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Thursday, 14 September 2000

Child Sees Parents 'At It'

Written by  Elanah Wernik, MSW

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Child Sees Parents 'At It'

Last night, when my husband and I finished making love, we noticed that our six-year-old son was asleep at the foot of our bed. He must have come in while we were making love and fallen asleep. We didn't hear a thing. Was he traumatized? Should we say anything to him?


Your son most probably saw you making love but he obviously felt comfortable enough to fall right back asleep. Most of us have had the experience of waking our children (who have fallen asleep in front of the TV or in our beds) and getting them back to their rooms, speaking with them, giving them a kiss goodnight-- and the next morning the kids don't remember a thing.

The issue here is not so much what he saw but how he understood it. He needs to be asked: What woke him up and why did he come into your room? What did he see? How did he feel about it? On the basis of what he says, you can respond in kind.

He needs to know that grown-ups who love one another express their feelings in different ways, including physical affection, like when mom and dad kiss or hug during the day. When parents are alone in their room, being naked and touching each other is another way of showing love. "You too will do that when you're a grown-up." To prevent this in the future, the door to your bedroom should be shut and locked when you're making love.

The children should also be taught to respect your privacy and not bother you when the door to the bedroom is closed.

Last modified on Sunday, 30 October 2011 16:20
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Elanah Wernik, MSW

Elanah Wernik, MSW, is a family and sex therapist.

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