Have you had “The Talk” with your kids? Not the Santa talk, yes, I’m still lying about that one but when they straight up ask me I will tell them. I mean the Birds and Bees talk. Just reading this, just typing this, evokes an emotion in most parents. An emotion of fear, awkwardness, and dread. It is scary, nerve wracking, and terrifying.
When the hubs and I got married and started having children a few years later we read all sorts of books. I knew everything there was to know on breastfeeding except what you do when your body doesn’t produce milk. I knew how to get them on a schedule, how to do nap time, burping procedures. Then as they started getting older I read books on parenting young boys and girls, boundaries, etc. etc. These books, mind you books, they can’t really prepare you. Nothing in the world can really prepare you for having “The Talk” with your kids. Mercy, the way we started the conversation with our kids began with a book. But it is outside the books that real life occurs. We know it’s not just presenting the facts and being done with it with children.
It is all the comments, questions, and observations of curious little minds that really make life, hmm, shall we say INTERESTING.
You see, I am Christian. And I think the Bible gives us clear examples on sex and on parenting. Our kids see commercials on tv, snippets in the magazines in the check out line, hear it from another kid.
Ages 8 to 9: That sex is important, which your child has probably picked up from the media and her peers.
They are going to be exposed to things that we are not comfortable to talk about. Delivery was not comfortable, some of these topics are not my ideal of comfort. I love my kids, and in order for my kids to have what is best, I have to do some uncomfortable things.
A kid knows when something is hard to talk about, when Mom and Dad are completely hush hush about a matter. When my kids have a question, when they hear something or see something, I believe it is my job to instruct them in the ways of the Lord. They will find the answer somewhere- it may not be accurate, it may not be according to God’s Word. We want our kids to be able to ask the tough questions and feel safe doing so. I’m not saying when you should have this discussion with your kids. I’m giving you an example of how we did it in our family.
After reading a blog about kids being exposed to porn on the internet (yeah, stay away from You Tube, it’s in the ads!) I knew it was time. This blog lead me to some great literature- A book to introduce kids, Biblically, to sex (yes, the three letter word). Dr. Gary Chapman recommended this book and in his review he said he wished he had it for his kids.
Um, if Dr. Gary Chapman said that, then we need this book. Plus, the book said my oldest is even past the age of recommendation.
Well crud, I’ve failed as a parent and I haven’t even started the book yet.
I love how the book presents the material in a godly way, but with accuracy. The illustrations are perfect for a kid’s picture book. And when it came in I told my husband:
We are reading this book with our kids and having “The Talk” in detail.
You see, last summer two of our cats were giving them a real life demonstration of this. This is how my husband had to have the talk with our kids: they are making babies. They asked one simple question and that was the end of it. Thanks Cats. We really appreciate it.
The hubs and I had already talked about this blog and all these books. When it came in, his look of dread along with the thought of “She’s lost her ever loving mind” were similar to a child eating a booger in front of you. Or a deer in the headlights.
After supper, here comes the time. We decide the best location to introduce it is in the living room-trying not to make this a taboo subject. Let it be another topic of conversation we have in our house.
Let the Fun Begin!
2nd born: Mom, you had do this?
Me: Yes. 4 times.
Did it hurt?
Yes it did.
Think of your hardest poop, multiply it by 10,000. Then, you are getting closer.
Mouth falls to the floor in amazement. He then exclaims-I’m so glad I’m not a woman!
My 4 year old girl chimes in:
Me too!! I’m glad I’m not….wait. I AM A WOMAN!!
And she looks at me in terror and dramatically falls over on the table.
Well, that went over well.
Ya’ll. These are the moments you try to act like you have it all together and nothing can phase you, because you are the parent. (Can you hear my pep talk I’m giving to myself?) But inwardly, you are screaming to yourself, “Please do not ask anymore. I can’t believe we are talking about this. How in the world do I answer that?”
We went into further discussion with the boys at bedtime.
Me: So, do you understand what we were reading about?
Oldest, rational child: No, not really.
Me: What do you not understand?
Like how it gets in there.
Then, in my best parenting skills ever, I show them with hand signals.
I did that. To show my two boys about sex.
Oh. My Goodness. I still am shaking my head at this.
And the fun continues:
A couple doesn’t have a baby every time they have sex.
Why don’t they have a baby every time? (Yes, in their minds they are thinking that this is a task that has to completed those few times in order to get babies).
Because the egg in the woman has to be fertilized.
Their eyes now wide: A WOMAN HAS AN EGG INSIDE HER?
Not like our chickens. It is tiny. And only happens once a month.
The commercials, the stuff you see on tv-our culture makes sex out to be something it is not. For one: It is kind of gross. and 2. It’s something that is special between a husband and a wife. I pray about this for you and your wife all the time.
(These next two responses are priceless)
Oldest: I want my wife to be able to have lots of babies. I want a lot of kids.
2nd born: That is the goal right? To have kids?
That is one of the perks of marriage is having kids. but it is not the main goal.
We ended our discussion that this is not something that you tell all the kids at school about. (I can see it now,”Kids at Christian School tell all their friends about having sex!- I’d get a few phone calls about that.) But this is something we can talk about it in our family.
You see, our kids are going to be looking for answers. If they can’t find them from us, then the world is sure to tell them. And I don’t want that. This is part of my job as a parent when God gave me these kids. They weren’t just cute little squishy babies to snuggle on. That was my job as a parent when they were born (and yes, I still tend to snuggle them as often as I can) but now my job is to teach them other topics. Which do include topics about sex.
I hope this has given you some courage on having those tough conversations with your littles. It is so not easy, it is awkward, but it is necessary. Open communication with our kids, it’s something we are fostering in our house. It goes against me and the hubs’ inclination. We don’t naturally discuss these types of things.
But we did it.
And I know now when it comes down to it, we just made it easier for our kids to ask us those tough questions that they will soon be navigating. Growing up now is not what it used to be. Communication and a lot of prayer, plus the pure grace of our God, are going to see us through these days.
Mess to Blessed