It’s the most embarrassing and confusing thing in the world when children accidentally come across their parents having sex. Has something like that happened to you too? Wondering what you should do next while feeling guilty all the while? Worry not, for we’re going to look at all the aspects of this situation and give you a better idea of how to deal with it. Let’s look at this story first.
It was a Sunday morning. Neither of us had to rush for work and we knew the kids would sleep in their room. Perfect time to get frisky! So we slid under the covers and got it on! At the heights of passion, I’m riding him and my three-year-old girl opens the door, rubbing her sleepy eyes. What’s worse, we were so engrossed that I didn’t even realize she was in the room until she said “Mumma” with her jaw wide open.
We quickly toppled all over each other, pulled up the covers, and I told her to go to her room and that I’ll be right there. Since then, I’ve avoided the topic like the plague and can’t meet her eyes. Have I scarred her for life somehow? What do I do? How about you? Was your predicament similar to mine? Tricky, eh? So for those of you who have not experienced it yet, or who might be going through it, let’s see what you can do right after seeing your children while having sex.
what to do if your kid catches you having sex
Maybe you forgot to lock the door or maybe the kid just wanted to be consoled by you. No matter what the case, now that they’ve caught you in the act, how do you proceed? You’ve seen such scenes play out in movies and stories, but never did you imagine it could happen to you as well. But now that your child has caught their parents having sex, there’s no point in thinking back and regretting it.
We asked our expert psychologist Prachi Vaish, who is also a trauma therapist and co-founder of The Emotional Wellness Initiatives to talk about what happens when a kid walks in on parents having sex and how to deal with this situation. She says, “There are plenty of ways to deal with this situation, and the more calmly you handle it, the easier it would be for you and the child. So here are some answers to what to do if your child sees you making love and getting some undercover action.”
1. Don’t panic
The moment the child enters your room and sees their parents having sex, don’t panic yet. Even though you might be extremely tempted to flap all over the place, probably fall over each other, and cover yourselves up…hold it! Take a quick, deep breath and smoothly slide off your partner. Get to their side as if you’re just lying next to each other and normally pull the covers up.
All this while, ideally keep saying something like this to the child, “Oh hey sweetie, good morning! Didn’t hear you come in…Dad/mom and I were just spending some special love time.” When you do this, you stop yourself from giving the impression to your child that sex is something dirty and embarrassing, and second, you associate it with love, an emotion the child already understands well.
Through this simple response, despite seeing your children while having sex, you avoid making it difficult for either party. Take some time to collect your thoughts and dial down the details a little. Your kid probably has no idea that they caught their parents having sex so don’t go into tangents explaining something that would only complicate things further.
Related Reading: 7 Sex Mistakes Men And Women Make In Bed
2. Never react with anger
Never, ever react with anger or disapproval when your kid walks in on you and your husband. You’ll end up making them feel guilty and ashamed, feelings you never want your child to associate with sex. Because trust me, no matter how young your child is, the first time they see a sex scene, it will stay with them. In psychoanalytic terms, we call it the “primal scene” and the parents’ sexual behavior influences how the child’s views get shaped further.
The whole scene can be more easily handled if you have had the ‘birds and bees’ talk with your child and about how babies are made. Depending on the age of the child, explain the act to them in a manner that’s not too descriptive while making its point. Tell them why parents having sex is completely natural and is an act of love for each other.
3. Be careful with dismissal
When a kid walks in on parents having sex, in all likelihood, they’re more scared than their parents. If you simply dismiss them, you’ll be making them even more scared, something that you really don’t want for your child. Just remain calm and composed and show that parents having sex is no big deal at all.
When your kid catches her parents doing it, and you’ve given them some temporary explanation or excuse, you want the child to leave the room. Don’t simply say, “Go to your room, I’ll talk to you later”. It sounds like a punishment and might create a complex in the child. Use a natural-sounding excuse with something that the child usually helps you with, like, “Hey could you go check if the milk is here yet? It’s a holiday, let’s make breakfast together!”
4. Always answer their questions
After your kid walks in on parents having sex, if you’ve managed to do the things mentioned above so far, chances are you won’t have to deal with any uncomfortable questions in the first place. Even so, in case there are questions still turning up, don’t avoid them. It’s understandable that you might feel anxious and embarrassed, but remember that while you still know what’s going on, your child is completely clueless and bewildered.
Let them voice the entire question without interrupting or chiding. Ask more questions for clarification in simple language if you’re not clear about what they are asking (you don’t want to give away more information than necessary!). If you still feel you cannot find the words to answer their question, be honest and ask them for more time, saying something like, “I’d like to give you the best possible answer to this question because it is a good question. Do you think you can give me some time while I think it over?”
When a kid walks in on parents in their intimate moments, they might be curious as to what was happening. Keep an open mind and try to answer all their questions in the safest possible manner. Don’t go about introducing new terms or phrases to them or else you’ll be making the situation only worse for yourself.
After a kid walks in on parents in their private moments, always remember that they are more confused and embarrassed than you. And if you act with shame, you will end up creating exactly the complex you’re trying to avoid. So keep calm, and deal with it head-on.
Related Reading: 21 Things To Know When Dating A Man With Kids
5. Get a door lock
If this is something you’re only worried about and it hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t wait for it to happen. Get a door lock so that you don’t have to think about what to do when your child catches you making love. Remember that prevention is the best cure to any problem and so it is in this case. Once your kids start walking by themselves, it’s better to invest in a door lock and prevent any untoward incidents in the first place.
So It Happened, Now What?
My two-year-old toddler walked in on us having sex. We’re feeling irresponsible and guilty. Is our child scarred? He has not asked us anything about it, so should we bring it up and discuss it?
First, you’re not irresponsible for doing things that make you a couple. You’re both a couple and parents, and you need to do things to nourish both roles. You were doing something natural. It’s important to have a good sex life after being parents too for intimacy in your relationship. That said, it wasn’t a natural thing for a child to witness, but it’s not like he would never come to know about sex. You might have shocked him a little bit and more likely confused him.
However, if displays of affection as partners (touching, holding hands, kissing) are natural in your household even in front of children, your toddler may not be shocked at all. If he hasn’t asked you about it, don’t be too worried about what to do when your child catches you making love. However, if you wish to discuss it nonetheless, you need to do two things before bringing it up:
1. Watch for any changes in his behavior around you – lessened eye contact, aversion to being hugged or touched, reluctance to go in the bedroom where he saw you, heightened curiosity about the anatomy of his toys, etc. If any or all of these signs are present, you can gently bring up the topic of discussion one day. Tell him how parents having sex is nothing weird and how it’s one of the many ways you two show your love for each other.
2. If the above signs are not there, you need to gently start establishing boundaries about knocking before entering your bedroom. Explain the concept of ‘private time’ between mom and dad, because they need it too like he needs his playdates with his friends. You don’t want to have to stumble upon your kids while having sex in the first place. So better to prevent it from the very beginning.
My six-year-old walked in on us having sex. We fumbled, screamed, and frightened him. How should we behave now to undo the damage? Now that the damage is done and you saw your kids while having sex and they saw you, it’s best to tackle the issue head-on. Go to your child and tell him you’re feeling embarrassed about how you acted when he walked in, but you were taken by surprise and didn’t know how to react. Then lighten up the situation by asking him if he found your reaction funny. Laugh a little.
Then ask straight up if he has any questions about the incident and that you will answer everything honestly. This should be enough to diffuse the situation. Try to see the whole thing from his eyes and it’ll be easier for you to navigate the situation. Explain to him that walking in on his parents was no fault of his and that what he saw was nothing to be afraid of. Take charge of the situation and try to make things easier for both of you.
Look, we understand. Kids walking in on parents can be a scary time for both of them. Neither of them expected this moment and the uncertainty of it might make you panic and worry. But only when you take things slowly and calmly can you solve the issue of what to do if your child sees you making love. Don’t avoid the topic. At the same time, don’t go about over-explaining things. Follow the above suggestions and you’ll be able to handle the situation easily.