It’s getting to be that time, you need to have “the talk” with your child. You know which talk I am writing about… “THE SEX TALK” BOM BOM BOMMMMMM. No seriously, it doesn’t have to be that bad. I know a lot of parents dread this conversation, I wasn’t looking forward to it. After giving it some thought I concluded that talking to your child about sex isn’t something to avoid. Do you really want your child learning about sex from another child. NO, this is how miseducation happens and leaves a lot of people confused or even ashamed of sex.
On a personal note, my lack of knowledge about sex at an early age had me really confused. I believe I may have been five or so and went to school and told everybody that I had had sex. OH NO! For the record, I hadn’t. But of course this was concerning for people to hear. Had I been molested? Fortunately not. What had happened was that I had heard the phrase “slept together” on tv many times. My understanding of what sex was is when people sleep together. So to me sleepover=sex. I am pretty sure that my parents would have died of embarrassment if it was possible. I don’t blame my parents, that is a really early age to be having such a serious talk. Kids do hear everything though, even when you think they aren’t listening… they are.
So moving forward to me being the parent. My daughter was nine years old when we had the talk with her. We were expecting our second child and knew questions were bound to arise. When telling our her that she was going to be a big sister, she immediately started asking questions. I wasn’t really prepared to answer these questions. We put a pin in it for a week. I just needed a little bit of time to figure out how to discuss it. My mother-in-law had given us a human anatomy book which we decided we would use.
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This book was a huge help. We had decided that this would be a great tool and would help keep the focus on educating her. I am convinced that the sex talk does not have to be awkward. You can make it what you want. If you are awkward the conversation will be awkward.
Where to start with the conversation? Hmm, well you can’t really understand what sex is without knowing the how the female and male reproductive systems work. Puberty was nearing for her and her friends and some of her female friends had already started changing. Having an understanding of how her body works ahead of time could only be a good thing. I should also state here that we never ever called genitals nicknames like “vajayjay” or “weewee”. A vagina has always been referred to as a vagina and a penis is a penis. I will never understand the desire to call them something else. To me that is very immature and only makes the conversation more awkward. Please folks, don’t confuse your children, call body parts by their actual name.
The book has a section for both male and female reproductive systems. We read through it together, referred to the pictures. We stopped frequently to ask if she had questions. She asked questions and we answered them as honestly as possible.
“The Sex Talk”
We didn’t so much use the book for reading about sex. We just used the images for reference when explaining the process. Keeping it simple and to the point we explained the basics:
- Penis goes in vagina
- Penis ejaculates sperm into vaginal canal
- Sperm fertilizes egg
- Tadaa, Pregnancy!
Yes folks it is as easy as that… err should I say the “heterosexual’ sex education is that easy.
We did also briefly discuss homosexuality and gender identification. I really feel that this is a much more difficult conversation to have. We told her that if she ever felt like talking about it more we will ALWAYS be there for a more in depth conversation. We are all about equality and have zero negative feelings toward the LGBTQ community and want our children to know that it is ok.
Now that she had an understanding of the reproductive system and how babies are made, we were ready for the remaining 32 weeks of pregnancy. We had fun reading about what was happening with the baby and how it was developing. She sat with me while I watched labor videos and was genuinely interested. It was wonderful being able to share all of this experience with her. She was present for the gender reveal ultrasound. She wasn’t thrilled about the baby being male, but warmed up to it when she got to give her opinions on names.
My husband travels frequently for work and having her sort of prepared eased my mind. If I went into labor she knew who to call. We actually bought her a phone so that she could reach out to her Dad or nearby family in case of an emergency. The excitement to meet her brother was very real and I loved that she was able to learn so much about the human body through my pregnancy.
Officially seven days past our due date, we went on the induction list. The call came in and we were to be induced at 4:00 in the morning on a school day. This was a huge bummer for me, I wanted to experience natural labor and spend the least amount of time possible in the hospital. Oh well, on the bright side I was able to prepare and clean the house. We made arrangements for my daughter to stay with my mom the night before induction. There was no point in her missing school just to sit around and wait for the oxytocin to kick in. So we made the 30 minute drive to my mom’s to drop Lily off.
Apparently all of the cleaning and movement, stirred up some contractions. By the time we got to her house I was officially experiencing regular contractions, YAY! We decided to still leave Lily at my mom’s then head to the hospital to get checked out. We decided that when it was closer to pushing time we would give them a call and they could decide if they wanted to be there or not. Long story short, at about 1 am we called them to see if they wanted to be there, Apparently our daughter just popped up from a deep sleep and was ready to go.
They both arrived shortly before it was time to push. During the pushing I kept looking at my daughters face to make sure that she was okay. I was so worried that this would be scary for her or gross her out. To my surprise she watched the whole thing with a smile of amazement. She too sobbed a little when her brother was making his way out. I could tell it was love at first sight for her. The doctor handed her the surgical scissors and asked if she wanted to cut the cord, she did. After he was examined and while the doctor and nurses were “putting me back together”. She was able to officially meet and hold the little person she had watched grow in my belly.
This experience was truly awesome and I would not change a single thing. I feel that having that one conversation made it all possible. My now almost 10 year old was able to witness a pregnancy from practically start to finish. My daughter was able to see what the result of sex can be, and the amount of responsibility that comes with it. She understands that it is not easy to be a parent. Hopefully this experience will help her make a more responsible decision when it comes to having sex. She also got to witness how amazing it all is. I would also like to think that she will always feel comfortable talking to us about sex.
In closing, I would also like to advise you to talk to your children about sex. Don’t wait for them to learn from other kids. I truly feel that it is a parent’s duty to educate their kids.
As always, thanks for reading!
April aka Zona Mom