Sex interrupted: How to handle being walked in on by your kid
“Daddy was doing [push-ups] on mommy.”
That’s what a seven-year-old boy recently told his neighbour after walking in on his parents having sex, according to his traumatized mother‘s post on the Mumsnet forum.
The boy also performed a rousing “rendition of the funny noises” he heard her make. They were apparently “so loud they woke him up.”
The coitus interruptus opened the floodgates for other parents who’d been caught with their pants down.
One mom recalled her seven-year-old shouting: “Are you two bouncing on the bed? Can I play?'”
Another recounted the time her eight-year-old daughter walked in and “just stood there.” When the dad finally noticed her, he pretended he was having an asthma attack.
“Oh. I thought you were having sex,” the girl reportedly replied before walking out.
The internet is filled with similarly awkward tales. A lot of the threads get started by teens. Some admit they were turned on by what they heard (and in some cases even tried to sneak a peak).
For the most, though, it seemed to be a jarring experience.
How to deal with it
Sexologist Jess O’Reilly says the way you handle the situation is super important.
“If you react with shame, your child will react with shame. If you react with embarrassment, your child will react with embarrassment,” she said.
For younger kids, the most important thing to get across is boundaries. They need to learn to knock before coming in because your bedroom is a “private space.”
She encourages parents to eventually ask kids what they saw and if they have any questions.
“Nobody wants to follow up with that because it’s so scary that you might actually have to answer their questions,” O’Reilly said.
“[But] if you don’t answer their questions, Google or YouTube will … and those are not always reliable sources.”
Without guidance on how to filter sexual messages, kids could learn an inappropriate sexual script, to objectify women or other clichés.
O’Reilly adds while parents are the ultimate experts on what their child can handle and at what age, kids should know that sex is part of a healthy relationship.
“You want to promote a dialogue around sex, even if you’re uncomfortable. If you can clean up their poop, you can talk to them about sex.
“If you create a culture of shame and secrecy around sex, it puts your kids at risk,” O’Reilly warned.
This means they should know the proper names for their genitals from the get-go.
Older kids are more likely to be somewhat mortified by seeing (or hearing) their parents “doing it.”
“You can approach this with humour [and say], ‘aren’t you glad we still like each other to do this?”
Another pro-tip: install a lock on your door.
SOUND OFF: Have you ever been walked in on? Tell us about it using the form below. We might use your submission in a future story.
For some more tips on how to talk to kids about sex, check out the guide below:
— With file from Carmen Chai, Global NewsFollow @TrishKozicka
© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.