I wrote this November 25, 2011 in my housewifeinthecity blog 🙂
“Mommy, where do babies come from?” was not the question my son asked me today. He told me that Katy Perry said a bad word starting with the letter S. I immediately said “oh, you mean shit?” (and I was secretly hoping it was). He shook his head and said “no mom, that starts with SH” then he spelled it out for me. “S-E-X” …..okay, here we go.
I asked him what he knows about it (to buy time and to gather up the courage to answer his question the best way I could). He said that it’s a beautiful thing girls do. As soon as I knew where he was coming from, I told him that sex is not a bad word and that yes it is something beautiful. I told him that when adults — a man and a woman are in love and married, its what they do to make babies. I told him that it’s a gift from God because its product is life. I also had to mention that sometimes those who aren’t married do it and even young people do it — but that isn’t what God designed it for. This was the answer my husband and I decided on just the other night `coz I could sense that ‘the talk’ was gonna come up soon and I wanted to be prepared.
How I learned about the word that shall not be mentioned.
When I was a little girl my mom told me that when a guy kisses me on the lips, I’d get pregnant. I was scared to death of ’the kiss’ up until I was in 3rd grade. That’s when I found out from friends that it isn’t true. It was during our morning break, by the stairs near the girls’ toilet, that I heard from my classmates how girls really get pregnant. Details included. Years later I asked my mom why she lied to me and she said it was what her mom told her and that she didn’t know what to say to me. Yeah mom, after seven kids, great, thanks. But I totally understand my mom. She was part of the generation that was not even allowed to say the word ‘sex’…..but our kids are no longer part of that generation. My son’s obviously heard about it and he’s bound to hear it in AND outside our home — so we’ve got to give him the right answers and we’ve got to encourage the correct mindset and attitude towards it.
“But we’re Filipinos. We’re conservative.”
Yes, I know we’re Filipinos and everyone says its part of our culture to be conservative. I totally respect that, but well, truth is, the Philippines has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Asia and I really believe that if parents actually talked to their kids about sex, then maybe, just maybe, it would help kids/teens make the right decisions…well, instead of being intrigued by it and finding out for themselves.
“Do we really need to have ‘the talk’ with them? It’s awkward.”
According to www.plannedparenthood.com, “teens who report having good conversations with their parents about sex are more likely to delay sexual activity, have fewer partners, and use condoms and other contraceptives when they do have sex.” Now isn’t this reason enough to have “the talk”?
“So when should we have this talk? When they’re in their teens right?”
According to www.valuesparenting.org : “the peak of a child’s readiness is at age eight, when he or she is very verbal and conceptual and is flattered by responsibility and by being treated as a “grown up.” This age is like a marvelous window. Kids are old enough to understand but not old enough to be cynical. They are old enough to have real interest and fascination but not old enough to be embarrassed or closed off or to have a lot of preconceptions. A “preemptive strike” can give your child a healthy, positive, respectful view of human intimacy that will stand up to all the garbage that will come from the media and the peer group. And being able to talk together about THE MOST intimate subject will make any and every other subject “on limits” between you and you child.”
“Okay, fine, so how do we explain it to them?”
I wrote to Nicole, a fellow blogger and a mother of 2 boys (7 and 10), to ask her how they did ‘the talk’ and here’s what she said: (One of her sons brought up the topic out of the blue) “He suddenly asked, “Mama, how are babies made?” As with most things, we (well, mostly I) gave a blunt answer. We always lay it out straight to them. We figured, they’ll learn about these things anyway later in life so why mince any details. Better that your kids learn from you instead of from someone else, diba? We acknowledged their intelligence & ability to comprehend what most adults think are ideas that are off-limits to children. We explained the anatomy of pregnancy, linked it to their male physiology, & then later linked it back to God’s original intention for sex, marriage, pregnancy, & parenthood.”
Click here to check out her blog about having ‘the talk’
So what now?
If nicole can do it, so can I, so can you! Read up, check out the websites I mentioned. Pray for wisdom and courage! We’ve got a huge responsibility and we can’t just delegate that to their friends, media and even possibly someone who could take advantage of them.
Here’s a cute video by Planned Parenthood about “the talk” 🙂 I highly recommend you watch it!