Parenting Question: What does a 10 year old boy need to know about sex and puberty?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Neserk, Jun 25, 2004.

  1. Neserk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    I know, loaded question. But any former 10 year old males and any parents who have some input, (especially books to help) would be appreciated.

    This is my step-son. My husband would like to have an intial "the talk" with him while we have him to ourselves for the summer.
  2. invaLPsion macrumors 65816


    Jan 2, 2004
    The Northlands
    As a former 10-year-old, I would like to say... :confused:

    I'm staying outta this one.

    But seriously, most schools take care of "the talk" instead of parents. I remember getting plently of info in school, myself.
  3. oreo macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Kent, UK
    I remember having the talk at school, my parents never mentioned anything too me
  4. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    Neserk, I am afraid I will not be too much help here...but FWIW...

    First of all, I would not leave it up to the school, but that is just me...

    Also, what is this child like? Is he mature for his age? Inquisitive? Intelligent?...those (and other relevant) traits would go a long way in us formulating advice for you, or indeed, the way you should approach the matter with him...

    With that in mind, I hesitate to offer any more advice, other than ask if it is necessary at this point to broach this subject at all, or to what degree, which is related to what I asked above...

    If it were me, I would work on the subject casually over the duration of the summer, and encourage a comfortable atmosphere about the subject-matter and the relationships between the three of you...and encourage him to ask questions...

    I'm sorry I can't be more specific...perhaps if you mentioned more, I might have something else to offer...

    In any case, Good Luck and it is strange to post with you outside of the Political Forum...
  5. 3rdpath macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2002
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    two books that my wife and i have found helpful are:

    " how to talk to your child about sex" by Linda and Richard Eyre

    " keys to your child's healthy sexuality" by De Freitas

    i wish my parents had discussed things with me cause lord knows i didn't get any usefull information in least until my psych classes in college.

    good'll go great.
  6. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    my parents told me about the talk when i was about 10 and 11, they wouldnt do it all at once just once in a while

    id rather hear stuff from my parents than at school

    but my school also took care of it; maybe its best for a chile to feel comfortable talking about it at home and at school
  7. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I know parents who found a good solution when they felt awkward bringing it up in conversation or thought the kid wouldn't take it right when it came up out of the blue. They started another way: Go to the library or a bookstore and get an age-appropriate book about puberty, maturity, etc. Tell him you want to make sure he knows the facts that are in the book, and you are available to answer questions or talk about it. Hand him the book, then back off for a bit. Even if he feigns disinterest, he'll read it thoroughly. Then look for your chance to bring it up later, when it's no longer cold turkey.
  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    your step-son knows about sex, far more than you can imagine. probably he hears graphic jokes that would turn your face white. At 10, a lot of kids are learning frank slang terms for sexual activities (some that are purely imagination) that i won't even mention here. I doubt you have too much basic information to give him, but it's important for you (by you, i mean whoever has the talk) to go over everything, to set the record straight. Kids learn these misconceptions about sex as rumors when they're young, and it sticks in their heads. Explains why some girls in my high school believed douching with coca-cola would prevent pregnancy (for those wondering, it just makes things sticky). I'd say, cover the whole "masturbation is normal", then lay out some guidelines based on the morality that you've taught him. Perhaps you'd like to say, when you meet someone and get married, you can have sex. This is probably a good way to alienate the kid, because face it, teenagers do stupid **** and they certainly don't wait for marriage. Personally, i'd tell the kid, sex is not so great that you need to run out and start doing it as if it's a race, but that it's normal for him to want to develop sexual relationships in the next 5 years or so, but that there are complex emotional issues attached to sex, so he should be very sure of himself before he does it, and when he does he should be absolutely safe (if you guys can't say the word "condom" without feeling uncomfortable, now is the time to learn). The key is to establish a sense of trust, that you know he'll make good decisions and that he can talk to you about problems and questions he has without fearing judgment and awkwardness. My mom and i have a very frank reparte about sex, and it's something I appreciated immensely through my teenage years.

  9. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    A good start is the Library. Head there and check out some books. There are many views, and methods to explain this topic. Find a few that both match your values and you feel comfortable with.
    At 10, they should b able to know the biological differences between the sexes in clinical terms, learn about puberty and what changes occur, and learn about your families values - now do not scare them, but make it clear if you have strong opinions about premarital sex, or such. Its important no matter what to make them feel comfortable. You would rather have them come back to you and not be afraid if there is a problem like an STD or pregnancy.
    Bottom line, 10 is old enough to get the knowledge and to young to be out there using it. But for continued safety, let them know the options and if they are shy, give them a book to read on their own and be available to answer questions later.

    Best of luck.

  10. Awimoway macrumors 65816


    Sep 13, 2002
    My parents talked to my brother and me about it when I was 7 or 8 and my brother was a year younger. They frankly admitted it was early and hadn't really intended to discuss it with us so young, but there was a lot of stuff in the news about a serial rapist in the city (who, it turns out, had been frequently jogging through our neighborhood), and they were afraid we would hear something about it and begin to wonder. Kind of silly, really. I don't ever remember talking about the rapist with anyone except my parents.

    But what they told us was kind of a basic, clinical rundown of where children come from. They explained the mechanism, but not in so much detail that I would have fully known how to make it happen if I had wanted to—though certainly enough that I could have figured out the rest.

    Anyway, they filled in the rest, when we were about 12, with some more explicit instructions on how it's done (essentially by giving me a book and asking afterward if I had any questions, which was fine by me--talking about sex with your parents: eww, gross!)

    Probably the most important thing they told me—and you won't get this at school (really, leaving this job to the school is understandable but really deplorable at the same time)—is that it can and should be an act of love, but most of the images we see displayed of it are much more immature, meaningless versions that trample on the sacredness of intimacy. In essence, they taught me to respect sex, and I am very grateful for that guidance.
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    My parents never brought it up, and I didn't bring it up to my parents. The school taught me.

    I would have brought it up the first time a sex education class was offered at his school. I remember that it was offered to me in 4th grade (when I was 9), and my parents had to sign a note to allow permission for me to attend. If he brings home the note, I would have signed it and talked to him about it after the first class. Its not too late now, but at 10 or 11, they know things already. Have the talk anyway in case he has any questions, but you can't teach him about sex anymore from the ground up, if that's what you wanted.

    Glad to hear that some parents don't rely on the school for everything. :)
  12. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004
    Our main concern is that we won't have him for an extended period of time until he is 11.5. We want to make sure if he has a "wet dream" or an erection he knows what is going on.

    There are also issues of him having a neighbor girl over for a sleepover. :rolleyes:

    Completely inappropriate but some people (who shall remain nameless) are rather naive about boy-girl relationships.

    Mostly we don't want him to freak out anymore than usual when he does have a "wet dream" or erection and we don't want him to father a child at 15. I guess those are the two basic goals.

    My parents told me *nothing* which meant I heard all kinds of crazy things (like Paul mentioned). They were waiting for me to ask questions :rolleyes:

    I learned about having my period in school and thought I'd have it once a day for 7 days (why else would it be called a period?) Boy was I shocked at 13!!

    I was 17-18 when I found out a guy had to have an erection to have sex (I thought they could when ever they wanted to) and 18-19 when I found out (for sure, I suspected) that men had pubic hair.

    So, my experience in this area is sadly lacking. I'd like to do it more right than I had.

    Thanks for all the info, from everyone!
  13. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Im 16 (in august) and I learned most things I need to know about sex by 12 or 13. School didn't teach me much, nor my parents, I just learned it from friends and stuff. Tell him its normal to masturbate though.
  14. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2002
    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    I can remember a boy at school telling me that you had to "pee" in a girl to get her pregnant. I said "You're stupid. It's not pee, its cum!" THIS WAS IN THE FIRST GRADE!!! I learned everything from books, magazines, other kids, and eventually school. My parent's never spoke a work to me about sex. And then, when they realized I was sleeping with my girlfriend, my mother treated me like ****. Like I should "know better". Trust me, it's never too early to start a dialogue. You don't have to break it all down at once right out of the blue. (That happened to my wife when she asked what a tampon was for at age 7. It really freaked her out.) My sons are four and six. My four year-old asked me what "gay" is just yesterday. I told him that it is when men want to marry men and women want to marry women. I think that was good enough for a four-year-old. I considered saying "love" instead of "want to marry", but he loves everyone. I didn't feel a need to get into sex over such a little question at four years old. My six-year-old learned the word gay at school and never asked me about it. I just heard him using it as an insult toward someone. So, I had to get into the whole politics and religion thing with him. He also went through a period where he was pulling his penis out and playing with it without regard for other people who were standing around. I sat down alone with him and just told him that if it feels good to play with it that's fine, but he needs to do that in private. He seemed to understand that. I asked him if he wanted to talk about sex and he said "maybe later". He seemed more uninterested than uncomfortable. He is just six, but I think I need to have a more in-depth talk with him soon. My wife works with kids aged 6-11, and she catches them touching each other quite often. She heard one boy ask a girl for oral sex, and most of them are already saying things like "suck my ----" and spreading rumors about somebody having sex with somebody! I guess I'm in the same boat as you in that I don't know how much to tell at this age. But, I know I've got to start talking soon or he is going to learn (and possibly do) it at school with other kids. I guess you just have to know your kids and their environment to make that decision.
  15. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    in sub saharan africa, where aids and unwanted pregnancy are rampant, and many 10 year olds are sexually active, or a couple of years away from that, i can see a need for "the talk"

    but here in the west, i don't see the need as much...when i was 12, our school system gave us some sex education and kept up the information here and there until high school graduation

    ten years old sounds a little young, but i can't really envison any major downsides to educating someone that early...what he doesn't hear from you in the next year or two, he will definitely hear from his friends...and they may not have the proper perspective on dating and sex

    when it comes to talking about drugs, i don't think 10 is too early
  16. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    i agree with paul, he probably already knows alot. if he is computer savvy like i was he has probably already venured into the world of porn, and if you have cable and the premium channels he has probably watched skinimax at night. now i am just relating this to when i was 10 :), your step son may be completly different.

  17. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    Yes, at the brakes in the cafeteria or at the lockers room!

    I just remember the kid is a person and talk to him that way. Do not led the school take your place because parents need to have that comunication with their kids.

    In my life I realized I needed to have more information from my parents, specially values. The school can go so far.

    To led that topic (and others) to third paries is very irresponsible. I mean, no wonder TV are the foster parents of th kids as well.

    Do you want a real family or a plantation of kids?

    Did you bring a kid to the world to do what with him? To make the world be responsible of him?

    Was your kid an impulse to consolidate your marrieage or were you really aware he was about to need you your entire life?

    Those are the questionsI would give to parents.

    No wonder the North American Society gets colder every day. NO wonder this same society are having problems undertanding other society. Jus because does not have what it takes any more.

    If you feel sad, get Lexapro, that is it. Why do not seat a chat like in the old fashion way?
  18. Neserk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2004

    I heard something similiar in first grade.

    Since I don't have a penis (and hence no experience) I have a question. I know infants have erections, I assume it is true of all boys through out there life. Yes?
  19. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Well from personal experience, I've had (well noticed them) them since an early age... 4-5 years old, although obviously at that age, one doesn't know why it happens. :p But yes, it starts from an early age and to be honest I don't ever recall worrying about why it got 'hard' so to speak.

    Reading some of the posts in this thread, it's made me realise how fortunate I've been with my sex education. We started SE at school when we were 7, starting with the basics (the mechanics) and then carrying all the way through to 10 and 11 with the more emotional side, I've also been fortunate to be blessed with parents who have been very open with the whole facts of life information, even from a relatively early age so it was never uncomfortable for me to ask questions about sex.

    I do find it incredibly worrying that so many people have not had their parents discuss sex with them at the age when children become most inquisitive about babies etc etc... :eek: that avoidance simply leads to nonsense like whole 'peeing' and 'douching with the coke' things, or you can't get pregnant standing up... :rolleyes:
  20. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    hmmm when i was 8 (?),when my mother got pregnant with my younger brother,i got a nice book for children who explained the situation for me...
    since then i pretty much knew 'what was going on' but i was lacking interest for further talks... playing
    then in school (10-11 ?) came biology as subject and that was it...

    yeah before al lthat i off course watched the kid tv series "Il était une fois ... La vie" (anybody knows if this were aired in the US too? i guess they were made by soem Albert Barillé) which showed what was going on in the human body..there was a episode about birth/pregnancy too..( best explaination of the human body for kids IMHO for example what happens during an infection etc. )
  21. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Ugh. My son just turned 10.. I should keep a close watch on this thread.

    Funny thing. I was just talking to another parent about how I would be able to handle all the issues that my son would have to face when he got older. I was bragging that the only one I would have issues with is driving. :p After looking at this thread, I realize now that he IS older, and I'm getting nervous thinking about him and girls (shudder). :eek:
  22. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    I wish someone gave me advice when I was about 15 on sex techniques instead of what sex was. My first time was horrible, neither of us knew what the hell we were doing. :eek:

    p.s. I was older than 15 :p
  23. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    don't feel bad, my first time i didn't know what i was doing either, but practice makes perfect and still does.

  24. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    many techniques that may gross people out (many during foreplay like s&m, bondage, fantasy roleplay, oral sex, etc) are not the ones which can make a person pregnant

    so unfortunatley many kids/young adults new to sex do the obvious, which is intercourse and least "gross", and which is easiest to do, end up with the biggest possible consequences like STDs and unwanted pregnancy

    too many teens consider condoms too embarassing to buy or uncool

    nothing out there puts a person more at risk for STDs than sexual intercourse

    and teens are most fertile among any people out there so even intercourse without completion, so to speak, is no guarantee for non pregnancy

    as long as the human race is around and kids learn about sex after they practice it, there will be too many unwanted pregnancies out there and children raised without a proper support network...which can lead to more unwanted pregnancies and start a vicious cycle which can last generations
  25. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    i agree. i think one problem is that early on to many school programs encourage abstinence as opposed to safe sex. many kids are just uninformed, even my friends who are in high school and college. they rely on the pullout method to much, or just assume that she is clean and so forth. because of our college campus there has been a huge surge in STD's, i believe syphilis if i remember correct and i remember at high school there was a good amount of teen pregnancies. its awful.


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