You read it right- S-E-X and 7 year olds…or more namely, MY 2nd grade 7 year old. This is a blog, so you know there’s a story! (Disclaimer- this is about a discussion I had with my son about sex, so if you’re not ready, don’t read…I understand.)
Following Tre’s 2x/week swim class the conversation in the car went something like this:
Tre: I know I asked Daddy before, but I forgot and I want to ask again. You might giggle.
Me: *Thinking, OMG this is about sex again*
Tre: What exactly is sex.
Me: Tre where is this coming from?
Tre: It’s coming from my mind. I forgot.
Me: *Taking a deep breath* It is when a man puts his penis inside of a woman’s vagina. That is the definition of sexual intercourse, that’s what it’s called. *Exhaling my breath.*
Tre: It [a vagina] must be big!
Me: *Eyes big but he can’t see my face because I’m driving* No! It’s not just one big hole down there.
Tre: Oh, ok. So that’s what it is.
This came on the heels of Tre asking about his dad’s work schedule, why he works long hours and my college boyfriends. Keep in mind this is the second major sex convo he’s initiated- the first was with the hubs and he responded the same way, so I guess it was my turn. Whew.
We kept on talking on the way home and after I determined I needed, or more like wanted, a glass of wine, I stressed to him that while he felt nervous asking, me and his father want him to ALWAYS ask us questions about sex and anything else that makes him nervous. Better to get the correct information from his parents than from another 2nd or 3rd grader who doesn’t know.
I realize my/our approach is not common or even expected. It is, however, the kind of relationship we want to create with Tre. One built on honesty, truthfulness and open communication, within reason. Now if he had tried to ask questions about sex between me and his dad, that is where I would have shut him down. Periodt!
4 tips for talking to your kid(s) about S-E-X (from a novice!):
1. Don’t freak out- This is much easier said than done. Not freaking out means don’t grill them about where the motivation came from to ask you about sex. Don’t yell. Watch your tone, non-verbals and volume. Don’t make them feel like they’ve asked you something wrong. If you do, you could heighten their curiosity and make them think asking you about sex is bad.
2. Be honest and tell the truth (as much as you can according to their age, maturity, etc.)- While I went right to the technical definition, I was mindful of Tre’s age, intellect, maturity level and the relationship we have. Plus I didn’t want to add any fluff or my opinion about the topic. You know your child(ren) best so go according to that.
3. Remind you son/daughter they can always talk to you- This is super important, I think. I told Tre that my parents did not have the same kind of conversation with me and he was surprised. Now remember- my parents were Baby Boomers and the extent of my father’s sex talk with me went like this: “If you get pregnant, I’m going to go to jail.” [picture my big eyed shocked pre-teen face]. Remind your kid(s) they can talk to you and you want them to.
4. Again- don’t freak out!- Text a friend, tell your spouse/partner, grab some wine or journal it out. Whatever you do- don’t freak out! I ended up doing all of the above while and after he was talking to me and it helped!
Who really knows where the motivation came from for Tre to revisit his inquiry about sex. I’m not sure if I can blame it on ‘public school’ or simply where he is developmentally. He is definitely his father’s child with his mind and how deeply he goes in his thoughts, so this could be all him and his brain. Wherever it came from, I want him to remember he can ALWAYS talk to his Dad and I about anything; especially sex. He can also talk to his family (who will probably defer him to his parents!). I want us to be the first people he comes to with questions no matter how sensitive they are.
Wishing you Moms well in having ‘the talk’ with your kid(s)….even at 7-years old! Let me know how it goes. -krystal