Talking To Kids About Sex

Let’s Talk About Sex: Talking To Kids About Sex

My 5th Grade daughter’s school sent home a flyer inviting parents to view the video their children will view the following week as the children’s introduction to puberty series. Yeah, baby! I was at the school bright and early the next morning giddy to watch the video. I was really interested to see how much better the school system teaches this topic compared to when I was in 5th grade when the bicentennial Freedom Train was on tour nationwide. I think I am an atypical parent in my reaction to this rite of passage. I prefer the term “atypical” to “pervie”.
Not only was I not creeped out by preparing for “The Talk” but I’ve been chomping at the bit to do so. I started talking to my daughter, Rowan, when she was eight, about changes in her body. Rowan is the child that requests that I stop cursing and is fast approaching the age where I will not be able to hug her in public. For now, though, we are peas and carrots. The film was completely appropriate and hit all the highlights without schwarm or talking down to the kids. Two thumbs up. And they don’t separate the boys from the girls. Brilliant!I’ve already started discussions with my now eight year old twins. Not exactly sure how to approach my son, though, who has been inexplicably talking about “man boobs” all week and how “man boobs are this big” (gesturing about an inch). “Mom boobs are really big, like this big.” (gesturing about a foot and a half). For the record, my boobs are not a foot and a half). This conversation usually occurs when we are in the grocery line or some other public place. Often, I have to look away, so he doesn’t see me snickering.

It did give me a certain nostalgia, thinking about my late education on such topics.When I was 19 years old, living at home the summer between my freshman and sophomore year in college, my father, as goobery as a fanny pack, sat me down at the kitchen table. My mother lurked nearby. My first and only (thank God) discussion about sex with my parents.  Keen to the fact that I had a steady college boyfriend, my father wanted to advise me that sex was not viewed the same by men and women. Whew! My mother was mostly quiet, but occasionally chimed in with helpful quips like, “No use buying the milk, if you’re giving it away for free.” Cheers, Mom! I’ve always adored bovine analogies when talking about sex in a room with my parentals. Also appreciate the inclusion of animals and sex in the same discussion. My inner monologue screaming: Stop talkin’ to me! Mamma don’t give nothin’ away for free.  Ain’t nobody puttin’ baby in the corner.

“Boys don’t get a bad reputation for having sexual relations, but girls do.” Again, helpful, albeit perhaps more so before I actually started having sex. I thought I might spontaneously suffocate right then and there. I felt like an apprentice magician trying to escape the locked box before all my air was gone.

To end this excruciating four minute frank talk about sex with his already adult daughter, my father offered one more golden nugget of advice: “Now, I’m not saying that sex has to be confined to marriage…” Without missing a beat, my mother glared at him and screeched in all seriousness, “Well, I hope it is for you!”

Here endeth the lesson.

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  1. Jencoy

    I know it’s wrong, but I LOVE that your company filter thought I was all porny! They were no doubt prickly about the word “sex”. Thanks for the comment! I’m very happy you are enjoying!

  2. Kelly M. Schmitt

    I’ve been enjoying your blog Jen! I had to laugh today (and hope you will laugh too) when my company ipad wouldn’t let me access your site because it was listed as porn! guess I’ll be reading from home from now on!

  3. ev

    I’m always grateful that not only did I grow up on a farm but that my mother and aunt were nurses.

    When The Spawn got her first period, she locked herself in the bathroom. It took forever for me to figure out what was wrong (she was 12). Mind you, we had had the talk and any question she had ever asked was always answered truthfully. But, it is a shock. There is nothing that totally prepares you. She finally opened the door and told me (ok, shrieked at me) that she wanted me to call Dr. Mark (my gyn) and do something because she did not want to go through this every month. I just about died laughing. So did he when I told him.

    I’m glad you have a school system that is doing it right. I went to catholic school. I think I knew more than they did at that point.

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