If you want to know how to talk to your kids about sex, you are in the right place. Just the other day I had the birds, and the bees talk with my oldest who is 7, and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I giggled a lot. I didn’t use a book for this first-time talk, but I know many people who do and find them to be a great resource. My conversation with my daughter came about organically as her curiosity has peaked and also because other kids her age are starting to talk about it.
Yes, some would say that seven might be young for a talk on sperm, eggs, and human reproduction, but we live in a world where sex is everywhere, and kids are being introduced to it younger and younger. As a parent, I want her to have a healthy understanding of sex, and her body and I want to be the first one in line to talk to her about it. Not just because I want to set the grounds for her outlook on her sexuality, but because I believe that her understanding of sex will also keep her safe from an unwanted sexual encounter.
First you need to know that I am a very frank and blunt person. In our family, we don’t make cartoon character names for our private parts. It’s either “private parts,” “vagina,” Penis.” Well, I take that back. We do call breasts, boobs sometimes because it just happened, not because we were embarrassed that one of our kids would possibly yell BREASTS in a grocery store. Thank the lord that has never happened.
So, my oldest has always known where her vagina is and also that boys have a penis. We have made the idea of our bodies normal because it is normal.
When I became pregnant with my third child, my oldest, who was five at the time, came along with me and she was enamored by the plastic diagram of the vagina that could be disassembled. She would take it apart and put it back together while we waited for my exams and we would talk about what part of the plastic vagina the baby would come out of and into our family. It wasn’t weird at all, it was a natural conversation and she was curious.
I wasn’t going to tell her that babies come out of butts.
I told her the truth; that babies come out of a special hole that only girls have. We talked about how cool it was that only girls had the special power of bringing babies into the world and our bodies are kind of like transformers. I mean, I think that is pretty epic.
Fast forward to a few days ago when we had the actual sex talk with more specific details. My daughter already had bits and pieces of information, but she was getting curious about the facts. Our conversation started because she opened up and told me that a neighbor boy share with her a story about a boy and girl at his ELEMENTARY SCHOOL that were apparently naked together. Yes, you heard me right. She said something along the lines of “isn’t that gross mom?” Then she asked if daddy was allowed to touch my vagina.
As a parent, this story alarmed me for MANY, MANY reasons obviously. But instead of just telling her “hey, we don’t talk about that stuff with other people” I said to her that if someone talks to you about naked body stuff you need to tell mommy right away. And then that opened her up to tell me more things she has heard regarding people being naked together, from other kids at school on the playground.
The reality is, its 2018 and sex is on everything and everywhere. Kids are going talk. I did when I was a kid, and the curiosity to understand sex came before the internet and social media and I-phones with easy access to porn and creepy Youtube ads on the kid’s channel. So yeah, I knew it was time to have the sex talk with my daughter and frankly I wanted to be the one to respond to those questions and give her a healthy understanding of sex and reproduction.
From our conversation and the information she already had, I knew that her mind was reeling with all types of questions and curiosity and I, as her mother, wanted to be the one to respond to those questions.
So, I told her I wanted to have a big girl talk with her and answer all of her questions; she was so pumped about it. We climbed onto her bunk bed and started our sex talk with what she already knew about her body. She told me where babies came out of and so I then asked her how she thought babies were made. She shrugged her shoulders and so then I asked if she wanted to hear about how it all worked. She squealed and energetically said “yes.”
I talked about the eggs that girls carry and the sperm that boys carry and how together, they form a baby. From there, I told her that hole that girls have for babies is also where the sperm goes to meet the egg and that it get’s there through the penis that boys have, and her eyes got BIG!
The sperm getting to the egg is where I started to laugh. Because, let’s be honest, as cool as sex is, it’s freakin weird when you try and explain it in a G rated fashion to an innocent child.
Of course, she asked how the penis gave the sperm to the eggs, and I let her talk my ear off as she tried to explain to me how she thought that happened. And then when she was done trying to figure it out on her own, she asked me to explain it, and I did. I said that the penis goes inside the hole that girls have for having babies and delivers the sperm to the egg.
I could see that the wheels were turning in her mind and then the onslaught of questions and statements happened. “
“Mom, does daddy see you naked?”
“Mom, did daddy do that to you and is this how I was made?”
“Mom, am I going to have to do this one day?”
“Mom, this is so weird!”
“Mom, If I have more questions can I ask you?”
“Mom, can we go to the store and get more slime.”
So, we ended our sex talk there for the day, and I have left it open for continuous conversation. I discovered throught this experience that talking about sex with your kids is only as awkward and uncomfortable as you, the adult and parent, make it. So, while it was awkward for me at times, it’s just because I understand the fullness of what sex is. She doesn’t understand the ins and outs (no pun intended) of sexual intercourse. We didn’t talk about how it feels ridiculously good and that you get to experience this wonderful thing called an orgasm. We didn’t talk about how sex was so intimate and that it forms a scientific, emotional bond with the person you are doing it with, and that’s why it’s so important to be cautious and careful.
We will get there though because I’ve left the door open, but for now, I kept it simple.
Having the sex talk with your child isn’t an open and closed chapter in your life as a parent. I believe that it’s a continuous conversation that should be had again and again as they grow up and opening the door for those talks is essential as the parent.
With that said, how did you talk to your kids about sex? And also, here are a few books that have been helpful for other Real Mothers as they have navigated this journey with their children.
- Before I was Born has been wildly talked about for helping your kids understand sex.
- It’s Not the Stork is also another good one for a very straight forward approach with your kids.
- Mary Flo Ridley has a series of books and dvd’s that help you navigate talking with your kids about sex for different stages in their lives.