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I ask this Question on behalf of my neighbor.

Their 12 year old son saw his parents having sex.

As there is only one room in their home we can't say its the parents' mistake... but now the question is how do they handle the situation?

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Never talk about it again =)? –  Swati Aug 30 '12 at 12:42
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Your neighbour certainly has a lot of interesting problems. I guess that this is not the same as the other neighbour. (Also, you don't need to indicate that you are asking on behalf of your neighbour. Simply just ask.) –  Dave Clarke Aug 30 '12 at 12:49
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You might make fun of it but I think it's a great question! Did you ever walk in on your parents? Aaaawwkwaaard..... –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 30 '12 at 15:18
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@TorbenGundtofte-Bruun this situation may happen in somebody's life sometimes when child wake up during sex –  BlueBerry - vignesh4303 Aug 31 '12 at 9:55
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Note that not very long ago (well within the last 100 years), one room for the whole family was a common arrangement, and with most of the population living and working on farms, all children would be fairly well acquainted with the mechanics of mammalian reproduction. Somehow everybody survived, so the notion that this is "a situation" is a fairly recent concept. As far as the answer to the real question, I suppose that depends a lot on how neglectful the parents have been in explaining the facts of life up to this point. –  lgritz Sep 4 '12 at 19:27

3 Answers 3

up vote 16 down vote accepted

If he is 12 then it is a PERFECT time to have the sex talks with him. When my boy was 4 he walked in on us in the middle of the night, should have still been asleep. He is now 12 and still remembers but he doesn't seem to be any more or less interested or disturbed about that subject matter than other kids his age. He talks about it as if it was mater of fact yet still treats it as a taboo subject like kids should.

Not talking about it might have kept it "exciting" and that isn't what I think would have been best in that situation. We don't talk about it all the time, but when we do, I think it is easier to get to the heart of the matter with him. Now I have to worry about how to talk with my 7 year old daughter...

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I believe that parents should be there to help a child who asks for help. If the child does not ask for help, don't force it, unless the child shows signs of having problems and not being able to deal with them.

In the current context this means:

  1. If the son behaves normally, there is no reason to force a conversation. It is not the son's duty to help the parents alleviate their feelings of shame or guilt or worry.

  2. If the son appears disturbed by what he witnessed or seems to want to ask what was going on but does not dare, they should ask him, "would you like to talk about what happened?" The rest of the conversation depends on the son's answer: do you have to explain sex? do you have to explain that daddy did not hurt mommy? do you have to explain that parents enjoy physical contact? etc. The son will state what he wants to know. The parents may only help him express what his questions are. They should know their son well enough to recognize the signs of a question waiting to be encouraged.

  3. If the son behaves in a disturbingly different way (does not allow physical contact any longer, appears afraid etc.), talk to him and, if you cannot help him with explaining (see 2), talk to a psychologist.

I believe (3) is highly unlikely in a normal family with normal children in a Western country.

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Well, I don’t think that having sex is something that should disturb or harm a child or anybody else. It is common like eating or going to the toilet. While eating in most cultures is a shared event, going to the toilet and having sex is – in some cultures – something private (reason: you are concentrated and don’t want to be distracted). But one should be able to talk about it. And should do it, not wait and sit it out. The longer you wait the more difficult it will be to talk about it – for both sides. –  erik Mar 20 at 1:36

Ask the child to excuse your for a minute. Then, dress up quickly and attend to the child's needs, if any. If he/she brings up the topic, then you might have to discuss about sex. If he did not see much, you could probably pass it off as cuddling. If he saw too much, then you will have to explain everything to him, obviously in a way that he can understand.

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