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Author Topic: answering a 12 year-old's questions about sex
ericaisawesome
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Member # 101232

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I've been babysitting two boys for the past 5 years. The older one is 12 years old. He just started having sex education class at school. Lately, he's been asking me questions about sex. For example, the other day, he asked me if I had a boyfriend. After I told him I did not, he asked me if I have sex. I told him, "That's not an appropriate question to ask an adult." Was this a good way to respond? Also, what should I do if he asks me other questions about sex? I want to tell him that he should ask his mom or dad, but they are fairly strict Catholics, so I'm not sure how they'd feel about him going to them asking questions about such things. Advice about how to deal with this situation would be greatly appreciated.

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-Erica D.

Posts: 7 | From: New Jersey, USA | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Onionpie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 41699

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I think your answer was fine. You could go on to explain to him that there's nothing shameful about asking about sex, but information like that is private, which is why it's not really appropriate to ask someone that. Just so he doesn't get the idea that he must not ask about sex ever. If you're comfortable with doing so, you could then direct him towards some sex education resources that you know are reliable.

If you feel like you shouldn't do that though (as you said, his parents are strict Catholics so they may not want him learning sex ed, so you may feel like it'd be inappropriate of you to do that), you could just tell him that that's a conversation he should have with his parents, and that you're not comfortable answering those questions.

Does that sound good? If you DO want to give him some good sex education resources, do you know of any good books, or do you want some help finding some to recommend?

Posts: 1311 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ericaisawesome
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Member # 101232

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Hi Onionpie! Thank you for the response. Yes, that sounds good. Do you know of any sex education books that are appropriate for 12 year-olds? I can see if their library has one, since we go to the library sometimes. Thank you!

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-Erica D.

Posts: 7 | From: New Jersey, USA | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'd check with his parents first before giving him any books. Especially if you want to keep your sitting job! It might be better to give his parents these titles, let them know he's clearly having questions about sex and wanting to talk to someone -- and that he did to you -- and make clear you're okay with helping if they want that, but want to make sure not to overstep their parenting choices, either.

But for sure, there are a couple good ones out there for middle schoolers:
• The What’s Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: A Growing Up Guide for Parents and Sons, by Lynda Madaras
• What’s Going On Down There?: Answers to Questions Boys Find Hard to Ask, by Karen Gravelle
• The Guy Book: An Owner’s Manual, by Mavis Jukes
• The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech, by Gary Paulsen

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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ericaisawesome
Neophyte
Member # 101232

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Thank you for your reply, Heather! I'll definitely talk to his parents before exposing him to any books. Hopefully his parents will OK the idea. I have a feeling that they won't have a problem with it, since the books you mentioned are geared towards kids his age. I'll let you know how it goes with asking them. Thanks again!

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-Erica D.

Posts: 7 | From: New Jersey, USA | Registered: Dec 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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