The Birds and The Bees

I had a series of experiences that let me know it was time to talk to Elle, my 9 year old daughter, about The Birds and The Bees.

Now my husband’s parents never said anything to him about sex-ever. He claims they never even talked to him about wearing deodorant. To my parent’s credit, my dad did talk to my sister and me, but it was a few years too late, and we still tease him to this day about his embarrassing methods.  Chad and I turned out okay, so what’s the urgency?

The world is a different place than it was 25 years ago. The only place I could hear about sex was from my friends in the Starrett Jr. High library, but  “our children are exposed (in every sense of that word) to more sex from more sources than ever before.”  Cartoons are sexual, music is sexual, video games are sexual, heck, even hamburger commercials are sexual. It ticks me off really.

The best analogy I read was we, as parents, need “an offense rather than a defense”.  I wanted my child to hear about sex from me first, and then friends and the school, not the other way around. I wanted to be louder than peers or media, so I was officially playing offense:

Here was the game plan:

1. READ.  I bought “How to Talk to Your Child About Sex” by Linda and Richard Eyre.  My husband bought it for his Kindle so he could read it too .  We figured we were going to have to have ‘the talk’ + follow-up talks at least 4 times so it was worth buying.   The book was really practical, and it was based on the mechanics of sex as well as the morality.  We used it as the basis and guide for our discussion with Elle.

Photo courtesy of Kelsie Rae Photography

I also read a church booklet, but it was mostly philosophical (not practical), and it was pretty outdated.

2. PRAY. Chad and I fasted and prayed about our talk with Elle.  I figured I needed all the help I could get. My prayers went something like this, “Please help my face not to go red, please help me not to giggle, and please help me not to mess up Elle’s perception of sex for years to come.”

3. PLAN. Chad and I planned the big talk for Elle’s 9th birthday. (The Eyre’s actually recommended age 8.)  We hyped up ‘the talk’ and got her looking forward to it for weeks.  (The Eyre book tells you how to do all this) . In fact, when Elle was getting her hair cut, her hairstylist asked Elle about her birthday plans.  Elle said, “My mom and dad are going to talk to be about the most beautiful and wonderful thing in the world  that most 9 year olds don’t know!”  She was so excited. Aly and I exchanged glances and kept our giggles contained.

I’ll let you know how ‘the talk’ went in another post….Maybe…(I want to honor Elle’s privacy- so I am still thinking about this one.)

In the meantime, get your game plan going.  I am not telling you what to say about The Birds and The Bees, but I am telling you to say something and say it sooner than later.

7 thoughts on “The Birds and The Bees”

  1. I have been dreading this subject for the last year. Looks like I need to hit the bookstore. 🙂

  2. We wait until the maturation program in 5th grade and then ask if they have any other questions and have the talk then.
    I have learned that if you start when they are young and only give them the answers to the questions they ask it’s they best way to go.

  3. Bought that book years ago…heard about it from a good friend. My daughter is turning 10, and I have plans to have this talk before school starts. Our school does a very glossed-over thing about maturation in fifth grade, and I want to have her hear things from me first. I hope you can find a way to post and keep things private at the same time…would love more of your advice before I take that road!

  4. We’ve gotten to have the talk with 4 of our 8 children now, and though I dread it at first thinking it will be awkward…..it always ends up being a very sweet and spiritual experience. It has also opened up the door to many beautiful discussions. It’s so important that our kids know we are there to discuss those things especially when they hear icky things at school. I want my kids to ask me their questions instead of friends!!!

  5. I should have told you that I grew up with your hubby….he’s a great guy! We were on seminary council together our senior year and his mom was my yw leader for years. I actually met you at our 10 year reunion. Anyway, I enjoy your blog. Anyone who writes and celebrates families is a kindred spirit so thank you for writing and I’ll keep following!

    1. I read Chad your last comment and he was just telling me about you (and he also told me he got kicked out of his 5th grade maturation program). He’s come a long way 🙂 I can’t believe you have 8 kids. I don’t know how you do it. 4 wipes me out. Thanks for reading the blog, Angela. I am happy someone enjoys it.

  6. My mom let me learn about things in our 5th grade program as well. For that very reason I plan to have the talk well before that. Can you imagine how awkward it was to learn about such a thing in a room full of pre-teen boys? I think that alone scarred my for life. ha ha Thanks Tiff, your blog is such a delightful part of my day. I also really appreciate the book recommendation!

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