Having "the talk" with your kids
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 09:52 AM
My daughters are going on 22, and they knew everything there was to know about contraception and STD's by the time they were 12. But we didn't have deep discussions about sexual attitudes and behaviors until a couple of years later, when they were 14 or 15. We've always been very open about this, thanks mainly I think to the fact that my mother was open with me. I had a good precedent.
But I remember them telling me about girls they knew who were woefully ignorant about sexual matters. It was quite dismaying.
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:13 AM
My parents never had "the talk" with me, and most people I know never got "the talk" either.
It's like the parents were uncomfortable with the task, so they just left it up to the school system to do. Or they were afraid that if they have the talk with their kids, their kids will start having sex as a result.
I suspect not much as changed. I'm interest to see how parents respond to this thread.
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:17 AM
cant blame anyone....i did things in school which showcased my knowledge.....haha...dammm i miss those school days
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:20 AM
As for porn, sexualized media, the internet, and even current movies... Well, I'm not going to be present 24/7 every day of the year to monitor what they're watching, so I've recurred to constant dialogue to deal with whatever they see. We watch a lot of Japanese anime rated under 13, but even in that category, there are characters with big boobs and sexual inuendos, so instead of objecting, I remark how unrealistic that view is compared to regular people who walk on the streets. They seem to relate to that idea very well, and simply find the scenes funny.
I have also taught them to understand what they feel when they come across sexual images. If at any point they feel uncomfortable with what they're watching, all they have to do is not watch. This is something they do often. It used to be that they simply covered their faces with their hands and turned their heads away... They did it almost instantaneously and before I could ever tell them that the scene was not appropriate. That was extremely cute to see, but my son is growing and he doesn't feel that uncomfortable anymore, so he just looks away.
Now, this might be a little different from the States, but in Canada, sex-ed starts in grade 5 and there's no opting out. It's a government initiative designed to support the health system. There are very clear relations between sexual ignorance and STIs, STDs, early sexual activity and teenage pregnacies. That not counting with the social and psychological effects all these health related matters have. So basically, there are great benefits in very-early sexual education, not just for the immediate health point of view, but also in terms of social programs assisting very young mothers with unwanted pregnancies, less problems for the government trying to pursue child support, less problems with sex-related pathologies and so on.
Of course, parents have to their work, but it's nice to have an official strategy that levels education in that regard.
This post has been edited by Olive: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:24 AM
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:28 AM
However, my nieces at least are getting the talk earlier in their lives that I thought was needed - and now I know why. I'm glad. Perhaps part of that is the HPV vaccine and wanting them to get that - and explaining the reasons. Whatever it is, I'm glad. My youngest nieces (13 and 16) know the facts of life but have also been taught that there is a time and place for discussing them, and that is not around the dinner table with guests present, lol. And what is and is not appropriate verbiage at this point in their lives. Honestly, I really thought my BIL was not going to allow them to date until they were 21 but my sister prevailed and the 16 year old is dating a lovely young man. And is being properly respected.
See, if someone had taught me that way... perhaps I wouldn't have run around, sneaking, kissing - never doing anything that can't be discussed here as a former underage person, but still having little "trysts" on the sly. Perhaps I would have had more self respect... idk. I was no slut - again, I did nothing that couldn't be discussed here, but I think the sneaking around and having to find things out on my own contributed to a less than perfect feeling about my own sexuality.
Hey - yes - by God that is it!!! So here, at age 53, I am feeling good about it finally. DAMN!!! mariposa, I think I need to repay you in some way for being my psychotherapist for the day!!
mariposa - I'm glad you did what you did. I hope parents are doing the same - and I think perhaps you were ahead of your time!
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:28 AM
Yes, and this as opposed to those who don't want the school system involved at all. Neither extreme is the best way to go, in my opinion.
Yes, I understand what you're saying. But when you say you "already knew", where did you learn? From your friends? From porn? Not the most reliable sources ...
The emotional aspect is always the most difficult, isn't it? With my girls, it was more or less an ongoing discussion throughout their high school years, and as they began dating. I learned much from them, too. Their take on things was not always the same as mine, but then mine wasn't what my mother's was, either. It's also interesting how the two of them differed. They're identical twins, but personality-wise very different. Sometimes they ended up in more heated discussions with each other than with me!
LOL ... my couch is always open!
This post has been edited by mariposa: Thu Dec 09, 2010 11:29 AM
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 01:27 PM
Now when I was 9 years old I was out shopping with my mum, I went into a public toilet and i'd started my period, I wasn't prepared, didn't know what it was and got into a right little state. that night, my mum sat me down, gave me "are you there god, its me margaret" by Judy Blume, and discussed periods and a few other puberty things.
Sex wasn't really discussed in our house, my mum was on her own with two girls and a boy and she's always been quite a private lady. Anyway, in school, we had Biology and sex ed, and I remember coming home with the consent form to allow me to be taught about sex. She read the form and said, well I suppose its time we talked about this too
I knew already what sex was though, I just didn't know the ins and outs (pardon the pun)
I believed that sex was what married couples did to have children but some people did it because they wanted too. I'm not sure if I decided that from going to church and hearing the children are a gift to married couples chat or if it was picked up from mums romance films (doris day has a lot to answer to!)
I imagined that having sex meant you had to wear glam lingerie, hubby would be in bed waiting looking amazing, and i'd come shimmying out of the bathroom, fully made up, squirted with perfume and we'd lie all over each other and the sex would magically happen without even so much as a hair being ruffled! (perhaps we watched dynasty and dallas too much)
So in Biology and sex ed, I really had my eyes opened. We learnt how to put condoms on, we practiced in phallic things, boys and girls together, paired off so we were forced to not be embarrassed.
We were taught all about the menstrual cycle, taught that not all sex was loving or giving, that anything which made you uncomfortable should be questioned and you should always say no if you didn't want to proceed. We were taught about pregnancy and std's too.
My mum seemed happy to let that be, however she has always been very good at being realistic when my sister and I had boyfriends etc. She took me to get the contraceptive pill once she thought i'd be having sex or there was a possibility, Aids was a big thing in the late 80's early 90's so she used the television campaigns as a tool to discuss STD's etc and to reinforce that fidelity went a long way in a sexual relationship.
My mother and sister are very prudish, they will discuss sex, but definately wouldn't be on the same page as me. I think that I learnt a lot through trial and error, am very open sexually because of working with girls that were older than me and I listened to their conversations, they filled in the blanks in their lunchtime discussions and I felt able to ask them and talk to them about things I was uncomfortable with.
I do read a lot, and always have, I used to seek out books that talked about sex as I was very conscious of how sex in my mind was not really the same as in real life. I'd seen porn vids with my first boyfriend, we used to watch in his fathers house, but I knew that sex wasn't really like that. We used to laugh at some of the scenarios shown.
I just hope that someday I'm blessed with children of my own and I will make sure that they are aware of sex and relationships from an early age.
Olive how you describe what you do with your children is how I would like to be in the future.
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 01:28 PM
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 01:41 PM
I never got any type of talk. being a country girl, basically from what I can recall..My dad took me out to the Stallions pasture one day and hung over the fence laughing at my embarrassment when they let the mare in. there was my talk.
This post has been edited by Jewelz: Thu Dec 09, 2010 01:41 PM
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 02:43 PM
Posted Thu Dec 09, 2010 03:25 PM
My mother was always supportive and helpful and very open. My father was the complete opposite.
I suppose it just depends on the parents and the children. I don't believe there is any right or wrong way to approach the subject.
Posted Tue Dec 14, 2010 09:21 AM
I want to be more open re: sex with my kids than my parents were with me. I'm not a parent yet, but I hope I can handle this situation with honesty and make sure that my kids will be informed (and that they'll have correct information).
I definitely wouldn't say that I have bad parents because we didn't talk about sex when I was a kid. I think they were just embarrassed, or maybe they didn't know how to start the conversation. Plus, we did have a little bit of sex education in school, so maybe my parents figured that was enough sex education and didn't feel the need to bring the conversation home from school. Whatever the reason, I still turned out alright and don't feel like I'm any worse off for not having had "the talk."
However, even some of the ignorance re: sex in adults is staggering to me. Some of the threads that are started on this site even blow my mind. Sometimes I think, "How have you gotten this far in life without knowing something like that?"