"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. " -Helen Keller

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The birds and the bees...you mean a doctor doesn't make them?

Tertia's post yesterday, The Birds, the Bees, Eggs and Seeds, got me thinking about the whole issue of having "THE TALK" with your kids. I was curious about what age everyone thought was an appropriate age to teach kids about where babies come from.

Its been about 2 years since I subjected Marty to "THE TALK". Both Vic and I had decided 4th grade would be our target time for the talk. Kids have an in depth unit on reproduction and human growth and development in science class in the 5th grade and we did not want the school system to be the first source of knowledge. And, although Vic and I had never stated it, we both had assumed that since we have all boys, that he would be the one having the talk with the kids. Circumstances changed that. I had a captive audience (due to a completely unrelated occurrence and I decided to take advantage of it. When I explained things to Marty, I kept it fairly clinical and made very certain I used the proper names for all the body parts. I was very straight forward and didn't let his embarrassment phase me. Evidently, the timing was right because, in the days that followed, he asked me questions about things people had told him.

Since then, Marty has truly become interested in girls but is still doesn't want to admit it to everyone. He also is a typical preteen and is embarrassed by any talk or allusion to male-female relationships. Hell, Marty himself said, "I like babies. I just don't want to think about how they get here." Am I bad if I admit that I take perverse pleasure in teasing him about this?

Just the other day, the subject of a 4th child came up. Marty and Joey have really been championing the cause. So, when Marty brought up the topic of a new baby on a day when he had been driving me nuts with his preteen nature, I just looked at him and laughed. He asked me what was so funny. I said, "Do you really and truly want another sibling?" Of course, Marty said yes. Thats when I loked at him and said, "Boy that will be fun. Just think, 9 months of reminding you of exactly what had to happen for us to be having that baby!" I don't think Marty saw the humor in it that I saw.

I grabbed another golden moment for teasing him. Right before our house guests got here, I was up on the loft changing Marty's bed. Marty has been taking a lot of snacks up onto his bed recently. Thats not really a big deal except for the fact that he had left a lot of crumbs behind. I don't know about you but nothing drives me crazier than having crumbs in the bed or having the sheets messed up.

Me: Marty, either you have to stop leaving crumbs behind or you will have to stop taking snacks into bed. Its horrible up here.
Marty: I don't mind.
Me: But its gross Marty not to mention that it can attract bugs in warm weather.
Marty (As he is leaving the room): But Mom, I'm a boy. I don't care.
Me: At some point in the future, you are going to want to share your bed and most women won't put up with this.
Marty: Eeeewwwwww....gross...did you really, really have to mention that?

Can I say again how much fun I have grossing him out?

So, how old do you think a kid should be before they get the whole "TALK"? Who do you think will give the talk in your house? Do you think it will be worse for you or for your (future) kid?


Sheliza said...

oh boy, funny you mention this subject. My girls are 12 & 14 so we have already had the talk. I still revisit the subject in gross detail very often. They get disgusted but they get THE TRUTH. You are a good parent for telling your boys before the school tells them.

Beautiful Mess said...

My thought on this is: it's never too early. Of course I would make it age appropriate, but I always talk to my kids about sex and drugs. Especially with Nae in middle school and going to dances *groan*. I do love to make it as uncomfortable as possible though, not to deter her from talking to me about it, but to get a rise out of her and to make her NOT want to engage in any type of these activities. We've touched many "ify" topics ever since she was around 5 years old. I have NO idea what I'm going to do with Zilla though. He knows body part names, but i might have my husband talk about sex with me. I don't know..I'm scared, that's for sure!

Dora said...

"Am I bad if I admit that I take perverse pleasure in teasing him about this?"


Re the sex talks, I think I'll do okay with it. It was one of the few things from my childhood that I think my mom got right. Of course, with my unconventional route to motherhood, I will have unique challenges in this regard. At an SMC seminar I went to they recommended a book called Flight of the Stork: What Children Think (And When About Sex and Family Building) as being particularly helpful with figuring out what is age appropriate information. I bought it, but haven't read it yet. I think I have some time. ;-)

Soralis said...

OH man I am dreading this! Thanks for sharing hopefully it will help me in the future!

p.s. love the teasing! :)

corrin said...

My parents didn't have a specific talk with us, but we grew up learning certain things as they came up in conversation. That's the approach my husband and I will take if we decide to have kids. Nothing was ever taboo and I think that's beneficial.

MrsSpock said...

My mother was kept totally in the dark by her very strict Sicilian mother. She told my sister and I when we were 5 and 6, and we were horrified. We were also upset later on, becau8se she didn't tell us the truth about how a baby comes out. She had had 5 c-sections, so I always thought a baby came out by an operation. I felt betrayed when I learned a few years later where they usually come out.

Maybe that's why I'm known to tell it like it is. My friend's daughters have been known to ask me, and I tell them the truth without embarrassment. I am teaching a class about puberty to some 4th grade girl scouts in a few weeks, in fact.

I think sexuality education should be a continuous, age-appropriate thing. A 5 year old doesn't need to know about STDs and orgasms, but a teenager does.