× Family & Parenting

*The* Talk... About Sex

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12 years 10 months ago #41508 by Sweet
I just read the entire article (I had just glanced over it earlier) linked by Conflicted (thanks!) and found it to be very interesting and reassuring. Most of what I read in it seemed to be well-aligned with my own impressions, expectations, perceptions... One of the things the article points out, and several people have echoed the same idea here, is that this should be an ongoing discussion. Instinctively I have actually felt this all along, however I fell prey to the stereotype when I wrote the title of the thread... "The Talk"... I guess the reason I was so melodramatic about it at first was that this will be our first "sex" talk... Somehow I had envisioned many discussions about girlfriends, safe sex, respect, pleasure, satisfaction (emotional and physical) when he became old enough to think about actually having sex... but I was caught a little off guard here... Although now it seems so silly that I was somehow expecting him to live in a total vacuum until he was at least half-way through his teens... :o how silly am I?

Incidentally, when I was pregnant with our second, our big guy wasn't too curious about the mechanics of how the baby got in there... especially since he knew the baby started out as just a tiny cell that had been in mommy's belly all along, just not growing yet (I didn't lie too badly ;) )... but as I expanded horizontally... he became increasingly concerned (and even frightened) about how the "huge baby" would "burst through the belly" :wave: Btw, the "tentacles" made my tea come out of my nostrils... that was funny! (Note to self: don't drink and read mommd threads.)

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12 years 10 months ago #41509 by Lali
In response to pathdr2b's post - I told my kids about the mechanics short and to the point, without using any funny names for body parts. That's all they want to know at their age anyway. But I was more specific than "getting real close" (which is about as much information as I ever received from my parents). And they seem to have processed the information, because they will ask me follow-up questions out of the blue sometimes, taking me by surprise as I'm driving along with them in the car.

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12 years 10 months ago #41510 by Doc201X

Originally posted by Lali:
In response to pathdr2b's post - I told my kids about the mechanics short and to the point, without using any funny names for body parts. That's all they want to know at their age anyway. But I was more specific than "getting real close" (which is about as much information as I ever received from my parents).

I'll be honest, I don't know how comfortable I am with the "penis goes into vagina" conversation with a kid in elementary school.I mean I can just imagne the follow up questions to this "can the man put his penis anywhere else, and why Mommy"? I mean like what would I say to that?!?!?!?! :boggled:

Maybe I'll have the nerve to add more details next year when she's in middle school. :confused:

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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12 years 10 months ago #41511 by AnnaM
You probably won't have to. Her classmates are probably already filling in the details if she's anywhere past age 10 or so.

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12 years 10 months ago #41512 by Doc201X

Originally posted by AnnaM:
You probably won't have to. Her classmates are probably already filling in the details if she's anywhere past age 10 or so.

So as I'm reading this (there's no time like the present, right?) I ask her "do you know HOW people have sex". She says, "No, but I'll take a guess at it. It's when two people get naked". Then I say, "you don't have to be naked to have sex". She gets a puzzled look on her face. Then I say, "are kids at you kids talking about sex?" And she says No,... then I say "well what about that balls comment from a few months ago and that Britney/Justin comments". She says "well tenicles are not the same thing and nobody cares about Britney and Justin anymore".
:confused:

So, I've decided to try to beat the peers to the punch and pull out the 'ol anatomy book when we get back from seeing the Pursuit of Happiness. :blush:

Still I can't help thinking how crazy it was that I went a LOOOOOONG time before knowing that the penis actually goes INTO a vagina (next to seemed logical for a while). And I can't imagine what a kids version of THAT idea would be. You know now that I think about it, there's this old saying in my family which says that women can get pregnant by just lying naked next to a man. Still, SOMEONE should have cleared that up for me somewhere along the way! :laughing:

My Scientist/Physician Journey
www.Doc201X.blogspot.com

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12 years 10 months ago #41513 by Sweet
Here is the report... fresh from the trenches... :D Warning: Super-long post!

Yesterday I had explored a bunch of books (online) and was not sure how I felt about any of them. So my husband had offered to check out a couple of the top choices at the local bookstore on his way home and if he thought any of them would be helpful he'd pick up a copy... He showed up with a copy of "Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle. He thought it was the best of the bunch and I reviewed it while he played with the boys. It is a very good book and perfect for the 8-10 year-old group (it would work for the precocious 6-7 year-olds and even 10-12 year olds probably). It has illustrations which are very clean and nicely done. It also has a dash of humor. It reviews the basic anatomy that distinguishes the sexes, giving everything proper names (breasts, penis, vagina), then moves on to "Making Love" (as the act of making a baby, the context is... baby-making after all). There were 2 things that were a bit of a disappointment, the phrase "having sex" was not mentioned as another way of describing making love... but that's where the parents can pitch in... more importantly, the description of the "making love" act could have been shorter (no need to wax on too long about how it tingles and tickles for this age group)...

So here's how we went about it... We put our younger son in front of the TV (thankfully that doesn't happen too often), then asked our older one to join us on the living room couch. I pulled out the paper I had found in his backpack. He acted a bit embarrassed and mumbled that it was nothing, so at first we addressed the issue of embarrassment... making sure that he understood that there was *nothing* that he should feel uncomfortable telling us or avoid discussing with us... Once everyone was feeling/acting comfortable I brought up his question of a month ago about what "sex" means. He said that the kids at school had been saying that it was a bad word, but he had told them it was just the gender of a person as he had read in his dictionary. So I asked him to get the "big" dictionary and we read the definitions together which referred us to "sexual intercourse" and we read the definition of that too. I explained to him that the reason I had not told him that last definition was because I wasn't sure he was big enough to understand a month ago and that was the same reason *his* dictionary did not have that last definition. Then we pulled out the Mayle book and asked him to read it out loud for all of us. Whenever we wanted to clarify a point, to add something or to see if he was processing things OK we would stop and talk for a few minutes. One of the things that I liked best about that book was that it had absolutely *no* value judgements or morality mixed in (it simply stuck to the basic facts), which allowed us to have a nice discussion about our own values, expectations, moral principles. We talked about the importance of growing up, getting a good education, learning about the world and people, etc. before choosing a wife and deciding to have children. We drove home the point that making love was something that children were not designed to do, it was something reserved for adults. We briefly touched on some of the dangers of having sex before being mature enough or prepared enough... even for adults (in very general terms - disease, unplanned babies). Then we talked for a while about the fact that we will periodically revisit these issues as he gets older and understands more things... the book had pointed out that men and women have hair around their genitalia, and he had wondered why he didn't have hair... so we referred back to this as an example of the things we will discuss as they come up, e.g. changes in his body, voice, girlfriends, feelings, etc. At the end we emphatically stressed the point that he should *always* feel comfortable to talk to us about *any*thing and that whenever questions came up at school he should discuss them with us. Lastly, we asked him not to try to educate any of his friends and classmates, explaining to him that just as it was important for our family to have our own discussion, all of his friends' families should have the chance to do the same, and if his friends make silly guesses or say things like "sex is a dirty word"... he should simply pay no attention.

He asked us a few questions as we read and talked. At the end, once the whole "sex" thing was demystified and not really that interesting any more, he was *really* curious about the genetics of the baby-making business. It surprised us that he had remembered what we had told him almost 4 years ago when I was pregnant with his brother. He said, "So mom, you only told me part of the story... only *part* of the baby was inside you the whole time, the other part... sperm (a new word he had just learned :) ) had to come from dad. But why is that so, what does it do?" This started a pretty in-depth conversation. We ended up pulling out an old, musty freshman biology textbook (from 14 years ago!!! yes, mommy has a hard time parting with her books :o ) and went through the whole fertilization section, as well as mitosis (to explain growth)... lots of pretty, colorful micrographs and illustrations... he was absolutely fascinated with the idea of DNA and thought chromosomes are the coolest thing! :goodvibes:

To Path: Don't be worried... it will be better than you think. And once you present the information as matter of fact, as in the Mayle book (penises are designed to go into vaginas), I doubt she would try to find other uses for either of the organs. Those issues can be addressed in a few years...

It was such a wonderful feeling... being completely honest and so very close with your child, realizing that your relationship has developed to a new depth, knowing that your child lives in a comfortable world where his/her parents are always the most safe, friendly and trustworthy place to turn for anything and everything...

Did I mention how much I love being a mom? :cloud9:

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