You may recall, that I mentioned this topic was on the horizon in my previous post An Inspiring Bucket List. So, here it is. After all the build up and angst in giving my eldest the “birds and the bees talk,” then having it go down rather successfully, I felt the need to share my thoughts on the matter.
While I don’t think there is a certain age that kids should learn about this sensitive topic, I am a firm believer that you should teach your children on the matter before the world gets to them first. Be forewarned, the world is getting to them earlier and faster. The biggest risk of waiting to give “the talk” is leaving your children susceptible to all of the mis-education that they will receive on the playground.
Earlier this year, my daughter, who was a second grader at the time, was heard using an inappropriate word that was tied with this topic. We learned that a boy in school often used this word. The word itself was not bad, as much as it was inappropriately being said. My husband and I realized quickly that in order for her to best understand what is and is not appropriate to discuss publicly, she needed to understand the whole picture. I suggested we wait until summer, which was already fast approaching at the time. I thought it might be best to discuss the matter during a time where she could not race off to school and be around a bunch of kids that she might be anxious to tell. So, we waited. And waited. And waited. I just couldn’t get the courage to pull it off.
Soon Labor Day Weekend was upon us and school would be starting back in less than a week. I had put it off long enough. I discussed the matter with other seasoned parents. A couple of them shared that the talk was easier with the help of a book. I decided to give that route a try and headed to the library to see what books were available that were tasteful and informative. It was then that I came across Before I Was Born by Carolyn Nystrom. This book is book two in the God’s Design for Sex series. It also happens to be the key to our success with giving “the talk.”.
My husband and I brought our daughter in to read to her portions of the book that were most pertinent for our discussion. Before reading it, I asked my daughter what she might already know about sex. This was some great advice that I got from a friend, as it helped me to know where she was in her understanding beforehand. Once we figured that out, we began to read from the above mentioned book, which made it so much easier. It shared what needed to be said and left out what didn’t need to be said. It helped me from fumbling over my words and made it less embarrassing for all. Plus, the best part is that it opened up the lines of communication should she have more questions down the road.
I want our children to feel comfortable talking to us about any and all topics of life. I want them to know that they are safe to speak openly with us without judgment or mockery. I want them to know of our love for them and the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. In short, I want them to see their lives for all of it’s beauty before the world tells them of all it’s own deception.
The whole experience was much less painful than I had anticipated. It actually turned out to be a positive experience in which our daughter felt comfortable asking us questions and continued to do so in the following days. Plus, we were able to express to her the sacred nature of creation and how treating it as such helps us to understand the importance of modesty and appropriate language. I feel grateful for the guidance my husband and I received through prayer and the resources that were made available to us for this to go smoothly. Best of all, I know I got to my daughter before the world did.