A few weeks back I read an article by Sharon from The Blessed Barrenness about her talk with her daughter about the birds and the bees or sex. While I read I was like oh yes, I need to do this. Making mental notes along the way you can read her article here. When I got to commenting it became apparent that I was not needing to, as in still – but actually late. Way late. Emilie is 10 turning 11 in a month. Sharon’s daughter is 7. The more I read the more I stressed.
Emilie has always been the kind of child that was more “childish”, she played with dolls believed in fairies and Santa till I told her they didn’t exist just over a year ago. And I only did this to protect her from ridicule. I think it made me believe that I could delay this conversation for a few years. But the reality is the earlier and more open we are about sex, hormones and menstruation the less room for confusion and distrust.
I eventually put on some big girl panties and did it. One day when Emma and I were home alone so as to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment. It was hard, but I tried to be natural. As natural as you can be when you are explaining words like penis and vagina to your impressionable daughter. I got some youtube clips to help “break the ice” about the conversation that were light hearted. It helped us laugh about it all.
Some tips to remember when having the talk with your daughters:
- Stick to the facts – this may sound like going against what you are trying to do but try not to OVER explain. Obviously if there are questions answer them as openly and honestly as you can. But remember too much information is also a thing.
- Use the proper words. Sex, penis, vagina, semen… don’t say flower and twinkie etc. It’s an adult conversation, try to keep it that way.
- Try to make it normal, or at least comfortable for questions and openness should the need arise for questions at a later stage. Reiterate a few times that its okay to talk about it. There’s nothing dirty or disgusting about it.
Through most of the conversation Emilie’s eyes were as big as acorns. She also had her jersey up over her mouth, and every now and then over her eyes. She didn’t ask me any of the obvious questions like – oh that’s where babies come from? Daniel? Although I imagine this is what she was thinking. Yuck mom!
While talking to Emilie about sex I also explained to her about what being a girl really means. Not the long hair, makeup and boobs part. The periods, moods, puberty part. Tough day? Yeah, it was.
But so necessary – it was so important for us to talk about what was coming so that when she was feeling weepy, angry or just all round alone. It was just foreign and for nothing. Puberty, hair growth and all those crazy changes is such a scary and exciting time in our children’s lives. It is also very difficult as they do not understand much less know how to deal with all the changes they are currently or about to experience. I am so relieved that it is over though.
After all this heavy talking we decided that we would put together a “big girl” pack for her with all the essentials she would need for the upcoming new phases. A little something exciting after the scary talk we had had. What we decided to put into her pack will be up on the blog soon.