My son patiently explained that when a baby was growing inside of it’s mother, it got all of it’s nourishment from the Polenta.
Perhaps Puberty Education (the new p.c. way of saying sex education) isn’t quite working out.
For years, when my kids asked where babies came from, I told them the truth: they didn’t want to know. And you know what? They didn’t. They watched National Velvet and practically fainted when they realized where the baby foal was coming from in the opening scene. I told them that before they were babies they were “ingredients.” Then after a while I told them the proper names of the ingredients. And last summer, when they were nine, I told them the rest of it.
They didn’t want to know.
My daughter wanted to know if there were some other way to have babies. Like maybe how gay people got their babies. (this is NY – a kid with two dads isn’t news to her.) My son decided he’s never getting married.
Think maybe I told them too soon?
And I wasn’t the only one. In puberty ed last week, the teacher brought in a tampon, unwrapped it, showed them how the applicator worked, then doused the thing with water to show how big it got and how absorbent it was.
Oh – and that was in my son’s class.
Why, I ask you, did he need to know that? At ten? My husband is almost 50 and he still doesn’t know that much about tampons.
I do want my kids to hear the truth. I don’t want them to think sex is weird or bad or dirty. I don’t want them to be freaked out by the changes in their bodies. They should be prepared, understand the biology. But maybe TMI is having an effect on them. I’m worried it’s freaking them out, upsetting them, making them more uncomfortable in their bodies rather than less.
So how do you know what to tell them when? I sure don’t. Books can help. Friends. Teachers. (Except when they’re showing your kid a tampon!) But really, it’s you who knows your kid best. I might have misjudged their readiness to know about the facts of life, but I knew how to tell them. I’m their mother, it should come from me — not from some kid on the playground. But I also know my limits, and when the time comes that my kids are thinking about sex, and birth control, and STDs. Well, I’m gonna go to the experts.
This months SVMOMS book club pick is The Body Scoop for Girls, by Jennifer Ashton. It’s a comprehensive guide to adolescence, changes in your body, and overall wellness. And I’m definitely gonna need it. (it’s gonna be my expert) This post was inspired by the book.
[Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for this post, for which no editorial guidelines were set. I received no other compensation.]
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