My wife and I began what is going to be a series of planned and impromtu talks with our children about sex. My wife spent Friday evening and half of Saturday with our daughter and I did the same with our son.
There were planned conversations like the classic, "Where do babies come from?" conversation and the, "Here's what is and will be happening to your body" conversation.
No question was off the table.
"How does the dad give the mom the seeds?" was my favorite question from my seven year old.
Talking about sex with your children can be an intimidating thing to do. There are certain fears that parents have about doing some sort of damage to their kids. And, it is good to be cautious. At the same time, it is important to understand that sexual conversation is upon them already.
My daughter told me about a boy in her 3rd grade class who was always talking about humping. After some exploration of the kind of humping he was talking about, it turns out he was talking about what dogs do. "Humping," as it turns out has not changed in definition since I was a kid - a relief or sorts for me. However, it did alert me to the fact that this kind of conversation and likely a whole lot of others are eching through the school walls in third grade.
Another thing to consider about talking to your children about sex is that young children, unless they have had extensive TV exposure or experienced abuse, is that kids have not been exposed to the misuses and abuses of sex. Sex, when spoken of in appropriate ways, cannot be a dirty thing to a kid. Sex isn't dirty. It's interesting to a kid. It's weird to a kid. It might be gross to a kids, but not in an immoral sort of way.
Biological forces are at work in your child which will lead them to shed their little bodies for larger adult bodies. Sexual development is not something to be left to the echoing voices in school. At some point in school there will be formal sex education. It is good to have laid some groundwork at home prior to this happening in school.
Finally, what I like most about the time I spent with my son (and the time my wife spent with my daughter) was that we can talk. They are not afraid to ask us a question. Since I didn't freak out when my son asked me about how the dad gives the seed to the mom, he does not think that to be a bad question. What awful tihngs can be done to a kid who asks an innocent question. I told him it was a really good question and that he was smart to think of such things.
I want that door to remain open as long as as possible. The longer he feels safe asking me such questions the better chance I have in making a difference in his life. Because, no matter what, he is going to ask these kinds of questions and many, many more as he grows. I'd rather he ask me than someone who gives him bad information. I'd rather I show him how to get good information than to leave it up to the boys in class who "know" about humping.