Caught in the Act
It had to happen sooner or later. You forgot to lock the bedroom door and now your child stands wide-eyed in the doorway. What to do? Don't yell. Calmly tell her to go back to her room and say you'll be there in a minute. When you get there, ask if there's anything she wants to know. If she wonders what you were doing, and you haven't already talked about sex, give her the basics and a reassuring hug. If your kid worries that Daddy was hurting Mommy, let her know that he wasn't and explain that this is one way grown-ups express love. And for the child who has a pretty good idea of what she interrupted, remind her that, "Your dad and I were showing how much we care about each other." Reinforce that when your bedroom door is shut, it means you're having private time and she needs to knock.
Originally published in the April 2009 issue of Parents magazine.