Do you remember when your parents/parent sat you down and had THE talk?
I do! And it was horrid! And I was mortified and I just simply refused to believe that that was how babies were made for the longest time!
Ava has been curious for a while now. I’ve wanted to tell her but my husband has sort of been putting the breaks on this conversation. She’s asked a lot of questions about how babies are made and we’ve sort of glossed over them but she’s a smart cookie, so it’s been obvious by her reactions that she knows we’re not telling her the whole story.
Last weekend, she told my mom she’s kissed a boy, on the lips at school. She then went on to tell her cousin. I had a little chat with her about it. Ok, I lie, I completely overreacted at hearing this story and told her she was too young to be doing things like that with boys and I was going to tell her dad and he was going to be angry.
Big Parenting FAIL right there!
I knew the moment the words left my mouth I’d made a terrible mistake! And this proved to be true because as soon as she saw her dad, she told him she’s been only joking and it wasn’t true. Of course, being a Daddy’s girl, he now believes 100% that she was just joking. I, on the other hand, believe I put the fear of God in her when I told her I was going to tell her Dad and so she backed up and changed the story. Again, total FAIL on my part.
But this was finally the point where my husband agreed it was time to have THE talk!
A friend of mine loaned me her copy of The Big Book Of Sex & My Body.
And after browsing through it, and almost dying at telling my child these things, like this for example:
I bit the bullet and decided to treat it as a band aid and just rip it off and get it over with.
The book is described as:
The big book about sex and my body is at the same time a guide for parents on how to answer uncomfortable questions. It is a gentle and clear way of informing the young ones about these sensitive issues. The book deals with subjects such as love and sexual relationships, the anatomical differences between girls and boys, body changes during adolescence, fertilization, pregnancy and birth and wrong beliefs about sex. The excellent, fun illustrations will help children to get to know themselves and others by learning about the physiological and personal differences that make us unique.
And it was a great guide into the conversation. What I loved is that is explained everything in the most anatomically correct way throughout, but easily so a child can understand. It has cute relatable images and is divided up into sections so you don’t need to cover the entire book in one sitting. And it gives a recap of each section in a fun story format at the start of each chapter so your child is reminded of what they’ve already learned as you move from chapter to chapter. Starting with how boys and girls develop differently as teens, covering menstruation, intercourse, pregnancy and birth.
So how did the talk go?
Well Ava was fascinated. I loved her enthusiasm to learn and understand. She was so perfectly innocent and asked lots of questions along the way. Sweetly raising her hand each time she wanted to ask me something else. I love that she doesn’t have any of the hang ups yet that so many of us struggle with, so she was especially interested in the diagram of the female genitals and learning all the different parts and how they all worked.
When I explained the intercourse bit, she told me it’s disgusting and then wanted to know if her Dad and I do that and then she seemed quite disgusted to find out that we do. At the end of the book, she told me that she wants to have a baby one day, when she’s a grown up, but that she doesn’t want to have intercourse to make a baby because that’s “gross”.
There were other questions too.
About my infertility and miscarriages, she seemed really sad to learn that I’d lost 7 babies through miscarriage and even more sad when I showed her the pictures of 4, 6 and 8 week fetuses and how I’d lost babies all during that phase.
I was actually really surprised and impressed with how she handled the whole conversation, her questions and thought that went into the chat and reading through the book.
I have explained to her that I’m having this conversation with her now, because she’s a big girl and I trust her with this information and I trust that she won’t tell her little sister, that we’ll tell her ourselves when the time comes.
And that was that.
The whole thing was much easier than I thought it was going to be, I think I was more traumatized by the conversation than she was and she went right back to playing with her toys afterwards.