Someone recently asked me to write about having the sex talk with my kids.
I said, “Absolutely not!”
I am not discussing sex with my seven-year-olds or my three-year-old. In my personal opinion, they are not socially mature enough to handle “the sex talk” without broadcasting their newfound vocabulary at inappropriate times and places (like the school playground). However, this got me thinking about things.
I think my husband and I do talk to our kids about sex.
Our children have never called their anatomy by any name other than what it is. My sons have never had a “weewee” or a “peepee.” They have penises and they like their penises. They are learning to listen to their bodies and treat their penis and surrounding areas with respect and dignity. My daughter has been able to discuss her vagina since she was very little. She keeps it safe and knows that it is special.
All three of my children are comfortable discussing their bodies with their father and I, or even with their doctor when we are at a check-up. They know that they are not supposed to discuss their penises, vaginas, butts, or boobs with other people. If someone makes them feel uncomfortable about one of their special places, they know to immediately talk to a safe adult (mom, dad, or teacher.)
Additionally, MY HUSBAND AND I LOVE SEX!
Should I say that again?
MY HUSBAND AND I REALLY LIKE TO HAVE SEX!
We don’t broadcast our needs and desires to our children. We don’t do crazy stuff in front of them. However, we do hold hands when we walk together. We hug each other when we haven’t seen each other all day. We kiss! Our children see these simple things often. It doesn’t strike them as weird or unnatural for mom and dad to hug or kiss.
At some point or another, all of our children have attempted to kiss me on the lips like their dad does. I used that awkward opportunity to discuss appropriate kissing with them. There are ways that moms and dads kiss each other that are different from how moms and dads kiss their kids. It was a great introduction for us to be able to talk about right ways to touch other people.
My husband and I made it very clear that they should never touch someone in a way that makes them uncomfortable. No means no.
Now we can relate back to that conversation as we need to.
Another time, we were talking about people getting married. My daughter spoke up saying she was either going to marry her cousin or her daddy when she grew up. While the sentiment was very sweet, we took that awkward opportunity to discuss couples and marriage. My kids now know that marriage is an option they will have when they are adults. If and when they find someone they truly love and want to spend a lot of time with for the rest of their life. And if it’s someone they really like to kiss like a mom and a dad might kiss. That conversation comes up again as needed.
Sometimes my husband and I lock our bedroom door and we do things that our children don’t need to see-EVER. (We do things NO ONE needs to see!)
Honestly, our children will NEVER be ready to hear THAT sex talk.
I think we’re on the right track regarding sexuality, privacy, protecting their bodies, and knowing who to trust. And opening the doors for conversation as each awkward opportunity arises. We don’t plan to ever sit down and have one awkward sex talk just to walk away and consider the job done.
The sex talk should be an ongoing process, a daily watching for opportunities . . . constant vigilance.
Television, video games, the internet, or my children’s school friends will not be the method by which my kids learn about sex. They will learn it from me, one lovely awkward opportunity at a time.
Need I say more?