My son found his mom's catalog


Hi all,

My wife spoke to me the other night about my 8 year old son. She bought some items at Frederick’s after Christmas and got a free catalog. My 8 yr old son found (it burns me out that my wife left it about, but that’s a different thread) and my wife found it under his pillow. She took it and put it upstairs in our room where my son usually doesn’t go. Well somehow he must of stumbled upon it because she found it inside his pillow. Now she wants me to talk to him.

What am I going to say?

I haven’t looked through the catalog because I don’t want to be tempted. Now I have to explain all of that to my son.

I thought of 2 things that may need to be covered - 1 that this is underwear and why is it so different. Possible ideas was that it’s fancy underwear that women wear when they dress up?; 2 - why we don’t make a rule of looking at people in their underwear, that the catalog is for woman to see what the underwear looks like, much like instead of seeing a picture of pants at KMart you see a person in those pants. Within #2 I’m thinking about going into that even though those women may look attractive, we don’t look at people in their underwear because we’re missing out on the person. But not sure how to explain that to an 8 year old.



I don’t have any experience in this sort of thing, but since you’re asking… my first instinct is for you to ask your son why he’s looking at the catalog, & what he thinks about it, and try to be as compassionate and open to him as possible. You may have an easier time if you kinda let him guide the discussion, so you can respond to him rather than make him feel like you’re coming after him for something he did and telling him to do things differently. If you ask him what’s up in his life, in his head, and then give him advice on how to cope with whatever he’s dealing with (natural growing pains and such…), you’ll be focusing on the positive. Just be ready for the questions he’ll probably have for you, and do everything in your power not to let him see you’re uncomfortable talking about this with him. This is your chance to establish an open door for your son to come to you anytime on matters of morality and sex. You may consider taking him on a hiking trip or fishing or canoeing, or something like that, just the two of you, a “guys” day.

And if your wife has yet to throw the catalog in the trash, that needs to be done. I’m sure they have an online catalog.


As Andrew posted, throw that away! No questions need to be asked on that one.

As for your son, here are couple of thoughts. Your son knew enough to hide the magazine, and you can start with that. Ask him why did he feel the need to hide it? He must have known taking it out of your room was wrong and looking at those women was wrong. This is a great opportunity to teach him to listen to his conscience.

One approach I have with my boys (4 of them 15-5 yo) is to acknowledge that they will be faced with women who dress inappropriately. It is their duty to have compasion for them and not to look. The girls are sinning by being temptations to others, but it does not mean your son has to fall for it. Those young ladies may have not been brought up with the morals that you are passing to your son, so ask your son to pray for them and to look away. Just because they are putting it out for all to see does not mean he can look. Let him know that you don’t look at the catalog either, that it belongs to your wife, who’s shopping for underwear.

You can also acknowledge that their bodies are beautiful. They were made by God!! Their is no denying that, but we also have to live by God’s laws in respecting those bodies and their purpose.

Let your son lead you in this discussion by giving him prompts. Questions that come up will need to be addressed, but don’t bring things up that he may not be ready for.

As for why your wife had the magazine and the purpose of that kind of underwear, ask your wife! Be honest with your son and say you don’t even understand. I’m a woman and can’t figure that one out :stuck_out_tongue:

As your son ages you can inform him how society puts the pressure upon the men to avoid looking at scantily clad women. Too often women get upset that a man will look at thier clevage, yet still dress to show. As my mother always said, “it takes two to tango.” One to reveal private parts of the body, and one to indulge. Our sons do not have to be the partner in that dance! (and yes, I remind my girls to be respectful of others’ eyes when they dress)

Good luck


So, this eight year old comes in and asks his father, “Dad, where did I come from?”

The father figures it’s the right time, and proceeds to tell the son all about the birds and the bees. The son is wide eyed and is just staring straight ahead.

Father asks, “So, did that answer your question?”

Son, “Well, sorta. I guess.”

Father, “You look confused. You wanted to know where you came from”

Son, :“Well, yeah. I was curious because Billy said he’s from Cleveland”

The moral of the story? Let the child lead the conversation. Ask them what they think when they ask questions.

I’d say get rid of the catalog, have a general type of discussion about appropriate things to look at, maybe a quick start at respecting women.



You may also want to mention the primary reason women have mammaries is to feed babies. :thumbsup:


I agree with this completely!!! But the original poster (in my opinion) cannot approach it from this “angle” unfortunately since his wife was in posession of the sinful material. This would be a great response if he were older and you found him with a Playboy but this young boy got this from his mother. Yikes. Yes, of course these models can be sinning…I just don’t think it’s wise to tell this to the boy because he will probably wonder why his mother was in posession of something bad.

I agree with other people saying let your son guide the conversation. Eight years old seems young to me to be looking at these kinds of photos and getting sexually aroused. Maybe he was just curious?

Prayers for you, this must be causing you much anxiety. God bless.


I don’t see how the models are sinning. They aren’t engaged in pornography. The catalog is for women. We all wear underwear. When it comes to bras especially, models are needed to help us see what we’re actually buying because different bras have different shapes. It’s not meant to draw out lust in men.


Things are being taken out of context a bit. I was giving advice on how to raise a young man in a world of scantily dressed women, and generalized about scantily dressed girls.

As for the models not attempting to lure men into lust…We’re talkiing Fredricks of Hollywood, right?? Things must have changed since the last time I walked past the store in the mall (years ago, I admit) if there is no purpose in tempting or attracting men…


My opinion? Mom left it there, mom can explain it to him.



AMEN!! Why should YOU clean up the mess she started? :shrug:


Have you been educating him on sexual matters up to this point, or does he know nothing from you guys? (He definitely knows something already, whether you taught him or not, he learned it from someone!)

Maybe will have some material that you could use. It might be a site for adults, but the understanding and verbiage could help you.


Dr. Mast has her things to tell 10 year old boys -

Check out her web site.


Has your son been to confession yet? If he has, I’d suggest making him confess- teaches him that he committed a sin.


Parents cannot “make” a child confess. A Catholic child age 8 would in most cases be past the age for FHC and be going to Confession on a regular basis.

Part of teaching the child about this matter would be to suggest that they go to Confession with you this Saturday.


Whenever I did something wrong as a child my grandfather would take me by the ear and drag me to the confessional. Nothing wrong with a little discipline.


I have shopped at Frederick’s, and I do not consider myself to be sinning just by having the catalog! :rolleyes: I agree that the models are not sinning either. They are advertising a product. If someone else uses that in a sinful way, that’s their fault, not the model’s! Would y’all say the same about the International Male catalogs my husband gets? Or is it only women modeling underwear that raises your hackles?

If my kids saw it, I would tell them that it’s fancy underwear, and that some of it is for wives to look especially attractive to their husbands. There are plenty of non-sinful uses for lingerie!

I have seen artwork of the Virgin nursing the Christ Child that basically shows her whole breast. Is it sinful to have that? Did the model who posed for that sin? And yes, I am perfectly aware that breastfeeding is not sexual. I am the first to tell you that. BUT people do wear underwear, some people like fancy underwear, and sex is a natural function of the human body as well. Advertising underwear that might lead to passionate sex is not, of itself, sinful. How the people who buy that underwear use it can be either sinful or sacramental.

I also agree that Mom should deal with what she caused. She should explan this.


If you say to your son:
“Son, we need to talk about man, woman, and sex”

don’t be suprised if he says

“Okay, dad, what do you want to know?”



Nothing wrong with discipline. Everything wrong with forced confession. Any confession made out of coercion and not one’s own remorse is invalid. There can be no real absolution in those cases, so your grandfather did your soul precisely no good with all that.

Catholics have enough wrong-headed ideas about this sacrament anyway. Let’s not further damage it by using it the wrong way with children.


I’m pretty sure a woman can posses the catalog without it being a sin. In fact, some women have to use Fredrick’s instead of a place like Victoria’s Secret. I have too many female friends but more… endowed women have to shop there because VS does not carry their size.

Let’s not call Mama a sinner because she might want to by something nice.

(As I type this… I’m so glad I never saw one of these catalogs around the house growing up)

As for advice on the kid… being fresh out of childhood… I always responded better when my Dad was upfront about things. However, I think it would be better to let the kid lead the conversation before you outright accuse him of something he may not being doing.


Yeah, who knows. If he has gotten the idea that the catalog itself is sinful, he might have been hiding it to protect you, Dad! As the mother of a very caring, sensitive little guy who likes to take care of others, I can assure you that there are children to whom this would occur.

More likely, he was curious about the girls, but… ya never know. He seems to still be in the age range for, “eeeeeeewww! girls are gross!” so I don’t know. You and DW need to figure that part out.

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