For most of us, sex is a private act. We probably cringe at the thought of anyone witnessing those moments in which we are totally vulnerable and responding to our most primal instincts. This is particularly true when it comes to our children catching us “in the act.” What should you do when your children catch you having sex? Don’t panic; I’ll tell you!
When you start your children on sex education early (as early as they can talk), your child will already have a good foundation you can build on. So, if you haven’t done so, start planning on having the conversation about “the birds and the bees” as soon as possible and in a way in which your children can understand. Moreover, plan on having this conversation periodically throughout your child’s young life, as kids need particular sex information at different developmental stages.
What Did You See?
If your children catch you having sex, calmly ask the child about what he or she saw before offering any explanations. For instance, I have a friend whose toddler saw her and her husband having sex and the child thought they were playing “horsie”. (The child asked if he could play too!) So don’t offer any explanations until you are sure of what your child witnessed and understood. Based on your child’s reaction, plan to offer a short explanation and send him off to sleep again. As children process information over time, he may not have a clear notion of what he saw right away but could come with questions later. Be ready!
Read Related: No Time For Sex? Make Time. Here’s How.
Parents Way of Expressing Love
Parents can explain to children that grown-ups have a special way of bonding and expressing their love for each other, and that this usually happens when parents have time alone in the bedroom after their children go to sleep. You could name this time as “the hour of love”, “parents’ intimate time” or any other title you see fit. I know of parents who tell their children that they need time to “make love” and this is perfectly okay. What children need to understand is that it is okay for parents to have their own time to be alone and love each other.
Lock Those Doors
Finally, consider locking your bedroom door before going to bed. You can also teach your children to knock on the door or announce themselves before they enter the room. For younger children, keeping the monitor on while they sleep is a good idea.
If your children catch you having sex, it is not the end of the world. The first thing you must understand is that you will likely be much more embarrassed than your child is traumatized by what he or she has witnessed. In short: be calm, offer age-appropriate explanations, and continue the sex talk throughout their lives.
I welcome your comments! If you prefer to send your comments privately or for suggestions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.