How much do children need to know?

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Open communication in families is the most important thing, but how much should children know about their parents’ sexuality? A differentiated view reveals surprising perspectives on where children’s boundaries lie.

Families deal with the issue of parental sexuality differently. While some pedantically lock drawers and bedroom doors, others exchange caresses in front of the family.

How much should children know about their parents’ sex lives? At the age of 11, Manuel saw more than he wanted. His parents argued in his presence about his mother’s affairs, and his father often withdrew for days. “It was terrible, I didn’t want to know.”

Age-appropriate service
Hannah reports something similar. Her parents considered themselves particularly progressive – and when she was fourteen, they introduced her to the couple with whom they had had an open marriage for years. Today we would probably call it a polyamorous relationship model. Hannah didn’t think it was great: “They didn’t care what I thought about it.” Condoms under the bed, sex toys in the bathroom: children find too much insight into their parents’ sexuality disgusting.

Should parents hide their sexuality? In principle no. Of course, the details are none of children’s business. But conveying shame is the wrong approach. You can discuss sexual questions openly and in an age-appropriate manner with children.

However, the emphasis should not be on the needs of adults. When sharing your own experiences, always ask yourself: How is my child doing? The child’s boundaries should also be your boundaries.

Source: Krone

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