Parenting Blog

It’s Time For The Sex Talk

We had a sex talk plan. That plan was to wait. Wait until 4th grade was over. Wait until the summer break between 4th and 5th grade arrived. Wait until we could have the reproductive health, er, sex talk with the Bear at a leisurely pace and without any nuggets or zingers from it seeping into her classroom chit-chats or into the recess yard banter or into the cafeteria scuttlebutt. We were waiting just a little while longer to have the sex talk with our 10-year-old daughter both for us, to preserve a few more glorious weeks of blissful childhood unknowing in our oldest daughter, and for other parents too, to not have the Bear accidentally spilling the beans on the sperm + egg / penis + vagina system to her 4th grade buddies who may not be in the know. I’m nothing if not considerate.

But the gig is up. Yesterday, a form came home alerting us of a special Always Changing — About You health class for the 4th grade scheduled for next Friday, June 6th. We’re talking menstrual cycles, reproductive body parts, stinky arm pits, you know, all the good shit. Well, we’re not talking about that stuff, school is, but you know, now we are. We gotta get in front of this End of Childhood School Year special, to ensure the first sex talk our daughter has is a sex talk with us, not some health teacher with Proctor & Gamble sponsored leaflets. That’s right, our school seems to have bought into some P&G program, with supplied documents littered with ads for their tampons, pads and deodorant.

New plan: divide and conquer. The Mrs. handles the icky this into that does this & that shit. I’ll tackle the commercialism bit and, okay, arm pit management too. Deal.

*After posting on the Out With The Kids Facebook page about the sudden need for a preemptive sex talk with our oldest daughter ahead of this in-school health class, a friend suggested The Care and Keeping of You books by American Girl. Both the younger girl and older girl versions have been ordered. Thank you, Jason. And I’ve queued up the recent episode of the BobbleheadDad podcast discussing THE TALK too. Thank you, Jim.

I’ve never been worried about this moment because of the words themselves or because of the exact information we’ll transfer to her, that her vocabulary and understanding of the world will be forever altered and expanded, and I’m not nervous about this new stage of my oldest daughter’s life. In fact, I am mildly excited about the challenge and adventure of her tween and teen years and all that comes about during those transformative periods of life. Just as I bought and folded her first pairs of underwear after she moved out of diapers 8 years ago, I will be the one buying and stocking the bathroom cabinet with pads and tampons for her when that time comes. I’m totally ready for all of that. What I am mourning right this minute is the first wall of childhood coming down. The bricks that will soon crumble are still covered in chalk and stickers. This is what’s causing the massive stream of tears to flow as I wrap up this short post. I know that this talk we must have is a line of demarcation between simplicity of youth and the complications of adulthood, and I, I just can’t stop crying about crossing over the border with her. I just can’t stop.

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  1. Homemakerman says:

    Well put, man.

  2. Jeff, honestly, I don’t know how you waited until your daughter was 10. My son was 7 when it became clear he was getting various wildly misunderstood sex info from other kids at school, so I had the talk with him. My wife and I decided that I would handle the first talk with our son, while she would handle the first talk with our daughter when the time came (she’s only 5 now).

    In any case: the most important thing is that you and your wife actually thought about it ahead of time and had a plan. An actual PLAN. That’s real parenting.

  3. My thoughts have always been that I would rather my daughter learn the truth from me than hear all the wrong things from the wrong kids.
    She’s entering 4th grade this fall and we’ve only started to talk about it. She wasn’t ready and I could tell. But whether she/I likes it or not, the talk is inevitable.
    I’m crying right along with ya my friend!

  4. Amazingly enough, she’s apparently heard nothing at all about it. If she had, I’m pretty certain she’d have asked my wife or I about it, she’s super curious and always wants to understand the mysterious of the universe. Just another reason I sometimes think we are in a safe little bubble while also being out there in the world. It’s been a fabulous run!

  5. Right on, Tonia. We figured, “hell, we somehow made it this far, let’s wait until summer” but alas, the best laid plans and all!

  6. Thank you kindly, sir.

  7. I’ve already scared the bejeezus out of Lily by answering her questions about my tampons and how she came out of my belly. Poor girl doesn’t want to have kids. Ever.

    I also have fond memories of the day my stepson told us about “the talk” they got at school. I asked him what the teachers told them and he got this horrified look in his eye and said, “Everythiiiiiiing.”

    That said, I know how important it is to you to savor every moment and make their childhood last. So I’m sending you an air hug tonight. This is definitely a sign that she’s growing up. But you guys still have plenty of moments to enjoy before she turns into a lippy, reclusive, know-it-all teenager with a superiority complex. 😀

  8. Feel for you.
    Hope it went well.

  9. I dred this talk with my boys, but do remember the akward talks with my parents in 4 and 5th grade…but your genuine excitement and concern for your daughter is awe inspiring…my parents came at it from a physical perspective and a only for marriage perspective…and basically scared the shit out of me and made sure my clothes were never removed by a guy or by myself infront of a guy until after high schoolv(and then in college I just made sure that the guy I was with had a job that could support a family if a surprise occured, “loving” the guy was important too or at least thinking I loved him)…as pregnancy outside of marriage is immoral in their eyes. That being said, your sensitivity and lack of akwardness will help your daughter to communicate with you during those trying teenage years and help her to make choices based offf of respect for you, her mom, and herself.

  10. Gosh, Cassie, thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I truly hope you are right, that my openness with this an pretty much every other issue in the life will help her, and us, going forward. I actually sometimes picture the dates she’ll some day bring home, shaking the hand of the lucky guy or girl, and making her transition into adulthood as seamless as possible…aaaaand I’m crying again.

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