My oldest daughter just turned nine. It occurs to me that it won’t be long until we need to have “the talk”. You know the one: the one that strikes terror into the heart of every parent. The SEX talk.
I’ve always assumed that I would be the one talking to the girls, while Dad would get to discuss the joy of sex with the boys. Of course, it will depend on who they go to with questions, but I just can’t see my daughters voluntarily asking their father about their periods, or birth control options. Then again, I can only imagine the looks on the boys’ faces if I did what a friend’s mom did when I was a teenager: she handed him a box of condoms, a banana, and told him to “practice”. He was so shy, too. I bet he wanted to fall through the floor!
However, according to this article, more often than not it’s Mom who gets to have the conversation. I suppose that may simply be because Mom is the one who is generally around more (not in all homes, of course, but in many) and so an innocent question gets asked which has to be answered. My mom tells me that I first asked about where babies come from while she was driving on the 401 and she nearly drove off the road!
I asked on a couple of parenting message boards for stories from those who had already been down this road. One mom told me about her experience with her step-daughter: “I had to have a revision of said talk with B. this summer that included birth control. We both were pretty skeeved I think, but I did my best to be informative without being overly permissive (we talked a lot about the emotional ramifications of not only the sex, but accidentally getting pg as a teenager).” The “skeeved” part seems to be a fairly common thing: I also got told that one daughter was “appropriately creeped out.” Myself, I remember being horrified by the very idea.
I’ve always pictured myself as the open, cool mom who would be okay with talking about these things with her kids. So far I’m still hoping that will be the case. At this point my daughter is vehemently anti-boy as anything other than “friend.” I can only hope that lasts a while longer, but I also won’t allow myself to be delusional about it. I know of one mom who is so sure that her daughters (and she has four of them) will listen to her message of abstinence before marriage that she absolutely refuses to believe that they would ever rebel against her. I just find that really sad. If I remember correctly, what I said to her is that by the time they are teenagers, we as parents can only control their actions so much. We are meant to be guides, and hope that they will be smart enough to follow instructions.
I’m tense just writing about this! Can I just freeze time for a few more years???