slide show

Monday, August 18, 2014

The other talk (part II)


***Warning: content not for everyone.***
No discussion of rainbows and bunnies today, folks!
No seriously. 

The first talk is here.
You thought that was bad?  This other talk is even more scary!
The birds.  The bees. Ya, THAT talk!
And not just for the kiddos staring absently at the wall before them hearing it.

One thing you may not know about me is that when I was preparing for my teaching days, I really wanted to be the one to teach sex ed.  I know that's odd but I felt someone really needed to do it the right way, and I wanted to be that person.  I'm a product of the hippie generation so maybe that makes it make more sense.  I actually lived in van down by the river at one point in my life.  Literally.  Okay, so it was an ocean, not a river.  But still, I lived in a van.  A wonderful stereotypical hippie VW bus that I still adore, and I had my own bed and everything!  They were great times!
Bunny trail...
focus
focus
focus

See how easy it is to get side tracked when we have to talk about it?

When it comes time for the talk, I'm not really one to shy away.  Those scary words don't really scare me or make me feel particularly awkward.  The P word.  The V word.  My parents talked to me about this stuff pretty matter of factly, and contrary to my husband's ultra-conservative Baptist upbringing the proper vocabulary words when it's appropriate to use them, float around this house pretty comfortably too.  But I know that's not the case for everyone.  Make NO doubt about it, that if you're not educating your children about sex and relationships, someone else is.  The television. Someone at school or the internet.  It is happening.  100% for sure.

First of all, I don't think the talk should be a singular occasion.  For us, the talk is a progression of conversations that starts out very young.  Because ultimately, the talk is more a discussion about relationships than sex.  So in our house, the talk is something that progresses over years, not all at once or at one time.  It starts when they are young about what good friendships looks like, and what bad ones feel like and what it means to be a good friend.  We talk a lot about how love is a verb, and actions speak for more loudly and clearly than words.  We speak about serving God and others first, before self, and look for examples and point them out in our own family.  Did you do your sister's chore on her birthday without being asked?  Oh goodness, that's God's hands right there!  We discuss doing what you should and not necessarily what you want and how the two are often at odds.  Impulse control.  THESE are some of the foundations that we'll build upon when we talk specifically about sex later.

But let's get down to brass tacks.  Eventually, there are things a parent has to say to growing kiddos.  And when you have to say these specific thing to your own rapidly growing and maturing children, it's different!  You have to, you need to say these specific awkward things eventually.

Like last night.

Oh help me.

Because like I mentioned, if you don't talk with them about sex, even if that means talking at them rather than with them, they will hear it from someone else.  And who do you want creating that foundation? Only you of course!  So the goal is to beat the other someone else to it.

We do think that the same sex parent is the one that has the most influence on a child and is likely the one that will need to lead most of the discussions.  Moms influencing their daughters the most and dad impacting their sons the most.  BUT I don't think that gets the other parent off the hook about talking about the hard stuff.  Mom's still have to talk to the sons, and Dad need to have the talk with their daughters too.  Our children need to hear the perspective of the opposite gender parent.  And the other parent needs to reinforce what the same-sex parent is discussing anyway. Honestly, the more we talk about it with out children, the more we reinforce the foundation we are trying to build. So I'm a firm believer that, moms, you need to be talking to your sons too.  You need to be reinforcing your husband's talk and giving your sons a woman's perspective.

We do explicitly tell our teens that we expect our children to wait until they're married to have sex.  We say it a lot.  And we are also realistic and know what type of world we live in.  So we additionally tell our teens that if they do decide to have sex before they are married we will not judge them, and that they absolutely must tell us before they do, so some things can happen to ensure their safety which we explicitly spell out.  Diseases are real.  We talk about the specifics of VD and what they do to your body.  And pregnancy will change the course of not only their life, but a child's life also... forever!   Sexually active women of any age need to see a doctor.  In the middle of these hard talks I make this very clear; if a child isn't comfortable talking about sex and VD with a doctor, and telling us that he/she is thinking about it, and talking about and making decisions about birth control, and going to see a doctor and yes, putting her feet up in the stirrups then she likely isn't mature enough to have sex either.  I want them to know it's serious.  It's real.  In some ways I want it to feel awkward emphasizing it is a big deal.  And ultimately we know that they are the only ones that are in the control of making this decision.

Are you waiting for you teenager to come to you with questions to start that talk?  To all the mamas (and dad's too!) I'd recommend that you bring up these talks with your children.  I think it's a rare child that's going to be coming to you about these things.  I hope they do, but under no circumstances do I think my children are going to come to me to talk about the hard stuff.  The vast majority of these talks, some times every single talk with some children, are brought up by a parent.  There is no way that I would have brought it up with my folks, and that fact keeps me talking to my kiddos even more.  Strangely, 95% of these talks happen in the car where I have a captive audience.  The kiddo can't get away, and it's a one-on-one conversion except for maybe a toddler that's obliviously to it all.  And the teen has the comfort of knowing that the conversation will end as soon as the destination is reached.

If your neck of the woods is anything like mine, sex is already being discussed in middle school.   Pictures and videos are being looked up on YouTube on their friend's cell phones while at the cafeteria at school.  Really.

And I'll end this by saying what I always say on these parenting posts... what in the world do I know!  Seriously folks, 3 teenagers later with 1 more coming down the chute and 3 more after that, we still feel like we're winging all this stuff.  It's very possible I'm all wrong because it has so happened before!  This is just what seems to work for our family so far.  And what works for one family may not work for another. So take what you like and leave the rest on the page.

This is hard stuff.  But like I said, I think it's important to talk about.

18 comments:

  1. I love that you added that this is an ongoing conversation.... not just a one and done talk! P.S. Hi! I've been following you for a while and don't think I've ever actually said hi!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Meg! Nice to meet you! Funny were talking about sex on our first discussion together!

      Delete
  2. It is tough stuff. My eldest is open with me about questions, and I've been known to dodge some of her questions because they are just too icky. I know, I know.
    With her (she is Sunshine's age now), I was afraid of her growing up. I wanted her to be my baby forever. Aka I did not let her shave her legs for the longest time nor wear makeup despite her begging for the longest time til I finally gave in.
    I didn't want her to lose her innocence. Looking back, knowing that stuff does not spoil the innocence or make them grow up faster. It keeps them from learning the wrong facts from the wrong people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "knowing that stuff does not spoil the innocence or make them grow up faster. It keeps them from learning the wrong facts from the wrong people." Golly you're a smart cookie! I think I need to print that out!

      Delete
  3. My third child, Teresa age 12, was born with Down's syndrome. We adopte our fifth child, Tessa age three, from China and she has DS as well. We love our girls and they can certainly get married someday!
    We haven't given Teresa the talk yet. I truly believe that when she gets her period, she will be responsible enough to keep up with it. She will just need reminders from her siblings and parents every few hours.
    I'm not sure if we really should give her the talk yet. I don't think she falls under the category of hearing about it from her friends since most of her friends are either sweet girls (emphasize the sweet) from church or DS friends in our community. I can never imagine her church friends saying anything about sex, periods, ect. around Teresa. We homeschool all our children so it allows flexibility.
    Our other children got the talk when they were nine.
    Do you have any thoughts on giving her the talk?

    Amara

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes the car is the best place! I do all talk talking in the car. I would not like giving it to them in the house.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Not being a parent yet and speaking from the other side, kids are definitely hearing it and seeing it other places. My best friend/neighbor had older brothers so I heard way too much from them at a young age. Although sex and dating were always awkward conversations when I was growing up I felt more comfortable talking to my mom after she had shared some of her mistakes/experiences dealing with sex and relationships.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I see a new button on your sidebar for Red Thread Sessions! I look forward to hearing about it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can't wait to tell you about it! I'm EXCITED!!!!

      Delete
  7. I'm getting ready for Miss Audrey's big talk tomorrow. (thanks for the reminder). I'm making a goody bag for her. I am including money, a Vera Bradley Bag, an autographed Duggar book, and supplies. Only problem is that I don't have the supplies yet. I'm going to run to Target tomorrow morning. Would you mind recommending some specific of products of pads and tampons that have worked well for your daughters? It's been years since I had my last one, and I haven't the faintest clue what to get.

    I grew up with parents who were both busy working long hours and somehow my mama (though I love her dearly) just forgot to give me the talk. Yep, I never got a talk. Everything I learned as a teen/child was from my friends. Good thing I was a late bloomer... Not the best way but I turned out all right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Panty liners, pads with wings, slim tampons (they make then for juniors. they are a lot slimmer than others and easier to learn with. Get the more expensive type with plastic applicator since that makes it easier too.) Some dark colored underwear for the accidents that will happen. Some Pamprin just to be prepared, but I wouldn't give it to her yet so she doesn't think she HAS to have that type of discomfort. That's what I can think of off the top of my head. You ROCK as a mom!

      Delete
    2. Thanks, Nancy! You are the best mother in the world, I tell you!
      Audrey doesn't own white underwear. When I was 11 I got my first period. I was wearing white undies and a thin white nightgown. I am sure it had come sometime the day before, I just hadn't noticed. Just guess what happened when I went downstairs to eat breakfast with my five teenage brothers and my mama was out of town. I have never been that humiliated all the fifty something (actually, I'll change that to thirty. Thirty sounds better) years of my life. So trust me, I know about not getting white pants for her! I also did a senior session for a girl wearing white pants. I'll leave it at that. :)

      Delete
  8. My daughter is 15 and at her last dr. appointment she stated that she didn't have her period. I believe her. Since June though, she has snuck tampons an pads into the cart every time we go shopping at Target (roughly every 3 weeks). Since she is 15 I wouldn't be surprised that she has it but never told me. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what you're saying, I'd guess she has her period. At 15 I'd be a little surprised if she didn't although it's totally possible. and why not just assume she does and get the conversation going so she's prepared either way. I'd approach it like it's not a big deal, just talk. And it may be a totally 1 sided discussion with you doing all the talking and that's ok too.

      Delete
  9. how did you talk to your girls about where babies come from?? I mean how do the babies get out of the belly? my daughter is 4 and asked this the other day. not sure how much detail to go into? Any suggestions? thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tell them the answers for the questions they ask. Using the proper terms. Like not bad words but really if I write them here the spam goes WAY up on my site! Like v*gina. I would say, When the baby is done growing the woman's body pushes it out through a hole called the v*gina. And tell her where it's at. No need for lots of detail or further discussion unless she asks for more. There's no reason she can't hear that word and know she has one at 4 years old. At that age, it's just another body part like her elbow or knee cap. It's young, but I have 1 child that wanted to know really young too. She was SO scared she was going to have a baby and did not want one. Literally she came to us crying so scared. So we needed to get into the details to assure her that she was not going to have one. It wasn't a big deal to her at all once she wasn't scared anymore. ---At least that's my 2 cents FWIW.

      Delete
    2. Giving kids a firm foundation at a young age is so important, especially in this day in age. We can't wait til 5th grade to tell them why Sally has 2 moms.

      I'm wondering, what about the Christian worldview? Our only goal as parents is for our kids to love Jesus. In public schools, our kids are given trashy worldviews. How do you go about that?

      Delete
  10. Just now joining this convo. I'm an old and faithful lurker, but I never have commented.

    I tried to keep my first as innocent as possible. I planned the family vacation over the week of the school talk. I planned to tell her the facts eventually,but I just couldn't bring myself to spoiling her innocence. Freshman year, they had an expanded talk, and I took that as an opportunity to tell her. I was shocked to discover that she already knew everything! And get this: her friends told her about it in third grade! Your child will learn it from someone else if you don't tell them. 100% positive. It will happen. Hands down.
    She got married two weeks ago. She told me that the physical bond between them is "so amazing", so I think she turned out all right. ;)
    My toddlers already know the p and v words, and they are at a stage when it isn't awkward for them. Lucy (3) just asked me what I was getting for her sisters (tampons) and I explained it to her. Our talks have definitely evolved from your husnand's family to yours over the years.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Design by Deluxe Designs
all rights reserved. 2011