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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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...
I believe that parents should be there to help a child, if it asks for help. If the child does not ask for help, don't force it on him, unless the child shows signs of having problems he cannot deal with himself.
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 [he] 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 no 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.