It’s bedtime, and the kids are asleep. The moment has finally arrived; you’ve managed to steal a moment alone with your spouse.
Things get amorous, and you’re too invested in the moment to hear the sound of little feet padding down the hall.
Next, you hear a voice, “Mom? Dad?” Your pajama-clad child stands in the doorway of your bedroom with a curious expression on her face.
At the same time, you’re dying a thousand parental deaths as you frantically try to figure out just how much eye contact your kid got.
This cringe-inducing situation is regrettable. But it is not the end of the world. Here’s how to handle the aftermath of walking in on parents.
Walking in on Parents: Tips To Help You Cope
Years ago, our parents and their children lived in one cave together and later moved to one room, yet they managed to copulate and have kids.
With this in mind, we can be convinced that children can survive witnessing or overhearing their parents while having sex.
However, this does not mean that parents should go ahead and do what they like in front of their kids.
As a parent, how do you deal with such an embarrassing situation when it happens? Do we have to worry that they’ll be traumatized from what they saw?
Rather than living in fear, here are some tips on how to handle the aftermath of walking in on parents.
1. Be Calm, Don’t Be Ashamed
If your child breezed through your lockless (or unlocked) bedroom door during lovemaking? Do not panic. Take a moment to collect your thoughts and your clothing if possible.
Your first instinct to this situation may not be the best response, so take a few moments to recollect your thoughts before explaining the situation.
Also, try not to overthink the situation. It could be possible that your child did not see everything — or much of anything.
According to Leman, a preschool-age child is presumably unaware of what is happening under those sheets, so giving too much information or long, clinical explanations will confuse them.
Typically most 3-4-year-olds won’t know what is going on, even if they see something.
That means parents can get themselves another lifeline by saying to their kids, “Mommy and Daddy were hugging because we love each other.
2. Privacy and Boundaries are Key
Just because you have a different view about sex doesn’t mean that you should do it in front of your kids. Prevention is key here.
A child’s memory is sharp, and they can recreate several behaviors they see their parents do in front of them.
Create a rule of always knocking on doors first before anyone comes in (including you, too), and make sure the bedroom door lock system works. You can also buy a door tag that says knock before you come in.
As a parent living with kids, ensure you have privacy for private time.
Kids should not be exposed to eroticism, and you should not bring them into it in any inappropriate way.
Do everything you can to avoid seeing how adults have sex, knowing they have sex, and seeing how they have sex.
“That can be traumatizing, so I recommend locking up sex toys and condoms, putting parental controls on phones or tv, and having private time with your partner for sexual activity.
3. Be Honest and Talk about It
Do not try the glossing-over tactic if your child is out of preschool.
It is suitable for children older than 5 to be given an age-appropriate explanation of the situation.
Your child may probably know or think more about sex than parents realize at this age. So as a parent, it would help if you honestly approach the topic.
A parent’s ultimate goal in a parent-child dialogue about sex should be to answer questions honestly without oversharing and leave the door open for future discussions.
Do this with a short, reassuring conversation soon after the incident (most preferably, the following day).
You should be the person to bring up the topic. Allowing your child to raise the issue puts the responsibility on the child’s shoulders.
Although some kids may ask questions rapidly, others might feel embarrassed or nervous to bring the topic up, preferring to wait for a parent to initiate the conversation.
Now is not the time to be clever by introducing new terminology or confusing concepts.
Have that conversation with him in mind that he already knows about sex; you can start by saying something like, “Remember the last time we talked about how babies are made?” Yes, we want you to have a sister.
If your child is over 8, it is time to introduce them to sex education.
4. Apology Talk
The morning after the “incident,” have a word with your child, away from siblings, television, and other distractions.
You can start the conversation by saying, “Hey, you know when you walked us into our room last night? I’m sorry. If we had used the lock on our bedroom door, it would have prevented you from seeing that.
Apologizing to your child neutralizes the child’s mind of any wrong he might feel he did.
Most kids are frightened by what they see. It will help if you teach them that sex is part of marriage and adulthood.
You can say something like, “Hey kid, this is what all moms and dads do to make babies. Using “ALL” in the sentence makes it more universal and less scary for them.
Respond to a child’s questions in factual, plain language, without providing additional information or answering questions the child didn’t ask.
Speak to your child in a comfortable language that’s comfortable for you.
Looking nervous or tense tells your child that this is a wrong subject, something parents don’t talk about.
For most parents, sex education is taboo, but it can be a teachable moment for you and your kids.
So have that conversation with them; if you are a single mom or dad in a new relationship, it is important to speak openly about it with your child and apologize for having discovered it in this matter.
Read: Parenting Tips (Dos And Don’ts Of Raising A Child)
5. Teach Your Child about Sex Early And Often
As a parent, you should teach your children the facts of life as early as they can speak and identify their body parts, albeit age-appropriate.
Sex education should be ongoing. You can start with the fundamental and layer in topics until you get to intimacy, pleasure, and connection.”
As a parent, when you are in control of the conversation and consistent in your message, children tend to learn about sex the right way.
An open conversation about sex can prevent negative consequences like teenage pregnancies. It also preserves their purity by giving them the truth rather than learning from their peer groups or watching adult videos.”
Kids need to know they can turn to their parents for honest and real-life advice on this topic when they need it, no matter how far off they hope it is.
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I hope this article has given an in-depth discussion to answer the question of how to cope with walking in on parents while having sex.
Even if you have never been caught having sex in front of your kids, you probably have heard about it happening to friends or celebrities.
Rather than overthinking the situation or living in fear, be calm and take a few moments and talk about it with them.
Use simple, age-appropriate language, let the child know he did nothing wrong by walking in, and don’t overexplain or give too many details, especially if the child is younger than 5.
Finally, do not forget to invest in a lock system for your bedroom.