Have your kids ever walked in on you in the heat of the moment? Did you ever catch your parents gettin' busy when you were younger?
Dr. Jess’s Facebook followers shared their views on this topic.
Here’s what they had to say…
"Why is it OK for children to see violence, yet any source of affection or lovemaking is frowned upon?"
"You didn't mean to have an orgy in front of your child. You do what you can do to ensure you and your partner are alone. But is it really that awful to have a child walk in on you?"
"I walked in on my parents and years later after their divorce I walked in on my mother and her boyfriend too. Not exactly what I wanted to see and wouldn't recommend to others, but it wasn't devastating and hell-bounding. Didn't make me need a shrink. The fighting in the home did though."
"I think we raise better quality individuals when we share respect and honor our flesh. Make it normal and beautiful works of art. That our bodies are not to be felt shameful about, nor how they work. That we work and function. It's just skin. There is nothing but pride and respect to had.
So I raise my daughter with the same principle. Naked bodies are nothing to focus shame on. It's just a person's body. Unless the body is behaving sexual, it is not sexual. Because our bodies are beautiful like that. It has many purposes. With that, we teach that bodies are special, and we need to have respect for it, and so do others, and we have to do the same for other people's bodies too.
So, when my daughter walked in on her father and I in the middle of the night, I jumped up, more worried about the reason she came in, and not that we were having sex. Because sex happens, but bad dreams shouldn't.
Other people might not be able to understand, but I can assure you my child's therapy will not be due to her walking in on her father and I having sex."
"Mine have walked in a few times. A simple "what do you want/need?" works well. We just tell them that mommy and daddy love each other and need special time together. They usually just turn around and go back to bed."
"Make sure they are OK and if they ask questions, say you are having a romantic time. Then get them to go back to bed."
"No. We don't have sex if they are with us. We sleep in PJ's and aren't overly romantic (kissing, holding hands, hugging etc.) when they are around."
"What are you doing... get off me?"
Here’s a summary of my advice:
- If you react with shame, your child will react with shame. If you react with embarrassment, your child will react with embarrassment. It is unlikely that a young child will respond negatively to the sex act itself; their problematic reaction is more likely to be in response to your emotional state.
- For younger kids, it's important to use this as a teachable moment regarding boundaries. They need to learn to knock before coming in because your bedroom is a “private space".
- Ask them if they have any questions or concerns. Note that if you don't answer their questions, they'll go straight to Google and YouTube.
- Promote a general dialogue around sex. If you can talk to them about poop, you should be able to talk to them about sex.
- Consider approaching the situation with humor for older children who are embarrassed: Aren't you glad we still like each other?
I hope you find my tips on handling your kids walking in on you having sex helpful, and remember to always practice safer sex.