When I was younger, I never had the "talk" with my parents. I was the last in my age group to find out about things - usually by my peers or teachers.
I remember the time I found out about "periods". I was in year 6, 11 years old. I had a bad tummy ache and I told my teacher. She took me aside and asked "Do you know about periods?". I looked up at her with puzzlement and said "No?". She then told me to ask my mother when I got home that night.
As my mum pulled up at the school pick up, my little brother and I jumped into the car and I burst "Mum, what is a period?". She looked at my brother and then back at me. "Not now. I will talk to you later". I am not sure we actually had the talk later. I don't remember. I do remember her coming home one day with a "pack". Inside was a bunch of pamplets, some micro tampons and a few different types of pads. She handed it to me and that was it.
Two years later I got my first period and it was very scary. For months, as soon as it would start, I would spend two days crying and sending myself to the school sick bay. I was so scared to talk to anyone about it. I would make up different stories to the sick nurse (who, incidentally was a Nun - I went to an all girls Catholic school) about why I was there. I had no idea what to actually do with the "stuff" in my pack. And looking back now, I was pretty dangerous with my use of tampons.
I swore it would be different with my children. I want to be the one to tell them everything. I want to have open honest discussions with my children. I want them to feel somewhat comfortable about coming to me (or Brett) for information about a topic that is very uncomfortable in the eyes of a pre-teen. I don't want it to be taboo - I want the conversations to be as natural as any other "dinner table talk".
I am fully aware that children are growing up faster these days and as Hayden is 10 and Lucy is 8, I am starting to think about how we will approach "the talk". My biggest concern is that if I wait for them to ask questions... then they have already had the conversation at some stage with their peers. And I am not sure I like that idea. That said, I don't want to start the conversation too early.
Ultimately, I will eventually take them aside, individually, and start with the basic "Birds and Bee's" talk. I will probably gather some age appropriate books from the library. Or maybe not.
I honestly have no idea. I guess I will just have to go with the flow.
How did you / do you plan to broach the subject with your children?