Are you wondering when to give your child the birds and the bees talk? My advice is that it should always be sooner rather than later. Since we are all grown folks here let’s call the birds and the bees talk the sex talk.
As parents you may or may not be dreading the birds and the bees talk aka the sex talk. The sex talk typically consist of
- Where do babies come from?
- What is sex?
- And if you have a little boy like I do.
- Why does my penis stand straight up when I am looking at the cheerleaders dance on TV?
As a single mom who has a little boy I want to be as transparent as possible with my son. It also meant that his mom had to give him the birds and the bees talk. As I parent I hope that my son will wait until he gets married to have sex. I do not know many parents that want their children to have sex as young as possible. But although I want him to wait until he get married, I also do not want him to be ignorant about sex.
The Birds and the Bees Talk is knowledge and knowledge is power and no matter how you raise your kid, they are their own person and they are going to make their own mistakes. I rather give him the The Birds and the Bees Talk and teach him that their are consequences to having sex such as a pregnancy or an STD then to just pretend like sex does not exist and him make mistakes based off misinformed sex information he was given from his friends or the internet.
So I decided to start giving my son the sex talk at age 5. Yes at 5. I am going to be debbie downer for a moment and shed realness on you. The sex talk is for your child’s benefit even at that age. I do not think that my son was having sex at 5, but molestation happens. Often times kids are molested at a young age and do not realize that it is wrong because they do not understand what body parts are off limits to other people.
Believe it or not, I was not the FIRST one to give my son the molestation talk. It was his doctor. As she examined him, she told my son that she was going to touch his penis. She said the word penis, not pee pee or wee wee. And asked him if it was okay. She also explained that it was never okay for anyone else to touch his penis without his permission. This included adults and family members. And that if someone was to touch his penis he should tell an authority figure right away! After that she asked my son for permission touch his body.
The first note to take from this conversation is that children should know the proper name for their genitalia. Molestation happens folks. And if you listen to the news it has been happening by teachers and teacher’s assistants to elementary aged children. Using names like Wee wee for penis or cookie for vagina makes their genitals seem more like a toy. And when someone ask to touch their cookie, children think it is okay because it sounds like a sweet snack that they get from their parents after dinner.
Going back to my son, he nodded in understanding and also laughed about it because he is a boy. But after the appointment, in true boy form, he kept making jokes about his penis. But you see, it was not awkward at all. It did not make me feel embarrassed nor did it make him feel embarrassed. After that appointment I spoke openly to my son about molestation what is was and to tell me if anyone ever touched his penis or other parts of his body.
I did not expose my son to the sex talk all at once. As parents we know that the birds and the bees talk comes more and more as they get more curious with age. My son was 6 years old. We were watching Hit the Floor and the cheer leaders were dancing. Out of nowhere my son told me his penis was standing up and asked me what was wrong with it. Remember back at the doctors appointment when he learned about his penis. He never forgot and since he felt comfortable talking to me then about it, he still felt open enough to talk about it now.
I had to explain to him that this was normal and will sometimes happen when he sees a woman he thinks is pretty. This was kind of an awkward conversation. It caught me off guard a bit, but my son realized that his penis was not going to explode and he was not going to die for his penis sticking up. It was normal. And would probably happen again.
The third sex talk was actually on the topic of sex when he was six. My son came out of nowhere like children often do and asked
“Mommy when I get married, what will my wife do with my penis; will she play with it?”
My response was “Something like that.”
And then here comes the question that most parents dread
“Mommy, what is sex?”
I had to think about my response and put it in a way that he would understand that would not horrify him.
“It is when a man rubs his penis on a woman’s vagina”
My son’s reaction was priceless. His eyes got big and he said
“I did not know that!”
Once the initial shock passed because this seems so strange to him that this is what two people do when they have sex. He accepted my answer, and I told him not to tell any of his friends at school because that was their parents place not his. Of course he told his best friend at school the next day. But the point is that since I was open and spoke about it in a way that was normal. I know in the future my son will not hide things for me if he does consider having sex. It seems strange at first talking to your child about sex. But it is only strange if YOU make it strange. You shape the way they view things. And if you make sex this dirty thing that happens that no one should talk about your child will not feel comfortable talking to you about it.
The last real sex talk I had with my son was at 7 years old and it was another typical questions?
“Where to babies come from?”
At this point I had talked about sex with my son, his penis, and molestation. So it was not big deal for me to say
“A woman’s vagina”
But like true boy form my son’s response was
“I came out of your vagina?” As he rolled on the floor and started laughing.
And in my case he did not come out of my vagina, I had a c-section and just simply told him that.
My point is that it is good to be open and honest with your children. And as they grow they will be open and honest with you. I would not recommend showing your children porn or anything crazy in order to teach them about sex. But I would recommend talking to them. I can recall when I was in elementary, older kids who were 5th graders came along and told me that a condom was a plastic bag. And then gave it to me. I was in awe. I had a condom. I believed that bag was a condom for the longest time. It is better for your children to find out sex from you, then it is for them to find out sex from someone else. Because his friends may tell them
- You can’t get a girl pregnant if it is your first time and her first time. Which is false
- If you pull out you can’t get a girl pregnant. Which is also false
- You cannot get STD’s from oral sex. Which is once again FALSE.
Sure I want my son to wait until he finds a wife to have sex. But despite popular belief, hiding the topic of sex from your kids or just telling not to do it is not doing them any favors. Educating them about sex and STD’s will teach them that sex is a huge responsibility and can have untended consequences such a AIDS or even a baby that you cannot take care of. Expressing to your children the unintended consequences of sex is much more of a preventative measure then telling them not to do it, without talking to them about it, and then hoping for the best. Kids are only going to get embarrassed by the sex talk if you get embarrassed by the sex talk. My son’s sex talk is only a guideline. But the point is that when your children start to ask, its okay to tell them.