I will never forget a dear friend telling me a couple of years ago that her daughter asked her if people hump. (They have a lot of animals, and she had seen the guinea pigs doing it.)
I was mortified, and I silently prayed that her daughter would not share this bit of juicy info with my daughter. She never did, but the inevitable happened eventually anyway.
I've mentioned before about the wonderful conversations we have at bedtime, in the dark of the night. It's like my girls' inhibitions go out with the lights.
A few years ago, after Allie was already asleep, 10-year-old Grace whispered, "Mom?"
"I saw a bad word in a magazine. Can you tell me what it means?"
"Of course, Grace. What was it?"
"I don't want to say it. Can I just spell it?"
"S-E-X. What does that mean?"
I died. She was only 10!
Plus, I was uncomfortable talking about sex with my husband let alone talking about it with my baby who was a toddler like 5 minutes ago. I felt a little sick.
When I returned to the land of the living, I was flooded with emotions. I tried to explain to her that sex is not a bad word, that it is something wonderful that God created for married people to enjoy together, and that it is how babies are made, but I am pretty sure I messed it all up.
Nary another word has been said about sex, but I think it is time to have the talk.
We have talked a bit with the pediatrician about puberty, about how she's growing a lot taller and her body is changing. We've talked a bit about bras and hairs and deodorant. But not in a focused way, and not as much as she probably needs.
I am worried that her first period will be as traumatic for her as it was for me. Mine was super heavy and made a huge mess, and I didn't want to talk to my mom about it because we'd never had any conversations about anything like that, ever! I don't want that for my sweet Gracie.
I want better for my girl. I want to have an informed, comfortable conversation where I introduce the basics of puberty and sex to her in a casual, no big deal way. I want her to be comfortable talking to me about this stuff, even if I'm not comfortable at all.
It was about this time that I got an email from a blogger whose work I adore, Sheila Wray Gregoire. Sheila is a Christian blogger and speaker who talks all about sex and marriage. I took her course called Boost Your Libido a while ago after getting it as part of an Ultimate Bundle, and I loved her style. She talks about hard things (hard for me anyway!), and she does so with honesty, candor, and refreshing frankness. Her words are Biblical and powerful.
This email from Sheila promised a course on puberty and sex - a gateway for talking to your daughter about all the things I was scared to talk about. I was so excited and couldn't wait for more info!
How I Talked to My Tween Daughter about Puberty & Sex
Her course is called The Whole Story. I've watched it through, in secret, at the 6:00 am hour while my girls are still asleep. I was excited and eager to get through the introduction so that I could start to pre-watch the videos I'd watch with Grace. I was excited and eager to have someone take both of us by the hand and lead us into these sticky places. I looked forward to having the conversations, but prompted by someone who knows - and is comfortable with - a lot more than I am.
I don't want to pass my discomfort on to Grace. I don't want her to have the silly hang-ups that I have. I want her to understand her body as the beautiful wonder that it is, and the inevitable changes that will happen as no big deal.
Perhaps most important of all, I want her to automatically come to me when she wants to try a tampon or when she has a question about boys. I don't want her to go to a friend like I did because she's too uncomfortable to talk to her mom. I want her to feel like it's no big deal to talk to me about her body, her feelings, and boys.
Here's a little information on The Whole Story in case, like me, you are not feeling equipped to have this conversation on your own.
There are two different versions of The Whole Story - one for girls ages 10-12 and a second for girls ages 13-15. They complement each other and are great to do as a whole, spread across multiple years. You can buy access to just one age level or get the full VIP package for access to both.
Have questions? Leave them in the comments below or send me an email at [email protected]
My own discomfort talking to my mom as a tween (I got my period at age 10) is what motivates me to be completely positive and "no big deal" and body uplifting with my daughters (6&3).
I never wanted to hide or be embarrassed about orbavoid talking about periods, bleeding, pads or tampons or cups. I just wanted a total feeling of NBD. the only thing I sorta avoided was my kids seeing me insert a tampon because they don't need to know that things can go *there*.
My 6 year old was at the birth of my 3 year old (so she was a month shy of 3 then) it was so empowering for me to share with her and she got to see how amazing women's bodies are and how normal the reproduction system is.
After, she saw my post parting bleeding so that lent itself easily to conversations about monthly period (I got no reprieve even though I was Breastfeeding both kids and pumping!) so it was natural to talk to her about periods and why they come every month and what is happening in my body (I get migraines and diarrhea so I was able to give a fuller body explanation.) Now, periods are not any different from pee and poop in our conversations and minds.
As for sex, she knows that two people put their bodies together to make a baby start to grow, but she doesn't know/need to know the penis ejaculation/cervix and ovum part just yet.
Starting the conversation naturally with age appropriate understandable explanations that have grown with her has been a great segue into each level as we have discussed it.
We are currently (not like CURRENTLY since I'm online) trying for another baby and I hope it helps with my 3 year old and to expand on what my 6 year old knows.
Tara Ziegmont says
I agree with you completely, especially about the tampon issue! My kids are almost always in the bathroom with me (there is no privacy in motherhood, right?), so it's just kind of been a given over the years, but we've never addressed what was going to happen with their bodies. We haven't gotten to the sex part of the course yet, so I'm still a little scared about how that will go!