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A near relative discussed this issue with me. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters and everyone sleeps in the same room. They cannot afford as of now to live in a large apartment with separate room for kids.

So, it seems that one night after the kids slept, the parents were doing the special cuddling, to put it neatly. After the act, they came to knew that one of their son who is 6 years old was awake and pretending to be asleep.

He was pretending because of strict rules of bedtime and the kid had to get up early the next day for school.

The parents are concerned that they did a mistake and should have thoroughly checked if everyone was asleep. This is the first time it happened to them and they are clueless.

The mother told the child the next day that she was applying some sort of balm to the father as he had some pain and asked the child if he was awake. The child told that he didn't see anything as it was dark but heard 'noises' and then 'smiled'.

How to deal with children in such situations and what could be the psychological impact on them? Is it too early for them to understand about intimacy? What if they get more curious and want to experiment?

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    Personally, I cannot fathom why anyone in the world would choose to have sex while their four children were in the same room as them. May 4, 2022 at 14:06
  • @AravindSuresh the OP states that they live in a one-bedroom apartment for financial reasons. They have few choices for privacy. Lots of families across the globe share rooms to sleep in, and in UK/US history, it was common amongst poorer families until quite recently. I think youre being a little harsh about realities for some people May 9, 2022 at 13:28
  • @bigbadmouse In that case, they could have chosen a time when their children were at school or someplace and taken the day off for each other. Just a remark. May 9, 2022 at 15:40

3 Answers 3

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From personal experience coming to terms with how soon kids these days are being exposed to information about "sacred" acts, my overall recommendation is to be open and honest with a view to educate them (better they learn from you guys than from questionable sources). There are a couple of options in my opinion:

  1. Just let it go. He is young enough that if he did not see anything specific, it might be OK
  2. Have a matter of fact chat with him if he is curious, that mom and dad were "being intimate", which is "grown-up speak for showing each other that they love each other"
  3. Be matter of fact and have a chat with them about how babies are born. They are young enough that the whole birds and the bees thing is just factual information to them
  4. Read a book with them (eg: https://www.amazon.com/Its-Perfectly-Normal-Changing-Growing/dp/0763668729, not an endorsement of the book or Amazon). We did this, and it helped.

All the best.

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For most of history, and in much of the world today, privacy was/is a privilege of the wealthy. Having appropriate behaviors modeled in the family context is not necessarily unhealthy. If they don't make a big deal of it, he probably won't.

However, they will want to make sure he is aware that there is a proper place and time (in private with one's spouse). Kids will experiment, whether or not the behavior has been modeled. Having observed, he is more likely to experiment. Like any other parents, they will just need to deal with it when it happens.

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  • I mean in pre-tudor england, the curtain around your bed was your privacy for the very rich.
    – WendyG
    Mar 19, 2019 at 11:29
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Whatever you do, please don't lie to your kids and create strange excuses or euphemisms for what you actually did, like your "balm" example. A simplistic age appropriate but fully truthful answer should suffice. In a large room setting like you describe, it's inevitable that someone will be awake when parents are being intimate. Deal with is in a straightforward way, and any future noise from the other side of the room will be treated the same way as loud snoring.

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