“Sex” is a Funny Word
These can be SUPER hard to talk about...especially with your kids.
Buuuut — hang with me through this uncomfortable blog post and hopefully I can help make the conversation a little less awkward.
A LOT has changed (or been brought to light) since I took any kind of Sex Ed and when I was in school they mostly just showed us nasty pictures of STDs (now apparently called STIs) and made sex this big, scary thing we shouldn’t be doing...
Well folks, we were doin’ “it” and every damn one of us could’ve been better prepared and educated—amiright?!?
When I was younger, I don’t remember anyone EVER discussing ovulation, masturbation, rape, consent, sexuality or gender with me. Now, I’ll cut our educators and parents some slack and say that some of these things weren’t really discussed back then (I graduated in 2003 — it’s been awhile), but…OVULATION, MASTURBATION, RAPE, CONSENT…these have always been really big topics — they’re just awkward to talk about (yes - I see you cringing as you read this).
But I would like to argue that we shouldn’t wait until our children have these conversations with their ill-educated peers.
One of my biggest goals as my children’s “teacher” is to make sure they are very well educated and confident in this area.
My areas of focus at Preston’s age (8) are:
To inform him that his body will be changing soon
To teach him about consent and body autonomy
To educate him regarding societal “norms” surrounding gender, sexuality, sex, masturbation, etc. and that he doesn’t have to “fit in” to what’s “normal”
To teach him that everyone is different AND the same—and to respect others’ choices and feel safe and secure in his choices, as well
As far as where babies come from…Preston has known from a very early age (3-ish) that a daddy gives a mama “magic” and when that happens...sometimes it makes a baby, the baby grows and will eventually come into this world via the mama’s vagina (traditionally anyway).
He’s been home for (but slept through or chose not to actively participate in) 2 home births and all the midwifery visits along the way (as well as witnessing me go through the miscarriage of Luca) —so his education around reproduction started early.
While we have ongoing conversations about bodies and touch, I wanted something more comprehensive, something that would be a conversation starter. This book by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth is absolutely IT! THIS is what I have been looking for!
The age range is 8-10 and it’s definitely right on track with things we’ve been discussing and that I wanted to shed more light on, but wasn’t quite sure how 🤔
I wholeheartedly recommend you add this book to your collection, if you’re a parent who is also hoping to start these types of conversations early.
I would argue earlier = better.
Education on these topics can help our kiddos protect themselves, their bodies and will hopefully allow them to feel less shame around the topic of sex than, I think, past generations have had (mine included).
For those of you worried about how deep into detail this book goes…it does not discuss penetration of any kind (I can just see my mom’s face as she’s reading this, 🤭 “Did she just say penetration?!” Yeah mama, I did. 👋)].
I don’t plan on discussing “safe sex” or sexual acts with Preston until he’s older and this book doesn’t go there.
Anyway...I could go on and on, but I’m not necessarily “qualified” to speak on this topic (but neither was my fucking gym teacher 😒).
Please note: I am not opening this post up for your suggestions or opinions on how I raise my babies or whether or not you think they’re “too young” to know these things. Just like I’m not judging or advising you if you’re just not there/not ready. That’s cool ❤️
Also—if you have an issue with the LGBTQ+ community—this post isn’t inviting your opinions there either. I’m trying to raise babies who not just co-exist and tolerate, but that can be fierce allies and/or feel comfortable “coming out” one day, if needed. So don’t put your hate here...it’s not welcome. 🏳️🌈
What I would LOVE to hear in the comments are books, movies, conversation starters that have helped open up these topics between you and your kiddos or something someone said or taught you during this time in your life that had a real impact....I’m all ears 🤓