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?