I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Mom, What's Sex?

*I didn't spell out sensitive words because I didn't want Google search to lead people here who are looking for those kind of words. Thanks for understanding.*

This question makes me scared! Right along with "Where do babies come from?" and "Why do boys look different than girls?"

I have to admit that I've only been asked the first two: The sex one and the babies one. The babies one was easy to answer because the daughter (Sleeping Beauty) who asked it was four at the time, and easy to placate. I told her that when a man and woman love each other very much, they get married and pray- then God gives them a baby at the right time.

And she still thinks it's impossible to have a baby if you're not married. I'll need to address that sometime in the future, ya think?

Anyway, the other question about sex was posed to me recently by my five year old. We had been to church, and the sermon Uncle Chris was preaching was about Tamar and her brother who raped her. The word sex was used, and rape as well. When we got home, I started making lunch, and had the girls helping me.

Snow White looked right at me and asked in her innocent little voice: "Mom, what's sex? All I know is that it's really bad."

Um, what?! Did you just ask me about s-e-x?

I thought for sure I was hearing things. Then, I got a severe case of the giggles. In my mind, of course. So- much throat clearing followed, as I tried to disguise my snickering.

I made as straight a face as I could and said that sex was definitely NOT a bad thing, that it simply meant whether you were a boy or girl. Your sex is male or female. Male is boys, female is girls. (I didn't have the heart, or the stomach, to get into anything further!)

Now, my question to you is: When do you teach your kids about sex?

I admit that I was probably eleven before I even knew I had girl parts. I mean, I knew I was female, but I didn't know my body had a 'birth canal', to say it gently. And I only asked my mom about it because we were watching a news report on sexual abuse and I heard the word v*gina used. I don't really remember my mother giving me "the talk" about sex and everything.

What I DO remember, is my friend's mom giving her a copy of the book "What's Happening to My Body." It had drawings, and slang words, and everything. I remember a sleepover after having read it at my house when we thought everyone else was in bed, and me getting a reprimand from my parents the next day for talking dirty. (I blame the book! Why do they put those words in there if they're not okay to say? And young girls think everything that's private is a big joke anyway.)

So, my learning about sex came from a "dirty" book, and school lectures. Which were much more humorous than informative. I mean, the lady (Mrs. Rohrer? Help me out Megan or Jen please!) who came in to teach us wore a nurse's uniform for crying out loud. Like sex is something sterile. And she kept her arms on her hips and would wiggle a little now and then, like she was secretly trying to push her belt back into place with her forearms. It was very distracting, and again, led to many moments of stifling giggles on my part.

Anyway, I have no experience with how a Christian mom broaches the subject of sex with her kids. And my kids are exposed to so much more talk about it because of where we live. Johannesburg is like the free sex capital of the world. So many of our church members have children and are not married, and the percentage of rape is high.

So, I am thinking they are going to need a mom-instigated sex education course earlier than most kids. But that scares me. I want them to be able to ask me questions, and be serious about it. But all I can think of is times when I'm supposed to be serious I can't help but laugh. Uncontrollably. And this is a little bit of an embarrassing subject. Not because it's taboo- I don't think that way at all, but because it's so personal.

I don't want my kids to be 25 years old and still giggle when they say the word 'p*nis'. Or v*gina. They aren't dirty words, were not made for a dirty purpose, and treating them like they're something risque demeans God's plan for a healthy married life. I don't want my girls terrified on their wedding night because they know nothing about the subject. And I don't want them afraid to talk with their future husbands about their own sexual relationships. So many problems can be avoided if parents teach their kids properly about sex.

Which leaves me with a problem: exactly how do I do that?

Any suggestions? What have you done to talk about it in a mature and serious way? How do you incorporate scripture so they know it's a God-ordained right of marriage?

I could really use some help here.


  • Rhonda in Chile

    When you've got this all figured out, let me know!

  • M.

    Hiya, Julie...

    Thanks for the post...As a fellow mother of girls I, too, and terrified and a bit lost as to when and how to have these sensitive talks.

    One thing I did start doing is naming parts and using those actual names. My daughter knows what her parts are called, and she uses those words - she doesn't laugh, because they're just names of parts. She now tells me when something is wrong or different about those parts, which is important anyways.

    As for the rest, my parents had me read a book and then I had talks with my mom about each chapter...It was ok, but kind of awkward. I remember being very uncomfortable.

    I guess, all in all, I try to maintain open communication with my daughter about whatever is on her mind (and on mine, if it's appropriate for her). She'll probably encounter situations I won't foresee (which scares me half to death), but if she can talk to me, then we can work it out.

    I'll be reading everybody else's posts to see what they say...

  • Joni

    This post made me giggle...! I love you but I have to say you sounded like Nan with the whole boy, girl thing about sex...she actually said that once. "That's a boy and that's a girl. That's a sex." I can't say I know how I would handle it because my kids haven't asked that question yet. Gracie's just going into public school in the Fall so she'll probably come home with questions...heaven help us!

  • AnnieKinVader

    haha @ Joni. *smiles* I miss Nan. She was such a neat lady.

    As for your problem, beats me. I am not looking forward to that talk myself. Lisa is 4 and I know it is around the corner. If you figure out how to do the talk and when, please clue me in!

  • Brenda

    Jess at Making Home did a great series about this a while back. It inspired me to be brave enough to tackle the subject with Sweetheart, who thinks that God just decides when a baby will grow in a married lady's tummy. Which is true but she's not clear on any other details.
    So, the story of Mary and Joseph lends itself to some questions. I had to explain why Joseph was hesitant etc. And then I asked her if she had any questions. I was READY.

    She said she did.

    Great. Deep breath.

    "How long do you think it took them to get to Bethlehem?"

    :) Whew!

    Here's the links:

    Ridiculous, no? Sorry, it was a great series. There is another post for older kiddos but I think these cover your girls.

  • Anonymous

    Wow Julie, I had not thought about the sex lecture in a very long time! I think it was in the 5th grade - I remember all the girls going to Mrs. Shonk's room, but I cannot remember the woman's name who came to talk to us. It could be Mrs. Rohrer but that was 20+ years ago now (OMG that makes me feel so old to say that-arrrggghh). It will be interesting to see how different this will be for me with boys. I have had nothing yet, kind of surprised since my oldest is 7.

  • impromptu-mom

    I don't have any real insights. You know how I was raised (by a single mom who often passed out TMI), so I can honestly say that I've never remotely had a nervous giggle reaction to sex. But I would never advocate that sort of upbringing for anyone who had a choice about it.
    I say the most important thing that you can do is be honest. Like M. said, call parts by their real names, keep open communication lines, and don't blow off questions. You might be surprised at how vague an answer you can give and still satisfy their curiosity. The girls are not old enough to have developed a "shame" reaction to sex, so to them it's just another question.

    Now, if you could help me convince Sydda that two girls should not get married just because the wedding would be prettier with everybody in dresses, I'd be all set.

    Good Luck!

  • Janice

    Breed toy puppies. It answers A.L.O.T. of questions, is on a very small scale, the visual of the conception is "clean" and the "delivery" of the puppies is yucky enough that they will not want to do anything like that any time soon!

    And we did have a mini ceremony to get them 'Married" first. No un-wed mommies here! No Mam!

    And, the product sells for a fairly nice profit after only a few weeks.

    Yup... puppies. That is my solution!

    But you will have to get over your aversion to pets. I am just saying!

  • JulieMom

    Thank you all for your advice! I agree that calling things by their proper names is a MUST. I just have to get over it myself first!

    And thanks for the links, Brenda. I'll look them up today!

    Rhonda- Maybe you should check out the links too!

    M.- Thanks for your input, I really appreciate your thoughts.

    Joni- You're killing me!

    Annie- I miss Nan too. *sigh*

    Wild Call- Boys! Ack! I am SO glad I don't have that to deal with!

    Impromptu- Yes, I DO remember how you were raised. (Strawberry Hill or mud slides, anyone?) You are a shining example of the grace of God. Love you!

    Jan- Nice try, but I think I'll brave it out and just stick to human parts. :0)

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