Thursday, May 28, 2009

THAT talk...

image credit genetics and society . org

so we all know about THAT talk, the "how did I get here mummy?" talk. Now don't panic, my 17 month old isn't THAT inquisitive. One day, she will be. And as with all things I do, I have thought about it, researched it and now I'm opening it up for discussion with you, my lovely readers.
Sarah Jessica Parker recently discussed THAT talk with Ladies Home Journal, you can read all about it HERE. It was also reported on Celebrity Baby Blog a couple of days ago.
SJP said "I just feel there is time and a place".

So, I wonder, when is that time and where is that place?

Is it as soon as the child asks you (this usually follows the child hearing something about it in the playground) or do you prempt this and just give your child the talk before that happens to ensure your child is properly informed before they hear rubbish in the playground?

Or do you wait til it is discussed in the classroom?
Or do you leave it all together and let society educate the child. Lord knows you see enough on the TV these days? I'm pretty conservative myself and our daughter's name was on the waitlist of a private girls school from birth, so I do like a sheltered life.
As with all things to do with my Tinker, I just want to do what is right, so I wonder- is there a right when it comes to this topic?


  1. From my experience as a mom and teacher, talk to the kids before at least 11 because after this....

    They are too cool to listen to you. Make your impression and discussion while you can. I have discussed everything with my 2 boys including to always wrap it and to never trust the girl is on birth control. Abortion is not the best choice - we will make it work out... etc. I hit all the topics.

  2. I susbscribe to the simplistic approach: provide only the level of detail the child requires to feel you've addressed their question.

    A simple "mummy and daddy made you out of love" might suffice for a wee child.

    My child psych SIL said sometimes adults try to provide WAY MORE literal detail than young children are really asking.

    Sure, the level of detail a pre-pub teenager NEEDS is WAY more. But for littlies, it's a different matter.

    I aim to have ongoing conversations, with different levels of detail at different developmental stages. I don't think it's "a" conversation you have - I think it's an ongoing conversation over time.

    Hit 40: I don't like the idea of teaching boys "never trust the girl is on birth control", and personally would prefer to encourage them to take responsibility for their own health as well as prevent pregnancy. The risk of pregnancy isn't the only reason to wrap it!

  3. Agreed!
    My girls are quite sheltered actually even though they attend a public school. My oldest is 11 and I had to slowly introduce her/prepare her step by step over 2 years so as not to completely freak her out with "the talk". I knew she wasn't about to ask me questions as she is very private and quite disgusted with all that sort of info.
    Every kid is different with comfortability level and you have to "read" your child to know what is best for them.

    that's my 2 cents worth. :)

  4. I remember when I was a teen babysitter and one of the kids I sat for had a book on his self about making babies... it was very funny - the sperm was dressed in a tux and the egg was a girl with a "come on over her big boy" look....
    It had silly cartoons but the point came across - now that I am 43- I still remember that book.. I wish I could find it..


  5. I do think that the talk has to be age appropriate. My daughter asked me the question when she saw that there were families with 2 or 3 kids and decided that there should be another baby in the house. And very naturally she asked how it came about. I told her as much as a 3 year old can assimilate. There is no need to get into unnecessary details with them. For older kids, you have to get into details.

    Yeah, some parents to impart too much information. And let me tell you, the playground is no longer the place where kids play. It is a place where a lot of unnecessary information is exchanged. I stay down and make sure my daughter plays. I try and break up conversations telling them that they will need to get home soon.

  6. I tried to impart factual information that was appropriate for my child's development at that stage.
    My philosophy of parenting is never introduce anything that could come back to bite you later.
    Keep it simple eg: Don't invent names for genitals.

  7. I don't know when to have the talk about the technicalities. I just know that I remember my mom telling me very clearly that I should never do anything I didn't want and that if I did decide to have sex or anything, that was fine as long as I did it with a condom..... I think that is the most important message.

  8. My conversations with the kids have been ongoing since they were little, with age appropriate info. I got a bit more detailed just as they were hitting puberty so that they would understand it's a natural thing and wouldn't be embarassed to talk with us about it. I just didn't want them hearing things on the playground first without a solid base of factual information.

    It has worked quite well, they both still come to us with questions (they are now 20 and 16).

  9. I have thought about this too. Mine are only 21 months and 10 so I still ave awhile. But depending when they ask will determine what and how much I will say. I think there is no right age it just depends on each child in my opinion.

  10. This is such a close topic right now as my 10yr old has her school 'sex-talk' coming up but I have been very open with her in what I hope is a relaxed, informative way over the years that I hope there are no suprises that she feels embarrased about when she listens to the talk. And I have told her she can ask my anything afterwards. We've never had the official sit down talk, kind of just discussed as we've come up with stuff. But because I NEVER would have spoken to my mum and dad about anything, I always vowed to be relaxed and open with my own children. But it's hard! I actually downloaded a free book on the Oprah website recently all about this subject and when to talk about it. What I find harder to deal with is having my 5 & 3 yr old enjoying 'bums and willies' together and how to tell them this isn't appropriate! As for not inventing names for genitals, I told my son the real names and he found this so hilarious he was shoouting them out of the car window at any passing strangers and even thought the word 'breasts' was ridiculously funny.

  11. Oh, and to Kelly at Kelly's Ideas, there is a fantastic book which might be the one you are talking about and it is called 'Mummy Laid an Egg' (Red Fox picture books) (Paperback)
    by Babette Cole (Author)

  12. I read the book to Finn, the where did I come from thing... He was totally disinterested really, it was me blushing and stumbling over words and things...

  13. My parents told me I came from the trash can outside :) it was funny at the time and secretly I knew I didn't.

    My parents started talking to me about "the birds and the bees" around the same time that the schools started doing the sex education classes. I don't recall but my parents said after that I had a lot of questions!!!