Let’s talk about sex, baby.
I am a firm believer in telling our kids the truth, minus the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy – but that’s a blog for another day. So when my daughter started asking questions at age 5 about where babies came from, we told her just enough to answer her questions without scarring her for life. We do want grandkids someday!
Soon after that discussion, we were in the grocery store. I needed to pick up men’s diapers for my son who was still wearing them at the time and Ri was looking at them with me. She said, “Women’s diapers? Why would a woman need diapers, Mom?” so I said, “Remember when I told you where babies come from? How they come out of a mommy’s body? Well, sometimes that strains the muscles down there and we ladies need a bit of backup in case we tinkle a little bit.” She said, “That’s so gross! I’m NEVER having babies!”. The older lady in the same aisle just giggled at us and walked away.
More Questions From My Tweenager
My daughter is ten now, soon to be eleven. She is blossoming into a young lady right before my eyes. I am so proud of the person she is, the person she’s becoming, and how she treats each person she comes in contact with. She is thoughtful and kind.
With all of that thoughtfulness comes questions about life, her body, and the world around us. She’s been asking questions about her first period, boys, sex, and growing up – in no particular order. She’s a curious kid and wants to know how things work so she can be prepared. She’s also confided to me that she and her friends are talking about their bodies. Heads up to all you Mamas out there who haven’t had the convo with your kids yet. They’re already talking about it amongst themselves.
I want her to know what her body is capable of, what she can expect, and that she has full control over her own body. It is after all, HER body. Not mine, not her dad’s, not anyone else’s. We’ve instilled in her that no one has the right to touch her in any way that makes her uncomfortable, or creeped out. She has the right to say no.
Ri trusts us and knows that we will not admonish her for asking questions or telling the truth about something. We keep an open line of communication with her. She feels comfortable asking me anything, and while the topic of sex can be a little tough, I find it’s not as big of a deal as I thought it would be. I just try to answer her questions as honestly as I can.
I want her to know that if she or her friends are ever in a tricky situation she can tell me. And the beginning of that is being honest with her now. So when she started asking questions a few years ago, I turned to my friends for advice.
Here are some books that should help you with your discussions:
A friend recommended this book and it’s perfect for explaining the birds and the bees to younger kids. It helped when we talked about sex and babies when she was 5 or 6. A neighbor was pregnant and Ri had lots of questions about that.
I also gave her this book which helped her understand just how amazing bodies are.
Here are two other books that she has that she absolutely loves. The Care and Keeping of You 2 and Girl to Girl: Honest Talk About Growing Up and Your Changing Body.
My husband and I think that sex is something that shouldn’t be hidden or not discussed. It is a normal and natural part of life and relationships. Bodies are natural, God-created beauty. I think we Americans are so prudish about sex sometimes. We hide our nudity like it’s something to be ashamed of. We don’t flaunt ourselves in front of our kids, but I don’t hide either if she walks in on me in the shower or when I’m getting dressed.
She’s leaves Dad alone when he’s in the bathroom – but it’s not the same with Mom. Mom is free range and she’ll come sit on the edge of the tub and talk to me while I’m taking a bath. She’s curious about me shaving my legs and when she’ll have to start doing that.
She asked me yesterday how she’ll know when her first period is going to come and I told her there are some signs but mostly, it’s just a guessing game. Some people say it’s close to when your mom got her period but I got mine at 13 and my sister was 16 so that theory doesn’t hold for us.
I sent her this link to read which I found very informative and she enjoyed it as well.
I told her I would help her make an emergency period pack for her locker/backpack with all of the essentials like extra panties, period panties, panty liners, tampons, pads, wipes for cleaning up, and extra leggings. I also explained that if her friends needed any of that and didn’t have it that she should share with them. It’s what we ladies do. (I haven’t even begun to discuss the other options for period care. Who among us has tried the menstrual cup?)
Then she asked what she should say if it happened in her male teacher’s class. I said, “Honey, he’s a father, husband, grandfather, and teacher of 5th grade girls for 27 years. He knows how the female body works. He won’t be surprised.” I told her to tell him she was having a “female situation” and he would understand and send her to the nurse, and they can call me if she needs me. I will leave work to come help.
There are so many things we have to prepare our girls for in life. It’s not an easy road for women, but it sure is an amazing one. With our help, our little girls will grow up to be amazing women who change this world for the better. I love that I get to share all of my knowledge with my daughter. Someday, she’ll share it with her kids – unless she’s still grossed out about wearing adult diapers.