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I also read a church booklet, but it was mostly philosophical (not practical), and it was pretty outdated.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