The Birds & The Bee's

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by shellyd67, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I know the is quite a sensitive subject and everyone is different but ....

    husband has had a few conversations with difficult child about puberity. He explained the voice changing, hair growing in places that he never had hair before, being extra hygenic, etc.

    difficult child is so immature for his age and I just don't know how he will handle the s*x talk.

    I think it is time and he has been asking what alot of words mean (filthy words kids at school are using)

    He also heard the word s*x on TV the other day and turned and looked at husband.

    After husband speaks with him I am going to give a book a friend suggested but he hates to read so it will probably sit on his nightstand.

    How much is too much to tell him?

    Geeze I am dreading this ...:sigh:
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It can be done. If you read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon, the main character in that book has a basic understanding of sex and what is not appropriate. it indicates the fairly primitive level of understanding but also how you as a parent can take that and work with it. While it is a work of fiction, it is brilliant for helping you understand.

    We explained the basics about sex, but we also said it is not polite to talk about it cheaply or rudely, and that the people who do tend to not really understand it as well as they pretend they do. We explained the basics as the man and the woman having bits that fit together in the right way, and that this is something special and important when it is done between two people who really know each other well and love one another in just that special way; it is not something you do with anybody else.

    I would not normally recommend "Where Do I Come From?" because I think it is too simplistic - it has more information than a younger child needs, but it is delivered in a form that older kids find too patronising. However, we found it ideal for difficult child 3. My other kids hated it. difficult child 3 read it avidly (at about age 11) then said to me, "Why did nobody tell me any of this before?" in outraged tones. of course we had, he just had never taken it in.

    The other aspect of too much information (Too Much Information) came when difficult child 3 told me delightedly one morning that he had a wet dream. If I hadn't stopped him he would have announced it to everybody he met that day, including total strangers. I just said to him, "It's a sign you're growing up. But you also need to tidy up, that is part of the adult responsibility that comes with it. It is not, however, something we talk about to everyone. For more information, talk to your father, it's very much a boy thing."
    OK, I'm a coward. But we seem to have sailed trough this one.

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My husband is, in my opinion, a total a**hole about this. He REFUSES to discuss anything related to this with our sons. With Wiz it wasn't much of an issue - he and I had an extremely close relationship when he was younger (up unitl we lived with my parents and my mother managed to really really interfere). Wiz also had urinary surgery that was seriously botched (no long term problems, but a huge amt of trauma) at age 2. So he and I talked about how that part worked, what it was supposed to do, etc... At age 5 or 6 we were driving home late at night and he asked about sex. He kept asking so I kept answering. It seemed to be enough. I DO remember when he was about 3 he figured out what an erection was. When I explained the purpose (in 3yo terms) and that it was supposed to do that, he thought I was the biggest idiot in the world. He actually called my father about it - this was the first time husband refused to even discuss the issue and I was caught totally off guard. After a chat with Gpa (primed by me), Wiz settled down. But we didn't have any questions at the onset of puberty because he asked them years before.

    With thank you, well, he has asked some questions. He asks husband and husband tells him to ask me or to ask him later. So recently thank you started calling Wiz. thank you and I have spoken, and he has asked Jess a few things, but mostly he prefers to talk to his older bro. I have picked up a couple of different books about it and for now he seems fairly comfortable.

    I just have NO idea why my husband is being such a total idiot and jerk about refusing to discuss this - and it is one of the very few things we have really battled about in the last couple of years.

    You know your kid. Take a look at books on amazon and in the bookstore - there are a LOT of them and the "right" one(s) will depend on your child pretty much. I knwo that at one point we had the "what's happening to my body book" - it comes in a boys edition and a girls edition.
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Sigh. Another one here with an a**hole husband. I had to ask a male friend of mine to discuss sexual responsibility with the boys.

    When they were 6 we had a swedish book on the subject of sex. It was presented in cartoon form. difficult child 2 shut down completely and difficult child 1 looked at us in horror, asked "do you and daddy DO THIS?" I said "sometimes". He assured me that HE would never do that, it was too gross.
    He had two STDs before the age of 24. You never know what will work....
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My ex (aka Bonehead) has never expressed an interest on having any type of intelligent or meaningful conversation with our children. Heck, he never even showed up when we planned on telling the kids we were separating! So, I did it on my own.

    Same applies to the s*x talk. Naturally, I felt very comfortable with my daughter. With my son, it wasn't uncomfortable, but it was kinda different. One thing that I did was let him be the guide, just like you guys are doing. I bought him the book, "What's going on down there?" It's a humorous but honest book about hygiene, body changes, etc. It's done with humor and some cartoons. I gave it to difficult child, put it on his nightable and said, "I got this book for you. It's got some really funny stuff. I'm going to leave it here so you can look at it whenever you want. If you have any questions about anything, I'm always available."

    Fortunately, he and I have a good conversational relationship and he's never really had a problem asking questions about his body or s*x. I have always found that being as casual as possible and injecting humor makes him feel open and comfortable. I've also found that I give him just exactly what he's asking and don't go any further - otherwise I "lose" him.....

  6. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I am another one whose husband has a hard time talking about sex with the kids. It comes from his upbringing, his parents never talked to him they just handed him a book. My mom on the other hand always answered my questions, always. So when my son was about 6 or 7 he was looking for something and found an old package of condoms.... he asked my husband what they were, husband paused and said I will tell you when you are older!!! I was in the other room and I said buzz wrong answer, and asked what it was about. He told me and I went to my son and explained in age appropriate terms that those were to help people not have babies when they didn't want them. After that I think my son generally asked me the questions about sex. He did that until early puppetry and then he stopped asking me about sex, and almost everything else.

    There are a couple of good books out there that I really liked. Not all parents will like them because they are pretty liberal in nature, but they go along well with my thoughts on things. So there is one for younger children called "Its so Amazing" and one for older children called "Its Perfectly Normal". I read the first one to my kids at bedtime for several years. That way we were reading it together and of course it brought up questions and some really good conversations.

    My difficult child son stopped talking to me about stuff sometime during puberty, but that is a time when for some reason I don't completely understand we had a major disconnect and things went downhill from there. My daughter is 15 and she still asks me questions and talks to me about sexual issues and what her friends are doing etc.

    I think the key is to always answer their questions and always take the opportunity to talk to them when they seem at all interested. So I never had a "sex" talk with them, because I was answering questions from the time they were small.
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I have a pretty good relationship with my son, but let's face it - I just don't know some stuff from a guy's point of view...

    I have been answering questions for DS, but I told husband that he was going to have to sit down with his son and go over a few things.

    So husband sat down and began to go over a few things with DS, and found some educational stuff online to help the discussion.

    DS's first question:

    "Dad, does Mom know you're showing me this stuff? Cause you know she doesn't let me watch rated R movies..."

  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I think it's a genetic flaw - males being incapable of discussing birds and bees with- offspring. My husband has been completely useless, bless his heart.

    With all my kids, I answered their questions factually and kept answering until they didn't have anymore questions. I did my best not to squirm or blush - I really want them to have good information, not some of the silliness that peers can come up with-. Weeburt and Diva really didn't initiate the conversation - I had to because of an upcoming film on puberty in 5th grade. difficult child started asking questions when he was 6, much to husband's horror, LOL. But I just kept it factual, to the point, direct. As they've hit puberty and beyond, I've focused more on values, morals, self-respect and respect for others, and above all else, safety.

    The other thing I did really emphasize to all my kids is that s*x is a topic for within the family, not something to be discussed with- peers. How I've taught my kids may be different from how their friends' parents are teaching them. It's a personal choice within the family and that family's choice must be respected. I think all my kids got that, even difficult child, since I never had any outraged parents calling me, LOL.
  9. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    I don't think it has to do with husbands being a-holes. Do any of you remember your fathers or mothers talking about sex with you? My parents...nuh uh. They came from a generation where their parents ignored the "sex talk". My mom, at 19 (and this is bad) had her first menstruation at school and thought she was dying because her mother never sat down and talked to her about it. Literally, at 19 thought her menstruation was her dying.

    My dad's parents. Very old fashioned Irish\Akadians. Never spoke about the "s word" ever with their boys. Very tight lipped parents my parents had. We learn from our parents how to speak about these things (or not speak). On that note, I vowed never to do this to my kids. I've always used appropriate body part language. Teaching the proper words for their genitals and how they firstly function as output for the body (urinated, defication, etc). My boys are intact as well so teaching them how to keep it clean the proper way was another thing taught very early. If my kids ask a question about sex or about the functions of their genitals I tell them in age appropriate ways.

    Example: My 10 year old at the age of 8 said to me one day. I know what this is for (while pointing at himself). I asked him you do? What is it for?. His response was the kids at school say it's for diddling and boinking. I asked him to define what that means and he had no response. I ended up sitting and explaining what appropriate words were for the "street talk" and what it meant. Of course within age appropriate ways without as much full on detail.

    Husband is a little squimish about it but I think it's because his parents were very much like mine. It was taboo to talk about at all because of generational gaps. Myself, I think I'm comfortable with it because I've written Erotica (not that I describe it like that to my kids but if you write it, it seems easier to use the proper definitions in the open and verbally - for me anyways). I don't know, maybe I'm just talking out my **** but it hasn't ever been something that bothers me to talk about with people or my kids. I think starting young with them with age appropriate wording helps a lot. It gets the ball rolling for when they ask the heavy hitting questions later on when they are older.
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    in my humble opinion most men don't "think" alot about the subject. They think about how they reacted or acted at their awakenings. It's not that they don't know about the subject....I just don't think they analyze it.

    On a lighter note I always remember my sister in law explaining the facts of life to her youngest tween daughter. She thought she had really done an outstanding job. She was proud. Then when the conversation ended her daughter said with great emphasis"Poor Mom. You had to do that three times? Poor Mom!" Cracks me up when I think about it. My sister in law didn't crack a smile but replied "When you are a grown up you do what you have to do." LOL DDD
  11. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    How the educating of children towards sex, bodies, love and families is done seems pretty family specific. I'm pretty direct and I'm not embarrassed by body parts. Teaching difficult child and easy child was unique to them. They learned and processed differently.
    In the younger years I took my cues from the boys. I did tell easy child that if he asked questions that I would tell him the truth.
    I asked difficult child in 3rd or 4th grade if we needed the s*x talk? He said "it's like breeding, right?" I loved it. Very factual but that's what he needed at the moment. The science of sex is the same for all living creatures.
    As they got closer to puberty the books helped answer questions they were too uncomfortable to ask. It was a great resource. I would see them reading them at different times in their lives because as the issues popped up they could go back and re educate themselves. Gave them a sense of mastery?
    At some time during puberty, it was time for mom to be a resource and not too involved in their body's progression.

    I think the key is to not make it just "the talk" but a lifelong dialogue. Before difficult child went away to school post high school, I had a conversation about STD's and protection. If he had caught something, I wanted to make sure it wasn't because of my discomfort. I even showed difficult child where to buy protection. That conversation was done in the car and driving on the highway, so they couldn't escape. : ) husband considered abstinence after that conversation.
    These talks about the physical aspects of sexuality is always part of the overall talk about respect for one's own body and for those they hold dear and the "no means no". Love is sprinkled in there and the creation of families and what happens if they create a life. There are consequences.
    In the younger years they seem to process the mechanics of sex. When they are older the emotional part is better processed even if it seems that boys still are always interested in the mechanics.
    Try to keep it light and don't squirm. You want to keep sex and sexuality in a positive light and not dirty.
    I never got a talk from parents and was very appreciative of the movie about girl's bodies that was shown in school. Eventually, I learned to find the info about sexuality in books. It was less biased in the end anyhow.
    Good luck.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran, I will always have that mental picture of you and the boys in the truck going 70 with the child-locks

    For our family we have always just been a pretty open family about sex, the human body and intimacy. We were practically nudists in our homes so they saw everything from birth up so seeing a female body was nothing new to them. Of course, I am not exactly Playboy

    When they were little we used little kids words for body parts and functions but as they aged the words got to be the real words. Their knowledge just grew as they did. It wasnt one talk, it was a constant talk. There is so much on tv and in the movies that you just have to keep up with the conversations. They knew they could talk to either of us. Of course with Cory, sex was just so out there it was something we dealt with constantly so not having talks would have been like impossible. The one worry I always had that never came to be was that he would be so impulsive that he wouldnt understand No means No. In the end, once he lost his weight, it was the girls who didnt understand that no meant no. He became every good girls bad boy dream. Why I will never know.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of explaining about sex, when my kids could handle it (especially the girls) I explained about the emotional fallout of sex. There is supposed to be an emotional connection before you indulge in that level of physical intimacy. If you are too free with sex, it sends very confused messages to either your own brain, or the other person's. It's not fair to do this; better to say no, and back off, than mess with someone's head. Or your own head.

    Our main concern here was easy child 2/difficult child 2 - "round heels", as people would say. Not promiscuous but serially monogamous, but the same constant need for cuddles (often at awkward or inappropriate times) that we saw in her all through childhood, meant that the first guy who went all the way with her would not be able to believe his luck. And it happened as we feared - her first real boyfriend went around in a daze with a delighted glazed expression on his face. He was hooked, badly. So when they broke up, it went badly. Very messy. He's a cartoonist (gifted amateur) whose drawings are on the internet, in to me, fairly obvious depictions of easy child 2/difficult child 2 in graphic sexual bondage poses. She is now married to someone else, but the images are still out there, I believe. The claim is, it's a generic cartoon character; but the clothing the character is wearing is easy child 2/difficult child 2's unique fashion based on her old school uniform (which is an unusual combination, one might say - unique). He's even got the same plaid design on the skirt... that's not coincidence!

    This got more complicated because this exBF was also a groomsman at difficult child 1's wedding. He's still in contact with difficult child 1 and his best friend.

    Things that make you go "hmmm..."

  14. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks for all the advice ladies. I have complete confidence that husband will do just fine with "the talk" . I will let you all know how it goes ...
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I have to share here...

    Of course, BM took care of telling Onyxx all of this stuff - at age 5. Convinced the child that she would have her first period before she turned 8 (one week before her 12th birthday actually). Onyxx had several invasive pelvic exams and was likely molested several times. So, when husband and I broached the subject, of course Onyxx knew quite a bit about it (NOT the proper way to explain to a child!). So we are still working on damage control.

    Jett, on the other hand, is mostly clueless. About a week ago, he was talking (on and on and on)... And out of the blue said, "I don't know what this word some kids on the bus were saying means." I got that - OMG - here it comes feeling, asked what word. Turned out to be masturbation. So I explained it simply - people do it because it feels good. It's something you don't do out in public though, it's private. It's not a bad thing, and everyone does it now and then. He informed me that Mommy and Onyxx NEVER did it and he didn't think I did... Did I? Told him, yeah, I have, and Mommy and Onyxx probably have too. This bit of info apparently crossed his border because the next line was about cat poo.

    husband has discussed s*x with Jett, too, but we still aren't sure he "gets" it. I'm actually more concerned with someone taking advantage of him than the other way round.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Step...too funny. I got in trouble with my first cuss word in first grade. I had no clue why either. Someone wrote it on the wall in the bathroom at school and I simply spelled it to the teacher! Began with S and ended with T. Oh...guess there are two of them. Had an I in there too. I just came out and asked the teacher what it meant. For all I knew, it may have been water or something!
  17. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    My difficult child is a girl, not a boy, so in some ways it's easier. husband and I already decided that I would handle talking about these things with her (unless she ambushes him in the car with a question, as she has been known to do.) However, we've always been upfront and honest with her when she asks questions; answering them in age-appropriate terms.

    About a year ago, when difficult child was 7, she came into the bathroom as I was drying off from my shower. She stared at me curiously hard and then said that she didn't see the scar. When I inquired after "what scar," she explained that she didn't see the scar where the doctor cut her out of my tummy. I immediately slipped into my bathrobe and explained about the female reproductive system. Just the basic anatomical overview. I wasn't sure that she really got it, but then she looked at me and said quite sincerely, "I'm sorry."

    Why was she sorry? Because she just knew that from what I was describing, it had to hurt to have a baby come out a tiny passageway! She was apologizing for hurting me when she was born.

    I have to admit though, I was just glad she never asked HOW she got there to begin with.

    Which all in all, is better than my Mom who checked a pile of books out of the library, put me at a table with them and told me to come get her if I had any questions after I read them all!
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No one ever told me anything either which is probably why I was so vulnerable. I am also one of those who thought I was dying when I got my first period. My mother just threw some pads in the bathroom and never said a word.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    easy child had a classmate whose mother I had known at uni. The mother was a staunch feminist, one who believed in telling her children every little detail about everything, when the time was right. Unfortunately, her daughter got her first period at 8 years old! Mum was totally taken by surprise and horrified tat she had not yet prepared her daughter for this eventuality - but she had not expected it so young! Poor girl, she also thought she was dying. She was a few years younger than easy child (they were in a combined grade class) so easy child knew enough to tell her, "It's OK, you're not dying, I'll got get a teacher to help you." Luckily it was at school, there was support there. Poor darling! Of course it meant everyone knew, and there were gasps of horror form the other kids - how awful, to start at 8! And not know!
    Which of course just made her forward-thinking and feminist mother all the more embarrassed. But really - how could you expect this?

    Sometimes it gets away from you.

    By the time I got my period, I knew all about it, I felt like it was never going to happen, and wondered what was wrong with me that I had to wait so long! I went to an all-girls high school where we were given the facts of life talk (especially what to do when you get your period) from Day 1. All funded by a sanitary pad company, so we got their propaganda ("you have to use that brand, nothing else works") in every film and brochure. Every year. Sometimes several times a year.
    it was years before I was able to change brands, and the day I did, I went through the day expecting the pads to fail. As for tampons - not for nice girls, not until after you're married. Until I had to leave home to go to live in a house with a man in it who was not family (he was a priest) - my mother reluctantly let me use tampons because they would be more practical and discreet.

    It's sad when a girl has to cope with this and has no foreknowledge. It's reprehensible when the child should have known.

  20. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    We realized it was finally time to talk to our youngest son (11) when we wound up with a new dog last week. The dog had been bred by the dad of one of his friends from school and we adopted it because the original owner's first dog was attacking him. Anyway, the breeder told us he hadn't planned to breed the dog but he was at the park with his daughter (my son's friend) and she ran over and said "Daddy, daddy! The dogs are stuck together!" Son heard H telling me the story and asked why it was so funny.