Friday, January 9, 2009

Sex Ed.

Tyler asked me today-"why do you and dad have sex all the time?" That completely caught me off guard. I was really shocked that he would ask me that because I didnt know his little ears ever heard that word before- I have not discussed the birds and the bees with him cuz he is 5- much too young to worry about THAT conversation, and Daniel and I certainly dont use that word when the kids are around, and they dont ever watch TV, so its not from that, and the movies they watch are all animated and they certainly dont bring up that word/subject. So where the fetch did my little Toast hear that word. I asked him if he knew what that word meant. He said, "no, but Kylie told me you and dad have sex all the time." I really didnt know what to say to him, so I told him that word is a grown up word and that it when he gets a little bigger, daddy will tell him more about it. He replies, "But I already am big. He can tell me now." I corrected myself and told him I meant OLDER AND WISER, and left it at that.

Until Kylie came home. I very casually asked her about her comment to Tyler. She said, "well, (enter friends name) told me her mom and dad have sex all the time, so I knew you and daddy do too." I asked her if her friend happened to tell her what that means. She said, " kissing?" To my relief my little daughter is still innocent. So I told her the same thing I told Tyler- thats its a grown-up thing, and that when she gets a little older we can talk about it, but in the mean-time its best not to go around talking about that with her friends.

So I have a question- at what age do parents talk to their kids about that stuff? Isnt 1st grade MUCH too young for that word to be popping up in kid conversations? And if you do have to address that topic at such a young age- how do you appropriately do such? Any ideas?


Deb said...

Oh man you just FREAKED ME OUT!!! I have no suggestions other than go find a good book about dicussing the birds and the bee's, so that you can have an experts opinion.

Cook Zoo said...

Well, can I just state for the record that I'm no expert here? But since you brought it up...

There was a time when I'd agree that Kylie is much too young to discuss this with her, but unfortunately our children are growing up in a severely corrupted world that pulls no punches for the young. Unlike Tyler, she's at an age where she spends a lot of time outside your realm of influence. I don't think you need to give her any kind of actual description at this point. But I do think those moments are a good opportunity to plant moral seeds, like that it's a special thing that only husbands and wives do, etc. That's probably all the answer she needs at this point, but if she asks more questions, I'd answer them in an age-appropriate way.

And even though it's not directly related, kids need to know (even at Tyler's age - even much earlier) that private parts of their bodies are private and should not be touched by anyone, that it's okay to say NO! and get out of the situation, and to tell you right away if something like that happens and they won't be in trouble or anything.

It literally makes me sick to my stomach to have to tell my sweet children things like that, but I've done it several times.

I think the important thing to remember about "the talk" is that there isn't just one talk. Kids will have questions from a very young age. You'll tell them a little here, and a little there. If you answer them at an age appropriate level, with the same calmness that you would answer any other question, then it won't feel like a big deal to them and they'll know they can come to you in the future. That's half the battle. As they get older their questions (and your answers) will change.

I gotta say, my dad wasn't perfect but he knew how to answer these kinds of questions like it was nothing. If you email me, I'll tell you about a very specific question he answered and the words he used, but it's probably not something I should post publicly. But it's what I always think about whenever I'm trying to keep my cool when my kids throw me for a loop like yours did.

Sorry this is so long!

And we are SO on for San Diego!!! :)

Brandon and Amanda Gregory said...

I agree with the above comment. To take those opportunities to teach your child how sacred their bodies are and how it only happens between husband and wife. My thought is, I would much rather my children learn it from me instead of the crap world we live in. I think also if they know that you are willing to talk to them about things at a young age. When they get older they will most likely come to you with other question instead of going to some one else. I am scared of questions like that when my little one gets older but I think we all get them. It's sad how young children are learning about these kinds of things now days. It just seems to get worse and worse as the years go by. I do have to say I love how Kylie was told that it means kissing. I love the answers kids come up with. haha

Deck The Halls-A Happy New Year said...

It's amazing what are little ones are learning at such a young age!
Brianna still asks me if she has to get married someday. She now asks me if she has to kiss a boy on the lips when she gets married!
I do welcome the opporturnity to teach them appropriatly what I want her to know and understand for her age, before someone else does! (I agree with the above comments) Thanks for reminding us how young are children are learning from outside influences!

Tina said...

Well, I think you answered perfectly. You let them know that it is a grown up word, not one they need to be tossing around.

It would be nice if these things didn't come up so early, but they do. I asked my mom that stuff pretty early myself.

Sometimes it bothers kids when you say, "I will tell you when you are older." This just makes them more curious. I like short vague answers when they are young.

Like in the comments above, I want to say that I am sure you want your kids to learn these things from you first, so I would hold off for now, but not as long as you probably would like to. Some kids know A LOT in the second and third grade.

Good luck!!

Sarah Blue said...

My kids learn details as they get older. My girls, when they were just four and five, knew where the babies would come out from. By age six and seven, they knew about periods...but just a bit. Nothing to freak them out. And at age 8, I give them the sex talk and your body will start changing talk.

I know it seems young. But it really isn't. We try so hard to "protect" our kids, but really keeping them in the dark just makes them more curious and then they turn to other sources for the information they are craving. Usually the other sources are ill-informed children. When my oldest girl was just in First Grade, she came home telling me that some boy in her class was going to sex her friend. Of course, that little boy didn't understand what it meant. He just knew that it was something that people did when they really liked each other. Anyhoo, we HAD to have a discussion at that point. And I really debated what to tell her and how.

I majored in Family and Human Development, and as part of my course work took classes in human sexuality. You would be amazed at the statistics of how many parents tell their children NOTHING or outright lies! Just to avoid embarrasment of their own. Assuming that the schools will teach their child everything they need to know. But the schools will not teach your child the sanctity of sex and how it is something wonderful and that God meant for us to enjoy it with our spouse. Only a parent can put the sex information in the proper context as a part of a healthy and loving marriage.

Alright, sorry about that. I didn't mean to start ranting and raving. This is just a sore spot for me. I've just read to many cases of misinformation leading to other problems. Problems that would have been non-existant with proper information given in a timely manner.

I have a few books that will help you figure out what and when to tell your kids the different parts. Most of the books will be special order. (The books in the bookstores concentrated too much on birth control, condom use, and masturbation being normal for my taste. These books fall in line with the teaching of the church and my personal beliefs.)

"How to Talk to Your kids about Sex" by Richard and Linda Eyre (LDS)...This book just tells you HOW to talk to your kids. How to start the conversation

"Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle, illustrated by Arthur Robbins...This book tells you about sex and I love it!!! The couple in the illustrations are your parents, and they are a chunky mom and a chunky dad. None of this "you have to be tall and thin and beautiful to have sex" nonsense.

"The Care and Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls" by American Girl...American Girl is fabulous!!! This book has everything that I wanted to tell my daughters about their changing bodies and so much more. It includes hygiene, relationships with friends, menstrul stuff-with lots of good info, and it discusses anerexia and bulemia in a way that a girl wouldn't think Oh! I want to try that!

"The Boy's Body Guide: A Book for Boys 8 and older" by Frank C. Hawkins...I searched for this book for a year! Most of the puberty for boys books dwelled too much on masturbation and birth control than I thought appropriate. This one is a perfect companion to my Body book for girls. It has things in it that I hadn't even thought to talk to my son about. Like steroid use when he gets older, and not getting stressed if his muscels don't develop as quickly as his peers.

Again, with the rambling. Sorry!!! I have all of these books if you would like to look them over.

Good Luck!!

alison said...

OOOHH I can't believe that, I am sure you were completely floored. Well I agree with the above comments. I would probably still be vague at this point and just say that it is something that is sacred and should only be between a husband and wife and a little later you could explain that is how babies are made, but it isn't something you talk about with your friends because it is sacred, but if they ever have questions they can always come to you or Daniel. Goodluck, not a fun thing to think about talking about with our little ones, but like Gigi said, if we don't, the world will.

Cook Zoo said...

I'm going to check into those books. My oldest is 9 and probably ready for some more information about body changes, before it starts feeling too personal and therefore embarassing.