Thursday, September 4, 2008

When is young too young?

One night over dinner, a woman at a restaurant remarked about my daughters and how she
"thought girls were easier that boys."

I politely smiled and responded with "I think they are equally difficult, it's just that girls are a bit easier when they are young and then they switch places and boys become easier during their teen years." She looked over at me and said - "actually, the difference between boys and girls in their teen years is that girls will tell you what they are doing and boys will just say 'ok, mom' and do it anyway."

It was a conversation between strangers and personally I cannot attest to raising teenagers yet, but I was confronted with a situation I was not quite ready for (I think I say that a lot these days) that made this conversation come blaring back into vision.

SEX - when do you bring it up? When does the topic of sex become a conversation to have with your children?

Shortly before bed one evening, DQ is getting dressed and I am waiting to read her bedtime story when she starts telling me that a little boy was telling her about a "girl who sucked a boy's thing." Out of the blue this revelation is told to me and I am caught off guard so I ask, "sucked his thing? What thing?" Hoping against all else that she is not talking about blowjobs, but she informs me by pointing that is indeed what she is referring to.

WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO SAY NOW?? (mentally searching for the right answer)

So I probe a bit more into the conversation she and this little boy had (at school) to which I finally ask, "And, what did you say to him when he told you this?" DQ says "I told him Ewe - that was gross." Stuck somewhere between wanting to laugh at the comment, be a good parent and explain this correctly to her [without a lifetime of screwupedness], and wanting to shelter her and let the conversation go (she's only 6 - this cannot be the age for the sex talk can it?) I ventured into the realm of 'good parent' and tried to explain how to handle this situation if it were to come up again.

I am not entirely sure, but I can't imagine I need to explain what "sucking his thing" is to her(not yet anyway), I was however more concerned with the fact the conversation took place and what other conversations are being had by these children. I decided to explain to her that this was something she should not do, no one should ask her to do this, or touch it or show it or see it. These are private parts for NO ONE to see and if someone asks she should say NO as loud as she can and run away. She should then go tell an adult.

She took it all in stride and went on like it was no big deal, all the while, me-the parent, is still searching for the answers. I have to admit *hangs head in shame* my first thought when she told me this was to tell her that is gross, nasty and bad and tell her that is how babies are made. I thought if I could scare her, perhaps I could protect her, but just as fast as the thought appeared, I also realized that not knowing the truth is sometime more destructive in the long run than having some accurate knowledge.

I was preparing for 'the talk' at about the age of 8...never in my wildest dreams did I think these topics would show up now. Now, I'm not sure what will come up next - when did kids stop talking about playground topics and start talking about sex topics?

What do you think is the right response?


Blessings From Above said...

6 year olds are talking about this??? Yikes! I think you handled things perfectly. Bravo!

My daughter is 8 and I guess I had naively figured that she would be sheltered for a little while longer.

auntie said...

Good grief! I probably would have passed out if a 6-year-old had said that me!

I think you did the right thing too - it doesn't sound like she really had any questions about it, she was just mentioning it to you like anything else that happened that day.

i also think it was important that you took the opportunity to reinforce what you'd probably already taught her at some point about not letting anyone touch her, and you didn't freak out or make it into a bigger deal than it needs to be to her at this age.

God bless anyone who is raising children these days - your job is infinitely more difficult than I can even imagine!!

A Buns Life said...

I think you handled it perfectly for a 6 year old and I am glad you took it as an opportunity to use it to reinforce the notion that no one else should be touching her or asking her to touch anything.

BTW...BOYS are easier than girls. I have one of each and can say this with authority. :)

Jen said...

Jeez. I can't believe a 6-year old was talking about that! Although, with songs like "Lick me like a Lollipop" on the radio for anyone to hear, I guess it's no wonder...

I honestly don't know what I would have done or how I would have handled it--what you said/did seems to me like the best approach!

Queen of the Mayhem said...

That is truly scary!

I would just tell her that those areas of the body are private and not to be shown or touched by others. You will have to remind her of who is okay to see her....but I would save the tutorial for later! :)

Asianmommy said...

I think I was in second grade when my mom went to the library to check out some books to explain the birds & the bees to me. All I can say is that I'm totally not ready to do this with my 6-year-old!

April said...

I think you handled it great. A six year old should NOT know much about BJ's! GOD that makes me shudder to think what little kids are talkinhg about! And WHERE exactly they are getting that info from!! ACK.

Aleta said...

Wow - you handled that well. I don't have children and often wonder how parents react to these types of comments from children - the ones where you aren't prepared for the questions.

Kids grow up a lot quicker these days. Parents aren't home to teach them; the Internet is full of information that is only a keystroke away; the shows on TV make implications more and more of sexuality... it's not conducive to raising children, but it's life.

You did great!

Jenna said...

Hey Kel! Wow, I certainly would not expect BJ's at that age! Sex/baby making sure! Makes me wonder what the parents or maybe older sibling is telling that little boy at school! I've found that's where a lot of my kids strange questions/friends stem from.
We have kinda had the sex talk...but primarily b/c the twins were born/concieved...and then kay my oldest is adopted. I don't think the lightbulb has gone on in her head yet as to what the fully means...but she knows I 'made' her w/ someone other than Daddy.

You handled it well...Kudos!

Kim said...

Wow.. at six.. I would have to be pulled up from the floor at six and be given mouth to mouth.. sooo young..

And I do believe you handled the right way.. I just still cannot believe you had too.. hugs..

Jojo said...

Oh wow...Kel you're scaring me!!! I have no idea how to handle a situation like that and I can't believe it's at SIX!!! I would say if anyone ever suggest that or even sticks their tongue in your mouth, just bite it off...but seriously I'll be in a stupor if LC presents me with this. Is an all girl-school an option? Re: the sex specifically, I think girls are harder than boys just because they can get pregnant, so they kinda have the relatively difficult part of the consequence.