As parental nightmares go, a child walking in on their parents having sex has got to be near the top of the list. Turns out this exact scenario happened to Jessica Alba and husband Cash Warren, who shared the awkward moment on an upcoming episode of Alba's YouTube show, Getting Honest, which features a conversation with their friends, Rachel Zoe and husband Rodger German.
In the candid (and laughter-filled) conversation, Alba and Warren share that their daughter, Haven, 9 1/2, once walked in on them during an intimate moment in their bedroom.
"It was the worst," Warren says. "We like spent five minutes in our bedroom laughing. And being like, 'I can't believe we just ruined our daughter, we just ruined her.' "
While her husband continued to laugh, Alba says she "started crying."
"I called Koa (Warren's sister). She's so good at helping us through challenges, I feel like she just has such a kind, gentle soul," The Honest Company founder says. Eventually, the couple spoke with their daughter.
"We just have to own this one. We can't pretend it didn't happen," he said.
"I went downstairs and said, 'Haven, I bet that's the last time you walk into our room without knocking,' " Warren says with a laugh. "Now she knocks, it was like she learned her lesson."
So, mamas, has this ever happened to you? Is this an opportunity for introducing the "birds and bees" conversation (if you haven't already) or did you come up with an alternative explanation ("adult gymnastics", perhaps)?
In an interview with Psychology Today, Dr. Lea Lis writes, "No matter what age your child is at the time, do not yell, get angry, or act ashamed. Sex is natural, and just because adults have a need for privacy does not mean that sex is shameful. Kids pick up immediately on your emotional reactions, and the weirder you act, the more fearful or 'grossed out' they will be."
Lis suggests reiterating the importance of honesty and respecting boundaries.
"If a young child walks in, say 'Please go back to your bedroom. We are fine but we need privacy right now.' The incident might be forgotten, but if they ask later what you were doing, answer honestly: 'We were having sex, which is what grown-ups do when they care about each other. But we need privacy, so that is why we lock the door or close it. And that is why you should always knock.'
If the topic of sex has not come up yet, it might be time to broach the conversation. And perhaps, invest in a lock for your door.