Talking "The Talk"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wifey’s Weekly Q and A – Reversed

The other morning while I was getting my workout on, my 8 year-old son, Miles, popped his head in the room and curiously asked, “Mom, what’s masturbation?”


After nearly tripping on my jump rope, I picked my jaw up off of the floor and told him … the truth. An age appropriate version of the truth, but the truth none the less.

Sex is such a touchy subject – literally (I couldn’t resist) and is often avoided by parents (and kids) because talking about it can be uncomfortable and downright embarrassing. But dodging the issue won’t make it go away. Kids are going to learn about sex with or without you – and quite honestly, the playground education is 20 times more frightening to me than having to utter the word “vagina” to my giggly kids.

My question is:

How do you talk to your children about sex? Do you sit down and have “the talk;” use books; or wait for them to interrupt your workout session to ask you a question about their private area? Do you use nicknames or lay it all on the line?

OK, that's more than one question, but curious moms (and children) want to know …

Winks & Smiles,

post signature


Sandra Winn July 9, 2009 at 9:48 AM  


We started talking about sex with our children as soon as they began asking questions in their toddler years. We're an animal family and both of ours have always loved nature shows so it was inevitable, "Mom, animals all make babies the same way. Do Moms and Dads make them that way too?"

"Why, yes, they do."

When they were toddlers they just gave DH and I an "Oh" and then walked off. However, as they grew older it turned into "Ewwww, you mean Dad gets behind you like the dogs at the park!"

"Well, sometimes but not always."

Now they're 11 (dd) and 14 (ds) and more details are required. We've discussed diseases, menstrual cycles (yes, even with DS), pregnancy, self-worth, sexual orientation, and protection.

It's nice to know that many mothers today are not shying away from the subject.

Oh, as to your other questions...We've talked and the kids have used books on their own; I'll answer their questions about sex regardless of what I'm doing; and we've never used nicknames, we've layed it all out in the open here...penis, vagina, testicles, urethra, etc. And, so they aren't clueless around their peers, both are aware of vulgar words to describe sex and body parts.

Have a Great Day ~ Sandy

MOMSWEB July 9, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

I began talking about sex to my sons when they asked to see my penis. Funny, huh? They were three and five and the gender book came out that day. As time progressed, we've talked more openly about everything in casual conversations in the car, over breakfast, while cooking, etc...Whenever the opportunity presents itself. I even have a book on the computer desk titled Every Man's Challenge just in case they even THINK about searching for a naked woman with a penis. Who knows...these days, they may find one! Great post, Wifey!

Patois42 July 9, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

My oldest is a 12-year-old boy. We have a very open relationship and he's never been shy about asking questions nor have I been shy about answering them. My daughter, who is nearly 11, is the opposite. She's so mortified to talk about what's coming down the pike for her. She's even gone to the point of covering her ears to prevent my words from penetrating. (Okay, that sounds entirely too sexual. Hmmmm.) We've made a deal, though, her and I. She can read the books she likes to read after she reads (and we discuss) the American Girl books about bodies and the like. So far, so good.

I've also been a big one on using the proper terms and explaining how babies come into being since the kids were little. Takes away the giggle factor when the word "breast" is used. (After all, as I said, I've got a 12 year old boy!)

Anonymous,  July 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

We sat and talked and as things come up we talk about it. It can't be avoided like you said and they are going to learn whether it's from you or somebody else.

QueenBee July 9, 2009 at 12:11 PM  

Ok I just sat down and blurted it out one day. As for the age, I do not remember, but they are still not ready to talk about it. I mean they are 16 and 13 and need to know. When my son went to school one day, they had a film about puberty and when he came home, I asked him how did it go. He said it scared the mess out of him. The subject is necessary but not talked about enough.

Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) July 9, 2009 at 1:52 PM  

My kids always pretended they knew already. . . wouldn't let me talk about it too much.

"Mom!!! That's disgusting! Don't talk about that!"

Felicia - I complete Me July 9, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

We touched on the subject here and there, but really talked about it when he was 11 I was pregnant so he wanted to know what the baby looked like every week. So we thought that was a good opportunity to begin the talk.

Dee @ tifiblogs July 9, 2009 at 7:44 PM  

We use a combination of talking about sex and the human body on a regular basis and books. I like the books by Robie Harris. We have never used nicknames for parts of the body.

Eyeglasses & Endzones July 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

We have an open door policy but we also have STRICT guidelines about it. If our child has a question or hears something he usually will tell us and then we can address it. One day he might ask that question, I will tell him the truth> We also use the proper names, however sometimes a funny word comes out for a body part~!

Alicia July 10, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

O Father God Please HELP ME! I thought the "My penis goes straight when I see a hot girl AT 5" was bad. After that conversation we just give it to my lil man (who is also 8) straight. Working on a post now about his first physical for sports.

I think now adays you have to catch them with facts before their friends steer them wrong.

Sugar Jones July 10, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

Oh wow! That wasn't just a little question, huh? whew!!

I have two older girls that I had 'the talk' with... but honestly, I can't remember it. Might have blocked it out. Now I have two MORE coming up into the age of having to explain it all. Yay me.

Janelle July 10, 2009 at 7:24 PM  

Weeeell...I had my daughter on my 15th bday (2nd gen teen mom) so I've been determined to break the cycle with her...we've been talking about it since she was probably about 5. She's always been really inquisitive and was very persistent about finding out where baby's come from. I think at 5, I told her sex. Ever since then it's been an open forum. She's now 15 1/2 and now of course the talks are more frequent. It does become a lot more comfortable after a while!

Kathy B! July 10, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

I agree with the others. Be open and honest and talk about it in an age appropriate way as the issues come up.

3 Bay B Chicks July 11, 2009 at 2:29 AM  

Holy moly! Masturbation. Yikes. My children are only 1 and 3, so I do believe that I have a bit of time before I have to answer to these life-altering questions.

However, if my kid approached me about this today, my response would probably be something along the lines of "ask your father." :)


Beauty in Rare Form July 13, 2009 at 1:06 AM  

Hi there!

Luckily for me, my son is a HUGE Animal Planet fan, so at 11 years old, he is telling me about the mating and how it takes place between certain animals. Very informative for me, I might add. I don't quite know how it will be when we have to have the SERIOUS conversation, but I am ready. I have practiced it over and over. Thanks to my mother who was/is very anti-sex, I didn't have the information I needed when sex became a curiosity of mine, but this makes it better for when I deal with that with my son. I am thinking that we will use the analogy of animals a lot during that talk

Very good question though and one to begin preparing for...

Take care,

La'Tonya Richardson July 13, 2009 at 2:22 PM  

This is a good one! Often my girls would come home and tell me about something they heard, or someone said at school. Like you instead of sweeping it under the rug, I address it. I tell them the an age appropriate truth. If that topic lends itself to something else I use that opportunity. I would love to keep my children in the dark rock, but I can't and they are exposed to soooo much, I have to educate them so they're not the ones spreading stupidity. I had to come outside of the picket fence, and into the real world when my youngest child came home in kindergarten, and told me about a gay boy. And she didn't mean happy!

We don't use cute names. The same way I refuse to give my children nicknames, we call it what it is!

Funkidivagirl July 13, 2009 at 3:58 PM  

My son never asked, but I told him myself when he was about 9 or 10, I think, because I didn't want him to hear from anyone else. I read him a book from a Christian series that was age appropriate, but it didn't gloss over anything. At one point my husband walked in the room when I was reading and overheard the conversation and the look on his face was priceless.

Since then I've given him the next age book and have asked him a few times if he has any questions, but now at age 14 (when I REALLY want to address any issues/questions) he has clammed up and doesn't want to discuss it in any depth. He has the books at his disposal and I try to bring up the topic around real world situations in media, etc.

My daughter did ask at about age 5 where babies came from and I read her a book in the same series for younger kids.

Unknown July 14, 2009 at 8:18 AM  

What great and thoughtful comments! I appreciate everyone's input. Smiles!

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