From the moment we had our first baby, loaded up from the hospital and strapped this tiny newborn into his car seat and drove 25mph home 🙂 … I had this thought, “I can’t believe they are letting us take him home!!”, I also had this realization that this parenting gig did not come with a one size fits all manual.
As our family has expanded, we continue to navigate through various life stages – we have learned much along the way & have so much more to learn. I think once you feel comfortable about a particular season in life or get into a rhythm .. things change yet again!
And so here we are, like many of you, at a new intersection that we have never been to before…. “The sex talk!”.
Not sure what you experienced in your upbringing regarding “the talk” , but for me- we really did not talk about it all… much of what I learned was from peers and experimentation. Not the route I would like to see my children take.
I have heard from others that if you have not talked to your kids about sex by the age of 8 or 9 they have probably already heard about it from someone else! Yikes!!
Our eldest son is now 9 and we are beginning to embark on this journey with him and have had some very basic talks with our 7 year old daughter regarding body parts & privacy.
It is always a great benefit to have a community of moms to ask questions of and learn from their experiences.
I have talked to several moms regarding their approach and experiences. Again there is not a one size fits all manual but I definitely believe we are better together and can learn much from those who have gone before us and figure what works best for our families. I thought I would share some thoughts, quotes and summarize the info I gathered from others.
- Be Honest
“I have always been very honest and open with my kids but do try to keep it age appropriate. We started by using the correct terminology … penis, vagina, etc.”
“When I was pregnant we approached it like a science project. We discussed the egg, sperm & ovaries. We talked about how daddy has sperm, mom has eggs and we put them together & the baby grows in mommies belly. ” -S
“We had our first talk with our son when he was in first grade. He is a deep thinker and was starting to figure things out about animals mating & then asked about humans mating. So J (dad) took him on an overnight to a hotel and they had an awesome hangout time and talked more about sex & what the bible says about it.” -T
We actually just did a part 2 sex talk with our son. Dad took him on another overnight and they talked about pornography & masturbation & things he is more ready to handle now that he is 12.” -T
2. Be Age Appropriate
“I wanted to talk to my kids before someone else and especially before they started talking about it with their peers. I would tell a young mom it would depend on your kid, you know them and you’re involved in their lives to know when it’s appropriate or when it’s necessary. If they are noticing behavior that seems inappropriate or if the child is asking questions, the conversation may begin earlier. If the child is very naive sometimes proper age appropriate education protects them from being misled.” -L
3. Create a safe atmosphere & welcome questions
“My husband took the lead with the boys & I with my daughter. With the boys it was very important to make them feel like the thoughts they were having were not shameful. It is normal. They are so visual & stimulated easily. We helped them understand what was happening & how to navigate those feelings without it becoming a problem. B ( dad) would talk about understanding what it feels like to be a man, what thoughts & struggles they may experience.”
L (mom) would talk to the boys about honoring & respecting women in their actions. I would talk to my daughter about how her body works, what to expect from sex & menstruation. Dad would talk to daughter about what boys think when you say key phrases or dress a certain way.
“Don’t be afraid of it. We make it weird or “bad” sometimes by our inability to communicate it.” -L
4. Continue the Conversation
Instead of approaching it as a one time only, exhaustive “Talk” approach it as an ongoing conversation.
“I just want them to feel like it is always up for discussion… that no topic is off limits.” -S
“Create an environment that allows your child to know they can talk to you about everything. Control your responses & facial expressions if they ask or tell you something. If you react, they will hold back the next time.”
“Everything about sex does not have to be discussed all at one big “talk” .. spread it out over the years as they grow and mature, as they enter into relationships especially.”
“When they are younger it is very clinical, just the facts. Let them ask you questions and give them very simple answers, not graphic. As they age and are involved in relationships expand your discussion.” -L
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