Make her feel safe to come to you. No matter what mistakes she makes (and she will make them) you should hold back your judgment, control your reactions so she knows that no matter what, she can come to you for guidance, love, help, information, comfort, and safety. I got pregnant at 19 and kept my baby. It was the best decision I ever made. But I couldn’t have done it without the love and support of my family. And that’s the truest love of all.

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58 Responses to 10 Easy Ways to Talk with Your Daughter about Sex

  1. Martina April 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    I can’t believe Eve and Cassie are hitting puberty, where did the time go! I have purchased two books for Cass to read. One was way too much information for an 11 year old and the other had a religious twist to it. I liked the thought of that, but when I read it, the “you’ll burn in hell” message was too much. So I never gave her either one. We have always been open about things, but I really need to sit down and talk to her. I don’t want her to end up in an uncomfortable position because I was too uncomfortable to talk to her. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Maya April 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    I think number 5-going to a museum–is a great tip that I hadn’t heard before. Maybe you can bring up a conversation about sex in the car ride home, so your kid can’t escape and has to listen 🙂

  3. Lisa April 24, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    I agree with Maya–number 5 is terrific and fresh. Haven’t thought of that. Great way to counter embarassment over bodies.

  4. Vanessa April 29, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    Our daughter is only 3 but we’ve always been open with her. We did have one funny incident when she checked out her friend Toby in the loo and told him her daddy’s willy was bigger than Toby’s – good thing Toby’s mum has a sense of humour! Anyone have a good way of telling a toddler where people are allowed to touch her and where they’re not?

  5. Andelene May 11, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    I completely agree with all 10 of your suggestions. I have two girls age’s 11 and 9 and they both are well aware of their parts and boys parts too, and what they are all for. My mother talked to be about sex when I was younger, but I took it a step further. Not only did I apply all 10 steps into our life, but we have had them both watch a few movies here and there with a man and a women having intercourse. The question was raised by my husband and I about letting our girls watch scary movies with people getting injured and or killed, but then not letting them watch two people making love. So then a few days later, we let them watch a love scene, but then paused the scene after and talked about it. We feel that it’s important not only for our girl’s future, but ours as well to be communicating on such a level that nothing is left out. Two yours ago I talked about the difference between sodomy and anal sex. A couple of years before that talked about rape, peer pressure, strangers and other people who are not strangers, but who are capable of sex crimes as well, for reference. I want them to be so informed that they will not be surprised, clueless or unsure as what to do or who to talk too when they get to that point in there lives. In ways I feel like it’s too much information, but that’s what I feel like I have to do to help them not just survive, but live well. I want them to know that they do have choices and that with those choices comes responsibility as well as consequences for those choices made in every aspect of their lives. Yes, communication about sex is a must with my daughters and they both have told me that they love me for that. I planted the seeds, I nurture them and now I will watch them grow.

  6. Rose Nightingale December 14, 2009 at 6:44 am #

    My Daughter is 8 and I feel laike I shoud start talking to her about body and sex, but I am not sure how to start and what to say, what is appopriate and what is too much.
    I want her to be confeble to ask and tell me anything.

  7. Rose Nightingale December 14, 2009 at 6:45 am #

    Any advice is more them welcome africa@patricia nascimento .com.br

  8. Lilly may January 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Im 14 and Im a virgin, I was actuly searching how 2 tlk 2 my mum bout sex and this site came up…I agree completely with all ur tips! I wish my mum would talk to me about these things! L8ly Ive started talkin to a boy (Ive known for 3 years) about us having sex…I want to do physical things with him but Im too scared because, Im too scared 2 ask my mum if he can come over, and if I did Im worried shed be cheking on us ever second. He isnt a virgin and wudnt care bout doing physical things in a field of park! Im not tht type of girl but I really do feel cumfertable with him even tho Ive always imagened losin my V 2 anouther virgin! Im really confused about if I do wnt to go all the way with him? I really need my mum but Im too scared about wt shel say. My dad left my mum a year ago n got a next gf (who has 2 kids) a week l8a, since he left shes really protective of me n I no she does it cuz she luvs me but shes strtin 2 suffocate me! I cnt decide wt 2 do bout dis boy? I have liked him for ages and a week ago he told me he feels sme problem is…hes got a girlfriend and isnt planning on dumping her. How can I tlk 2 my mum bout all of this! Anytime I tlk about stuff grown up she jst avoids the questions or changes the subject! Sumtimes no matta hw old u r u jst need ur mum 2 hug u n tell u everything will be okay x

  9. a mom March 11, 2010 at 6:08 pm #

    If you are not 100% sure then you are not ready. I know you said you know this boy for a long time, but boys will say anything they have to if they know they will be getting sex. If you know for a fact that he does not plan on leaving his girlfriend that should prove to you that he is not interested in you. why would you want to give him something so special if he isnt willing to give you what you deserve. please think about it, and Im sure your mother will listen if you try and trust her. good luck.

  10. jane May 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    You are smart to have written your concerns about having sex, the boy you like, your relationship with your mother and whether you’re ready for sex. The previous writer is absolutely correct. I would have to also add that at ages 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18, you’re too young to handle the emotions related with having sex. For that matter, most 19, 20, and 21 year olds are too young also. Others may disagree, but just because the children of today are smarter than we older adults were when we were their age, studies have shown judgement skills have not improved. Just because you feel you are physically and emotionally ready, emotionally you’re not. It’s as simple as that. That’s one of the biggest problems. With children being exposed to a plethora of inappropriate sexual images and shows on TV and the internet, they don’t have the judgement skills to be able to sort out how they fit in all of this to make wise decisions. With increasing numbers of young girls becoming the sexual aggressor in teen relationships, this adds up to a dangerous potential. Although many parents are doing a better job with teaching their sons how to properly treat girls and what is expected of them, the statistics just aren’t there to prove it. Teenage pregnancies aren’t reducing. Sexual diseases keep on rising. Sex education hasn’t improved the situation although I agree that parents should be the ones to provide it……………I don’t think you should even be contemplating having sex for several years. You won’t lose anyone that is worth it for giving in to them. These feelings you feel for this boy, and he is a “boy” as you are a “girl”, will continue as you meet others while you are a teenager. You have a lot to potentially lose if you do give in; definitely your self-respect, potentially your emotional health, potentially a negative life-changing event (unplanned pregnancy), potentially your physical health, and potentially your life. Do you really think these options are worth betting on to pursue teenage sex? Not that any of these factors can’t happen to adults. Usually adults have better judgment making skills and other resources to help them when they get in trouble. The risk of losing your physical health or death due to AIDS continues to be a risk for anyone who has unprotected sex, especially with multiple partners. Do keep working on your communication and relationship with your mother. She loves you more than anything else in the world. And when you get in any kind of trouble and need someone, who’s going to be there for you, your mother or the teenage boyfriend who just really wants to have sex with you? Some things for you to think about. If you are not active in school activities such as the arts, sports, school government, etc., I would recommend you explore your options. Do you have any hobbies you engage in at home or your community? Are there any volunteer opportunities in your community you could participate in? You need to stay busy with interests that will help you grow as an individual as you mature. There’s so much information on the internet for you to access to help you learn about healthy relationships for teenagers etc. Please take time to research and learn so you can make good and informed decisions. For those who may say I’m preachy, consider this. I’ve never met an adult woman who waited until she was at least her early twenties and even considerably older who said she regretted waiting to have her first sexual experience; but, every adult woman who had her first sexual experience as a teenager (excluding getting married) either really, really regretted it or at least wished she had waited until she was much older and with a man she planned to marry or have as a long term domestic partner.

  11. Celly July 31, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    Okay, well I’m 12. I’m not a good kid. I’m not a virgin but use protection not the pill condoms. And my mom doesn’t know. Ihave sex with my boyfriend every time she leaves the house.me and him havr been to gether 2 days and ive had oral sex with 4 boys. We smoke and get high at alot. I’m in 9th grade cuz I started school early so nobody in freshman year has their virginnity. Should I tell my mom I’m not a virgin? I dot think I should she might eat me. By dad said he would kill the boy but he is just drmatic.

  12. Celly July 31, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    The boy I’m going out with we dated before for 2 years then he went to high school so we were both single but we are both in highschool now so we are dating again.

  13. Celly July 31, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    The boy I’m going out with we dated before for 2 years then he went to high school so we were both single but we are both in highschool now so we are dating again. (I look about 15 or 16im like an amozon)

  14. maria (farm country kitchen) August 11, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Dear Celly,

    If you are only 12 and having regular sex and smoking and getting high then you probably have lots of issues from your family and childhood you may need help dealing with. Smoking, drugs and sex just make your problems seem like they are going away, they don’t actually make them go away. I strongly encourage you to find a counselor or a therapist that you can talk to and get guidance from. IN the meantime, there is no external substitute for the love and nourishment that you give to yourself. Please take care.

  15. Laurie January 3, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Oh girls! Be careful. Take your time.
    I just read that men started wearing cups during athletic activities 100 years before they started wearing helmets. yep. That’s how they tick.
    Give him plently of time to prove his love to you and then wait just a little longer.
    And don’t feel belittled when a mature women tells you you aren’t ready to handle the emmotion of sex. I am 38 and I can’t seem to handle it, either. It’s powerful and wonderful. Respect it and make sure he is respecting you and then still wait. 😉

  16. Kristina January 5, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    When I turned 10 years old and my mom notice that i was likeing boys my age she thought it would be a good time to talk about sex. I my self was truely up for learning all i could from the info she gave me. She told me everything from oral to vag and even anal. She also answerd all my questions. Keep in mind I did not become sexule active till i was 15. Again when i thought it was right my mom said be safe and please do it in your bedroom…
    The most I was verythink ful was the talk she gave about analsex. Schools ALWAYS leave that part out. In my eyes im glad my mom gave me the talk and answer all my questions. I hope all girls can talk with there moms… Sex is a wonderfull thing…Btw im now 19 and just tried analsex 2 times and with the right lube {anal-eze} all I can say is OHHH wow the feeling… 🙂

  17. celly January 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    ^ ahahhahahaha yes it issss!

  18. maria (farm country kitchen) January 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Just make sure you girls/ladies INSIST the guy uses a condom! Remember, unprotected anal sex is a primary cause of AIDS. My brother died of AIDS and it’s not fun.

  19. A 20-Something February 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    One of the best things I ever heard, which came from a GUY was this “Eventually… at some point… you have to realize you are not a DOG. You are not just another animal. You are a HUMAN being that longs for love, and every time you settle for something less than love and give yourself to somebody, you’ve created more damage to the core of who you are”.
    To the younger girls- i’ve had my fun throughout college, believe me. But the thing I regret the most is sleeping with random guys, and even not so random guys, before I knew it was love & before I knew i was committed and so was he just because it was ‘the thing to do’, or i was free to be ‘single and mingle’. Now i’m in love and in a committed relationship where we are not strangers to each other, we’re both open and honest, and love one another. I made him wait the longest, and as a guy, he admits that is exactly how you KEEP a man… by WAITING, and showing him you have more respect for yourself than ANYBODY else. Think twice, and don’t be afraid to say “no”, you’ll look cooler in the end;-)

  20. meli123 April 3, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    my niece is 6 years old. recntly shes been caught with her pants down under the sheets. my sister called me for advice an i told her as much as i can. what would u mothers say to ur six year old daughter about that? can a six year old have feelings in her vagina? so young…. all response is greatly appriciated…

  21. maria (farm country kitchen) April 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Of course she can! It’s important to not make her feel ashamed. Tell her it’s perfectly natural to be curious and to feel good. But that it’s only for her to touch or enjoy. She shouldn’t let anyone else touch her there until she is much, much older! I make sure that I don’t give my daughters disapproving looks — but also that I don’t make a big deal out of it. But also that they know it’s not OK if anyone else tries to touch them on their “privates.”

  22. Kiah April 14, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    I’m 12 my mom and I have always been pretty open, but latly we seem to just clamp up. My dad is going to Alabama for the week and I feel that would be the perfect time to bring up the Sex Conversation, but I dont know how to tell her I know about sex with out feeling mega embaressed. She never talked about it before, Ive always been the indipendent one in the family and I dont want to have the dreaded sex talk at all. I know everything oral, periods, STD, “safe sex”, and how to protect myself. The thing is when ever we talk about anything to do with body parts its sooo embarressing and lately we just dont bring it up at all. I feel like I’m going to have to start the conversation, but I dont know how….. please help me! 🙂 Thank you for your understanding in my situation…..

  23. Kiah April 14, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    I’m 12 my mom and I have always been pretty open, but latly we seem to just clamp up. My dad is going to Alabama for the week and I feel that would be the perfect time to bring up the Sex Conversation, but I dont know how to tell her I know about sex with out feeling mega embaressed. She never talked about it before, Ive always been the indipendent one in the family and I dont want to have the dreaded sex talk at all. I know everything oral, periods, STD, “safe sex”, and how to protect myself. The thing is when ever we talk about anything to do with body parts its sooo embarressing and lately we just dont bring it up at all. I feel like I’m going to have to start the conversation, but I dont know how….. please help me! 🙂 Thank you for your understanding in my situation….. by the way I personally would rather read a book about sex or talk to someone who I dont live with about this matter.

  24. maria (farm country kitchen) April 14, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Ask here, Kiah! And we’ll tell you everything you want to know! Don’t be embarrassed please!

  25. Brigida May 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    I was pretty much like Celly, from 14 to 19. I am 20 now, and I have realised when I was 19 that the way I was living was … other than optimal. I used to meet so many man, many of them older than me actually, and things got out of control. I realized, as said before on this topic, “Eventually… at some point… you have to realize you are not a DOG. You are not just another animal. You are a HUMAN being that longs for love, and every time you settle for something less than love and give yourself to somebody, you’ve created more damage to the core of who you are”.

    I seek things that will bring good and concrete things to my Life now, so I can fully appreciate it and improve in every opportunity, and a real relationship, a Love-based is one of those things!

  26. cintia August 17, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Yesterday my 7 years old daughter told me that a older boy at summer camp called her sexy. I asked what she thought about that and she said that she can’t be sexy because she does’t like the color pink, she likes blue. So i told her that being sexy has to do with your body and clothes. This made me realize that i need to have and age appropriate sex talk with my daughter, right? Please i need some books to help me with this.

  27. maria (farm country kitchen) August 18, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    Dear Cintia, based on the perpetual popularity of this blog post, I’ve been thinking about writing a book about this topic. The problem is, most of the good books out there are geared more towards girls about to start menstruation. “Period” is one of them. I’ll see what I can find! I still think the most important thing is not to make her feel ashamed of her body or budding sexuality at that (or any) age.

  28. Jessica September 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Hello All:
    I am at that point in parenting when it is time for the period/sex talk with my 9 yr old. I am so not sure how to get things started as I was never talked to about this. It was just left for me to figure out on my own. I really don’t know how to spark up the conversation with her. She seems so small and immature to be getting ready for this. But she is starting to fill out and I am afraid that if I don’t give her some info then she will be starting her period and flipping out because she dosen’t know. Can someone please tell me how to get started, even though the tips seem helpful I am still unsure of how WE both will react.

  29. maria (farm country kitchen) September 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Dear Jessica,

    Of course expect embarrasment on both parts (you and your daughter) but try your best not to let that stop you. Even if she doesn’t act like it, she will appreciate that you had the courage to open the door. Find a safe place, like in her bedroom or in the car where it’s quiet and just start in…”hey honey, I know this is awkward to talk about, but I really want to talk to you about what to expect and look out for regarding how your body is changing, and sex in general, because I love you and want to make sure that you are aware and safe and protected and not afraid to ever come talk to me!”

    That should get things started…

  30. Jessica September 8, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Thanks I will take that into my mk ind and try to do my best with her.

  31. crystal September 12, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    I am trying to find ways to talk to my adopted mom about sex. She already told me that I can talk to her about boys any time I want to. Should I talk to her about boys and than slowly go into the conversation about sex?

  32. Journo October 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Ann Landers has always had a simple suggestion for children that were afraid to bring up a subject to their parents directly. Clip this column out (in this case, print it), and hand it to them.

  33. Amanda December 24, 2011 at 4:28 am #

    Im 14 and Lately I’ve been really curious about sex. And this probably sounds bad, but I want to have sex. I know I should wait, but why all of a sudden am I wanting to have sex? Is it normal to “experiment” with myself? Because I’m considering that to keep from losing my virginity and regretting it. Please answer my questions please.
    Oh and I would ask my mom but it gets
    Really awkward because when I ask her things she gives me a disapproving look, and barley answers. I don’t like feeling judged for being curious…

  34. maria (farm country kitchen) December 24, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Dear Amanda, curiosity is a wonderful thing and you should never feel ashamed about it! When you turn 14 (for some girls earlier, and others later) it is totally natural and normal to start thinking about sex because your body is becoming prepared for womanhood and motherhood through lots of crazy hormones surging through your body. It’s normal. Natural. And there is nothing wrong about it. I have said to my daughters that I would much rather have them “experimenting” (ie. masturbating) with themselves, then having sex with boys before they are ready or prepared. PLUS, sex with boys who don’t know what they are doing is TOTALLY unsatisfying. Trust me, I know. Play with yourself. Learn what you like and don’t like. Be careful. And then, when you are ready and in love, share yourself and your knowledge of yourself with the person you love. He or she will be very grateful to you.

    Thanks for your curiosity!

  35. machelle December 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Thank you for posting some really good ideas for “bringing the subject of sex” up. I have a 10 yr old (which has a almost 12 yr old friend with no idea how serious/sacred this issue is) that she is getting sexual ideas from. Your information will for sure help me to guide my daughter the right way!

  36. Kat January 11, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    You are awesome! I agree with you 100 percent. I have done every thing like you up to this point. I’m giving my nine year old girl the book It’s So Amazing tomorrow night. You are appreciated.

  37. frustrated parent. June 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    I have several questions and the history of our story is very long so I’ll do a quick replay. My wife and I just got custody again of her 11 year old daughter. She had been living with her dad for the past 4 years. We are trying to be open and talk about sex and how to protect her self and what is involved with the organs and what not. But everytime we bring the issue up she gets mad and when we tell her that she needs to listen and hear what its about she starts to cry. We even tried to play a little jeopardy game about the organs and std’s and protection. She refused to say penis or vagina and we told her that it was the proper name for the organs and she started to cry. She will not talk to us about anything sexual and will not even listen it seems. Her doctor said that most likely she will be getting her period withing the next year or so, and we are deathly afraid of what is going to happen when she does. We try to at least tell her what happens with the period and her body and she refuses to answer questions we ask her and refuses to listen it seems. I don’t know how to get her over whatever issue she is having with the sex talk and make her listen and stop crying everytime we even mention saying penis or vaginia. It is so bad that even if someone says boobies or breasts she gets mad or cries. We have tried to have just my wife talk to her, I’ve tried, we signed her up for a health class at school, but nothing is getting through to her and she just clams up. I don’t know what to do now. I feel as though she is going to get her self in some pretty bad situations if she doesn’t listen and start askign questions but how do you force an 11 year old to stop crying and to just listen to what happens before sex, during sex, after sex, puberty, protection, or std’s. We need some help.

  38. frustrated parent. June 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    I have several questions and the history of our story is very long so I’ll do a quick replay. My wife and I just got custody again of her 11 year old daughter. She had been living with her dad for the past 4 years. We are trying to be open and talk about sex and how to protect her self and what is involved with the organs and what not. But everytime we bring the issue up she gets mad and when we tell her that she needs to listen and hear what its about she starts to cry. We even tried to play a little jeopardy game about the organs and std’s and protection. She refused to say penis or vagina and we told her that it was the proper name for the organs and she started to cry. She will not talk to us about anything sexual and will not even listen it seems. Her doctor said that most likely she will be getting her period withing the next year or so, and we are deathly afraid of what is going to happen when she does. We try to at least tell her what happens with the period and her body and she refuses to answer questions we ask her and refuses to listen it seems. I don’t know how to get her over whatever issue she is having with the sex talk and make her listen and stop crying everytime we even mention saying penis or vaginia. It is so bad that even if someone says boobies or breasts she gets mad or cries. We have tried to have just my wife talk to her, I’ve tried, we signed her up for a health class at school, but nothing is getting through to her and she just clams up. I don’t know what to do now. I feel as though she is going to get her self in some pretty bad situations if she doesn’t listen and start asking questions but how do you force an 11 year old to stop crying and to just listen to what happens before sex, during sex, after sex, puberty, protection, or std’s. We need some help.

  39. maria (farm country kitchen) June 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Dear frustrated parent,

    First of all, please relax and calm down — she’s probably picking up on your stress about everything. You CAN’T ever force an 11 year old to stop crying! Just like with sex, force never works — including talking about it. That’s the most important lesson of all. I asked my 15 year old daughter what you might want to try and she said that the American Girl book about your body was really good and “not too intense.” Get it for her and just leave it in her room. Don’t even talk about it!!!!! Just let her find the thing at her own pace. If that goes over well, move on to the book It’s So Amazing, that one of my commenter’s mentioned. I bought and left it in the kitchen and my 5 year old is enjoying it!

    Also, make sure she’s not crying because she might have had some trauma in her previous parenting relationship. But always, always be gentle and loving and peaceful and quiet. You need to make her feel SAFE. When a girl feels safe, then she can open up. In fact, the same goes for women and men.

    Good luck! I’m rooting for all of you!

  40. Kt August 17, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    My 9 year old step-daughter has been living with my husband and I full-time for 2 years now. She does not really see her mother at all, because her mom is always in and out of jail/rehab. Even if her mother was involved, I’d feel the need to open some line of communication with my step-daughter about sex, because her mother has been (possibly still is) a prostitute, and I don’t want that to be the only perspective that my step-daughter gets.
    She and I have a good relationship, and are very open about most things, but I am worried because I don’t know what she may already have heard or seen before she lived with us full-time, I don’t know if she is ready for ‘the talk’ or how much detail to give her, and I am worried that not being her biological mother will make it more awkward for both of us.
    I am worried that her mother and mother’s family will feel that I’ve over-stepped my bounds if they find out I’ve had a sex talk with my step-daughter, but I feel I would be remiss in my duties as a primary caregiver if I don’t. I definitely want to make sure that my conversation with her is as age appropriate, and helpful, as possible, without opening myself to criticism for having gone too far or said too much.
    She’s got friends who have already started their periods, and she’s started getting pubic hair, so we’ve had a few basic conversations about body changes, I am just unsure of what is appropriate to say to a 9 year old about sex.
    I totally believe in openess and honesty, but I don’t want to traumatize her. Any advice would be helpful!

  41. Involved mom August 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    I am so glad you are making an effort to talk to this girl! Maybe you could start by having a girl’s day like a new movie or game with dad at work or outside doing yard work. I would just casual mention when you were a girl you were curious about boys, your body, etc. and there were things you wanted to ask your parents but were too embarrassed. This opens the door for her to identify with you on a female level. I would try to share a few simple ideas like I thought boys were weird and wondered what their bodies looked like since they were different from me kind of stuff. Since she may know more than you think make her feel comfortable with sharing her own thoughts and knowledge. Be prepared to be a good listener also. I also recommend some simple illustrated books in case she does have more complicated questions. I was actually scared about using tampons since I was a virgin. Hope this helps!

  42. Angela September 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    I love your advice and have actually always been pretty open with both my daughter and son. My daughter is 11.

    But I could use some outside advice because I am at a loss with what the do. While raising my children I never shied away from nudity, whether it be mine or on the television, and have always used the correct words for genitalia. I have also made it very clear that the both of them could come to me at anytime with any questions. A few years ago I did have the “You are becoming a lady, and this is what is happening.” talk with my daughter. It was pretty diffacult for her. She is extremely shy, even towards me, and timid, but I went ahead and talked to her even though she showed no interest in us having that talk. So afterwards I had decided that I should wait awhile to have the serious “SEX” talk with her. Which I now regret because, two weeks ago she started Jr. High. She came home last Friday in tears. She literally climbed in my lap and cried hysterically. All I could get out of her was that some boy in class has been calling her names. I ended up talking to her best friend this morning and was told what had really happened. Apparently some boy in her last period class asked her if she was a virgin and then persisted to make fun of her because she had no idea what that meant. Then went on for awhile using vulgar, sexual insults towards her. I have already contacted the school about this situation and hope that helps with him but now I am upset with myself that I waited so long to discuss this with her. I did not want to pressure her into a conversation that she was not ready for, but now I feel like if I had informed her before she could have avoided this uncomfortable situation.

    So… How can I broach the subject with her without her closing up on me? I mean she will sit there and listen but she will not get involved with the discussion. Should I just talk, then afterwards let her know if she has any questions she can always come to me? I feel like I need to do the talk ASAP though because I do not want this boy to keep harassing her and her not know how to respond or understand the context of what he is talking about because I think she was not only upset about being bullied but also about not understanding what he has been saying.

  43. involved mom September 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Oh my! I feel so horrible for your daughter. Some kids can be so rude. You have done the right thing by contacting the school and putting a stop to bullying issue. I have always talked to my daughter about tolerance of other people too. You need to explain to her that the boy has probably seen or done inappropriate things that he should not even know about and that it is not normal to talk with children in school about these things. Saddly our children have to go to school with people from all walks of life, some of which have parents with no morals. I was told at the age of 15 I would get a disease if I didn’t have sex before I turned 16. lol. What a lie! I never did get a straight answer from my mom when I asked her for the truth. Probably to busy laughing, but it’s sad she couldn’t set me straight and inform me a little better. I would suggest talking to her about viginity and as cheesy as it sounds find a somewhat illustrated book even if its a medical book and show her in the book what being a virgin actually means. I know you didn’t want to have that talk yet but it sounds like the door has already been opened for you. I would actually start with that telling her about virginity, marriage, and love. Virginity is never anything to be ashamed of. In fact it is very desired by young men to be the first! Since she is not sexually active i wouldn’t push the birth control and extreme sex talks. All you need to do is get some facts in her head not really give her ideas. Make sure you have time for this conversation. Like don’t try to talk about it before school, etc. As horrible as it sounds I would also teach her some witty comebacks. She could always say “Is that all you ever talk about? Sounds pretty boring coming from you”. I know this forces her to reply but she needs to understand how to be calm and say she is not interested in hearing what the kid has to say. Or when all else fails say “oh really how about we ask the teacher what they think about that?” then your child can get up and procede to the teacher. I am raising a sweetheart of a child. I hate to make her mean but children have to know when it’s right to be assertive to defend yourself. Bullying can be such a negative thing. I was bullied because I went with my mother to yard sales. After later seeing my bully years later, I realized he was just a mixed up kid with no real parental guidence. Hope some of this helps, I wish you and your daughter the best of luck.

  44. involved mom September 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    I also wanted to tell you you might try sitting beside her or lie down on a bed next to her and look through the book instead of looking straight at her. This seems to help people that are shy. Maybe say something like “I would have been so embarressed if my mom would have shown me a book like this, but you seem more mature for your age and I wanted you to have the facts”. Although there is nothing funny about it you may poke fun at the book and say “it’s kind of weird what we look like inside, I don’t think I could be a doctor/nurse, I would get all mixed up and wire someboby up wrong”. You know something to get a giggle!

  45. tayler January 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I totally agree that kids should get “the talk” because sooner or later they will have to know what o expect in life but I will kind of have to disagree because we don’t want our kids to get any ideas or ask any emberassing because you might have your own emberassing questions of your own that you never got answered. Therefore, if your daughter asks that certain question you will be able to answer.

  46. Simple Answer January 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    Any girl that has sex before they are ” MATURE” enough to have sex is causing more damage to themselves then they can imagine.

    Maturity does not come with AGE. There are immature 50 year old out there and mature 18 years olds.

    It’s nonsense to even think of having sex prior to 18 years old. If you allow boys or other girls to “pressure” you into having sex, then that is the indicator that you are not ready. Being tossed around from guy to guy for the “sport” of sex is the worst feeling a girl/woman can feel.

    I waited to be in true love with a committed relationship and it was all it was supposed to be. Then I became a dog, looking for the love I had and would never find as a dog.

    As a young person you can not imagine the difference between true love and true infatuation and racing hormones. Trust me girls between 14 and 18, you are NOT READY no matter what you think.

    Guys will say anything do anything and be as patient as they possible can till they get what they want, then either hang around for a while till heir next conquest and you will be dumped. Do you really want this for yourself, do you really disrespect yourself that much, that you will allow yourself to be mentally abused like that. That abuse will interfere with your true love when he does enter your life, and last a life time.

    Wait, make you “boyfriend” wait, do it right and for the right reasons. Sex really is NOT a Sport, and the people that think it is have never been in love, and I feel sorry for them.

  47. Lily April 4, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    My daughter is 10 and she is getting pubic hair and its quite nervous about it she wants to know how to masterbate and have sex what do I say !?

  48. angie May 3, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    I am a fourteen year old girl’s my mom died when I was four. my dad wont give me the talk so I was wondering if any of u can. love angie

  49. Mallory May 24, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    i’m an11year old girl and my mom’s given me the talk in a way because my 5 year old little brother will ask questions but, like, i guess you could, if you have a younger kid too, give the talk in snippets. :*

  50. Mallory May 25, 2013 at 2:32 am #

    i’m an 11year old girl and my mom’s given me the talk in a way because my 5 year old little brother will ask questions but, like, i guess you could, if you have a younger kid too, give the talk in snippets. :*

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