The Big Talk!

embarrassed.teenAttention – Calling all moms, dads, aunties, nannies and anyone else you consider part of the “village” that helps you raise your kids. Here’s a post based on several, recent, conversations I had and overheard while milling around my life (minding my own business thank you very much) on the subject of… AHHHH! No, not that. YES – that.

You do realize, that without “it” – sex – you wouldn’t be parents – right?

And you are also aware that you will never feel the thrill of holding your brand new grand child if at some point YOUR kids don’t have sex. So, lets keep this conversation in perspective. If you are easily offended, I am sure there are lots of other posts on the internet of interest. For those brave souls who want to know my 2 cents on the subject – read on.

More and more I hear from families who have middle-school, “tweeners” asking me- when I suggest they sit down and have “the talk” with the kids? You know- “the big sex-talk?”

Here is my concern:

What in the world have you been waiting for? By the time your kids are 12 or 13, they are way-way-WAY behind. Now, they know lots of stuff about sex. They learned some in school and some at church and some from you. But the majority of what they learned, they learned from other kids who don’t know any more than yours do. It’s crazy. One of the scariest aspects of a parent’s life is thinking about their kids having sex and they think a reasonable solution is to IGNORE IT! Wake up people. We have some education to do.

Now, I sum up sex ed in two categories.

The first are the nuts and bolts. You know, the questions the kids ask when they are small and they want to know where babies come from and all that. This leads into all the “technical” stuff the kids learn at school or at home about how, when, who, why and don’t, wait, safety, etc.

But there is another category that doesn’t often get any air time at all and I think in some ways this is the most important conversation NOT being had by parents and their kids. And that conversation is about intimacy and sensuality and passion and connection and communication. Now, I have NO idea why parents aren’t talking to their kids about this stuff, but they aren’t.

Parent’s often ask me when I had “the talk” and ya know, the truth is, I never did it in one talk. I never sat my kids down and said, “Listen honey, it’s time for me to tell you about intercourse or the birds and the bees” … or whatever it is that parents use to bring the topic up, nowadays. It was always just part of the ongoing conversation in my home with 5 very different people.

I will tell you, that not once did we use names like po-po or may-may or wee-wee. It makes the whole “body beautiful” thing completely bogus. I wanted my children to feel confident when they discussed their bodies so that meant taking the plunge and calling things what they are – Penis. Vagina. Clitoris. Erection. There you have it.

I know, I know for many of you- the conversation is not flowing and it takes some thoughtful consideration, because you as parents are not even comfortable discussing the subject. And for you, I say its time to get off it- get over it and get moving, your children are counting on you.

Here is a great resource to support you to start your own journey.

Birds and Bees and Kids

Be enlightened and get going. Its too important to wait. Your kids will get the information somewhere and even if Jane is your child’s middle-school sex-ed teacher, its up to you, the parents. Your kids are counting on you, don’t leave them in the dark.

This is a beautiful and magical and mysterious and serious part of life.

Let’s talk as much about sex and love and intimacy and commitment as we do about their damn cell phones.

Big Love everyone.

9 thoughts on “The Big Talk!

  1. Absolutely, Vicki! Right there with you. One resource I love is a book called “Changing Bodies, Changing Lives.”. Gives nuts and bolts on puberty, sex, early relationships, decision-making and responsibility – but even better, tons of quotes from kids about 9 through 20 about their feelings and experiences. I have given it to many, depending on maturity level, between 9 and 12. It’s a bit out of date on birth control options, but still great and very REAL.

  2. SO awesome, SO true. Although I have to In teaching my kids the real words for their “parts”, vagina has been shortened by my wee one to “gina” and it’s just kinda stuck…
    Love the new blog connection – thank for that awareness.

  3. We’ve had the “Where do babies come from?” talk a couple of times. My son is almost 5 and finding books at his level that are honest about the whole thing was very difficult. Most of them skipped all of the important (uncomfortable) stuff! We ended up with a very outdated, but still beautiful, book by Margaret Sheffield (I think) aptly titled “Where do babies come from?” Anyone else have good titles for wee ones?

  4. W – we have read “Where Did I Come From?” editing various parts at different ages. It does talk about how sex is the closest hug you can give another person, feels good, do it to express love.

    Sarah – my friend’s daughter calls hers, her “fine china”!

    We have had lots of conversations with T about different kinds of families we know –> different ways people get children (adoption, sperm bank) –> sex separate from procreation and why anyone would –> birth control. Two funny results: he came home from kindergarten and said, “Mom, can you believe it? None of those kids know what sperm is!” Also, when asked about being a parent someday, he said, “No, it’s too hard.” I said, “Oh, it is a lot of work taking care of children. What do you see me and Daddy doing that looks like too much work?” “Not taking care of them, making them!”

  5. I remember when my oldest was 6 (he is now 14) he came home from school and asked me what sex was? We asked him why he wanted to know and he said some girls on the playground told him they wanted to have sex with him. Whew did I feel behind the 8 ball!

    We did our best to explain honestly and to meet his questions. After the explanation, he exclaimed- Wow! those girls in my class must be really embarrassed, if they really knew what sex was they would not have said that!

    From that moment on, I knew- it was never too early to talk to our kids about the subject of sex and bodies and all that goes along with it. To all you parents who are opening that dialogue now! Yahoo! It is so worth it. Right now, with our 14 year old son, the conversations are ripe, open, honest and beneficial to all involved!

    Just another way, investing in our kids at 4, 5, and 6 years of age makes adolescence and young adulthood more delightful- for both parents and children.

  6. Great chat with my very precocious 11-yr-old niece this weekend, with her mother’s blessing. She asked about masturbation (!!) and we talked about emergency contraception and how to choose who to lose your virginity with – trust, safety, respect, etc. She assured me this is all still a long way off, but I love being a resource for open, relaxed, funny and accurate info.

  7. Love it. So great that she has an aunt to talk with. I love the adjectives, trust, safety, respect.

Comments are closed.