Sex. Awkward little three letter word. Conversation choker and powerhouse all rolled into one.
Well friends, if you’re going to be a parent you may as well practice letting it roll of your tongue like it’s cake.
With our first kid, we worked up to it. Little tidbits of info here and there, kind of shy and nice. Easy does it. Attaboy.
She finally exploded with all that insatiable curiosity and pent up annoyance with us. “I know the baby comes out of her body, but WHERE AT?”
Oh. Golly. You mean you want to know the real deal? You’re 5! Shouldn’t you be older? Like, say, 25?
Well, the time had clearly come. I gave myself a pep talk. Deep breath in, let it out. In her little lavender bedroom, I sat down on her purple dolly blanket and delivered the simplest version of the straight up facts of life. All this, to a girl in pink Winnie the Poo jammies.
There. Now was that so hard? Surprisingly, no, it wasn’t.
Her little brother was easy, thank the Lord. He didn’t particularly like babies, wonder when they magically appeared, or even care for the differences in gender. When he was 3, we had to correct the assumption that he would grow up to be a girl like his big sister. Next, we had to explain why he couldn’t marry Adrienne. Poor guy. She was his best girl and he was understandably bummed.
Then came the day he randomly wanted to know, “Hey, what is pole dancing?” I spit coffee all over the windshield. Sex is a fair game topic as a parent, I got that by now. But this one came completely from left field.
Thank God I married a quick-witted, funny man. “It’s when you go to the north pole and dance.” “Oh.” And just like that we returned to normal conversation. (Because, I promise you, that is not the Brendtro normal.)
We want to ensure our kids are fully comfortable in the amazing body designed just for them by an incredible Creator. He sees each one as perfectly lovely; not even remotely embarrassed by all the crazy things a body can do, up to and including sex. I could randomly insert any scripture from the Song of Solomon here to prove my point, but you know I’m right.
The only sex discussion I recall from my adolescence is a school film, plus one very awkward Home Ec teacher. (Bless her heart, as we say here in the South.) In our house we regularly discuss sex, bodies, attractions, functions, all that- just like it’s the weather. If they’re asking, they’re ready. We don’t permit shyness on our part, lest it imply there is anything to be ashamed of. If they get that idea, kids will grow up unwisely hiding the part of themselves that needs parented the most. I know how incredibly dangerous that can be. God has a plan for them, their body is part of it, and parenting the process is our role.
The other major Brendtro goal here is to make sure we have a wide and solid bridge to our kids. It’s built daily by conversation. They need to thoroughly understand that their parents are a major resource when it comes to life’s tricky milestones. Steve and I really want the full meal deal in parenthood: a constant connection that doesn’t wear out. So we listen well. The small things gradually give way to big things as we prove our mettle to these intuitive little people.
So what have I learned in my measly 12 years of being a mom and *% years of being a female? Well, I once saw a book in the library titled, You, the Owner’s Manual. (I haven’t read it. I know I really should, because, as I mentioned, I am *% years old now.) Parents, we are our children’s preface in life’s body book. We are their beginning when it comes to understanding the powerful little bodies grown in our very own wombs. So don’t shy away from equipping your children. You do know what you’re doing; do it wholeheartedly.
***For more resources and an on point pep talk, grab a copy of Teaching the Birds and the Bees Without the Butterflies by Traci Lester, available for free on Kindle. Our kids like The Care and Keeping of You and KidsHealth.org.
Also, we really benefited from the resources at TheMamaBearEffect.org. Statistically, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be abused before they reach 18. Preventing it isn’t rocket science.