I had The “Sex Talk” with our 7 Year old
And Here’s How it Went:
I grew up in an extremely conservative and religious household. And unfortunately some things just were never discussed. Sex was one of them. If it was ever discussed I don’t remember it. And even so, I never was able to ask questions about my own sexuality, how my body worked, or how sex worked. This lead to a young adulthood life, married to my best friend, but not really understanding sex, and what it meant to me. As my relationship with my sexuality has developed, I have desperately wanted my children to not have to go through the same problems I did.
We are also raising our children in a religious household and although many of our beliefs do influence the choices we make, we want our children to know that it’s important to make decisions for themselves. And the power to make smart and educated decisions comes from not being afraid to ask questions, and from healthy parents and mentors that are open to these discussions.
No Questions about Sex are off the table:
My husband and I decided that in our home no discussion would be off the table. (Even if it’s uncomfortable or hard) No conversation would end with “there’s no discussion”, “that’s just how it is”.
When our kids ask us why we don’t do certain things we want to have enough research to back up our decisions, AND our beliefs.
Through self discovery and many discussions as a couple, we decided we want our kids to have a stronger arsenal of knowledge – we want them to have a safe place to question and discover before they head off on their own.
You need to be the one to start the conversation:
We knew the first step was to start the conversation, even when they are young. I knew I wanted my daughter to first hear about sex from me, in a safe place. With no shame, or silliness, or confusion. I knew I wanted to use real terms, and I knew I didn’t want it to be formal or scary.
Because ultimately if we want to be the ones teaching our kids about sex, we need to be the FIRST ones teaching them about it.
So my daughter and I went out for a treat and I started asking her questions. Of course your children and your family may be 100% different, but here are the main points that I prayerfully chose to focus on at this time. I didn’t verbatim ask all these questions, but phrased them in a way to keep the conversation flowing. And my hope is by sharing them you will be able to find some ideas that may help you start your own conversation with your own children.
How to keep the conversation about sex flowing:
1. What do you know about your body? What kinds of things does it do? What makes your body awesome? What makes your body different than a boy’s body? Do you have any questions about how our bodies work?
2. Who does your body belong to? What should you do if anyone wants to touch any part of your body and it makes you uncomfortable? (This can include many things – a friend who won’t stop poking her for example, but could also protect her from any other unwanted touches) What can we do to guard and protect our awesome bodies? Do you ever need to do anything with your body that makes you feel uncomfortable?
3. Our bodies are special and private, how can you make sure to give others privacy? And how can you keep your body parts private? What areas of your body do you need to keep private?
4. In our family we do not encourage secrets. If anyone ever asks you to keep a secret what should you do? If anyone were to touch you or talk to you and it made you uncomfortable what could/should you do?
5. I know you’ve wondered how babies are made, would you like me to tell you? (I answered this as directly as I could when she said yes – if she had said no, I would have held off). I know that sex sounds a little strange to you- but do you have any questions about it?
My palms didn’t sweat. I wasn’t nervous. I didn’t smile too big, or giggle at myself. It was actually a beautiful experience and I hope as we both grow older that we can continue to grow closer. And that these conversations will only get deeper, that one day I can tell her about what it really means to be committed with her Dad, and how wonderful when she starts to feel those emotions. But for now, I know by opening the door first, that she will know our relationship is a safe place for questions, and that overall she is oh so loved.
Please know I am NOT an expert. I am just a mom- like you- doing the best I know how. Aren’t we all?