Friday, September 21, 2012

Let's Talk About Sex.

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?

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  1. We have a Mr 10. He has recently done a short course through school for "Life education". It was very good, gave the kids lots of adult information, but also made it so it wasn't "funny" or "embarassing".

    We've now had the talk more indepth as he came home and wanted to ask us some follow up questions.

    I use reusable cloth pads now, and my son has sometimes fallen prey to the "just grab what's in the machine & hang it out". Oops. On Tuesday he said to his Dad "Now I know what those things are that I hang out for Mummy, they're her pads."

    I am now going to monitor the washing machine contents more closely.

    Good luck with your 5 cherubs, you'll find your own way. xox

  2. oh my goodness you poor darling! I think its one of the most important jobs as a parent to teach our kids about this! I feel for you not knowing anything about it.

    My kids are still little at the moment.. but Miss M is turning 8 soon and I know Ill have to start thinking about it.

  3. Our oldest is 5 and we have started chatting about how we can keep being frank about things. We have just bought a book from Family Planning Qld called "Everybody's Got a Bottom" which should be helpful with normalising private part talk etc and it's main focus is starting to develop self protection thoughts for 3-8yo in a fun story form. I also read this little article the other day and thought it was helpful (though I'm possibly not as extroverted!), especially about not letting talking about sex become taboo etc.

  4. My Mum got the good old movie "Where Did I Come From" and when I was 10-11 she got me the books next in the series "What is Happening to Me?" and told me to read them and to ask any questions. She also would pack a few pads in my bag from that age onwards for school or guide camp. I got my period in year 8 and I am glad mum told me what it was all about :)

  5. I'm fortunate to have some great family friends who have recently been through all that, I always feed off them for parenting advice. I'd be more than happy if my children turned out like theres.

  6. Don't worry, my up-dragging was the same :-)
    I found out about periods in grade 7 from the teachers. We all got sat down before yr7 camp & told briefly about them & told to make sure we had a pack of pads with us on camp. I had to literally beg/demand my mother buy these "pad things" as she was adamant I wouldn't need them (& technically right cause I didn't get it until I was 14, I was about the last of my friends in that department)
    My sex talk was about the same LOL... we had sex ed classes in high school, they brought in condoms, packets of pills, morning after pill etc, showed us & had "the talk" with us... Other than that all I got was an "I know you'll probably do it anyway so I wont tell you not to, just be careful & don't tell your mother" from my dad as I left one evening to stay at my boyfriend's house when I was 18 - for the record I didn't, but I love my dad :-), so matter of fact LOL.

  7. I always felt pretty comfy talking to my mum. So glad.

    We're hoping to make this something special for each of our children. The rough plan at this stage is to pick a day for the child and same sex parent (son and dad or daughter and mum) to spend together doing special stuff. While driving in the car - listen to a cd on the topic - and then let conversation flow and questions be asked while having our fun day out together.

  8. We've already started. Pre-preparation ;)
    6yo boy, 4 yo daughter & 2 below. They ask questions like how did the baby get in the tummy? Who put it there? Etc so we add in things like the umbilical cord feeds the baby, there's blood in with the baby (placenta) and when your bigger and there's no baby the blood will come out. Sometimes it hurts (cramps) but its to prepare your body for having a baby. All info is accepted. It's fully OUR job to share this stuff cos they arnt school kids - ever. I like it this way.

  9. Danielle, I am exactly the same as you- sex, pubety and growing up was taboo topics in my family too.

    I have a now 14year old step daughter who got her first period at age 12. I have been in her life since she was 9, almost 10, and we have a really good open relationship. My fiance and I made a point of being open with her about everything.

    When she was in year 6- so about 11 years old- her school started doing growth and development (sex ed basically), so we used that as a starting point to start talks with her. We brought her Kaz Cooke's book "Girls Stuff" and a book called "Girl Talk" (in that series there is also "Boy Talk" and Teen Talk") and would go through the books with her.

    She is having some gynolotical issues and through having an open line of communication we are able to help her.

    We have also recently started talking with her about sex, experimenting with what makes you feel sexually arroused and what to do if a guy does something she don't want to (she is at the point of starting to have boyfriends. And also talking about alcohol and the effect it has on your body and mind and ability to make decisions.

    I am writting a blog post about this very topic- but am taking my time due to wanting to get it RIGHT. When I have finished it I will share the link with you.


I am a Mama of Five. A wife to one. I believe in documenting life using stories. I love telling you mine and would love to hear yours.

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