The Talk

My second grader slammed the front door and rushed into the kitchen from school.  “Mom, guess what?” she called.  I looked up and noticed her flushed cheeks. 

She has news.

This could go either way,  I thought. 

I braced myself for the revelation.  Just last week ‘her life was ruined’ because a mean boy beat her out of the Science Fair. (All boys are mean, now, and gross). She had just stopped weeping about not winning the American Girl doll in the school raffle.  I just love those raffles.  Well, mainly because they are so fair and encouraging for children.

“Mom, the coolest thing happened!” she said excitedly.

Whew, I thought.

“My friend became an Aunt last night.  Isn’t that awesome?”

“Yes, honey, that’s wonder–, an ant?” I asked trying to clarify.

“No, Mom.  Her sister had a little baby and now she gets to play with a baby at home and—“ 

I stopped her.  Abruptly.  “How old is her sister?  The girl who had the baby.”

“She’s fourteen,” clearly my daughter didn’t really have a grasp on age or age appropriate activities.

I noted her excitement, even envy.  I took a deep breath and decided I would speak softly and try to explain why this was not to be desired.

“WWhhaatt?” I said a little too loudly. “That is not good, NOT GOOD AT ALL,” I bellowed.

Her eyes filled with tears and she ran to her room.

Well.

I handled that smashingly.  Don’t you think?

Gathering my thoughts, I sat down on the edge of the sofa.  How do I explain poor choices when she doesn’t even know those choices exist?  She’s eight.  Eight years old.

I went to her room and hugged her close.  “I’m sorry I yelled.”

“Why are you mad?  It’s just a baby.”

Oh man.  “I’m not mad about the baby. That baby is precious and is from God.  But do you think girls should be mommies when they are fourteen?” 

She shrugged.

I couldn’t blame her non-responsive answer, you know, considering my outburst.

“What do you think?”  I prompted. (My parenting tip to all:  ask this question when you are at a loss for words).

Again.  A shrug.  I’d scared her into silence. Way to go, mom of the year.

Well, when you want, we can sit down and talk about this.  I’m glad you are excited for your friend. And, um, never mind.”

Again.  What an excellent response. 

I went to my closet and dug out this book I’d bought a couple of months earlier. 

A few of my friends talked about it and I’d read it was a great place to start with questions and answers about the body and stuff.  (Stuff would be the general term I use to refer to parts, especially my eight year old’s.)  It’s a book series presented from a Christian view.  It also has a giant gold seal on the front because it’s an award winner.

Well.  

I discovered gold sealed-award-winning books can still shock you.

I also learned a lot from that book.  Really.  If I’d had it, it would have cleared up many things on my honeymoon.  It was so informative and detailed.

I hid it away in my closet.  For later.  Much later.  This was the first book in a series of four and was written for children even younger than my daughter.  And, for very brave parents.

Now, as I held it, I decided it was time for the talk.  Not THE talk, just A talk.  More like a subtle introduction to THE talk. For children. Young children, I want to stay young.  Clear as mud, ain’t it?

I talked it over with my husband and we re-read the book.  I’ve mothered three children.  You’d think all my questions would be answered, and yet, my mouth still hung slightly ajar with every reading.

Help me, Lord.

So this is how it went:

 

“Honey, you
know the friend you told me about, who’s an aunt?”

She wiped her chocolate shake mustache off and froze.  “Yeah,” she said in an unsure tone.

“Well, I just wanted to talk with you about um  . . . why that’s not the best choice for you. When young girls have babies it makes it harder for them to finish school and go to college.  Many do it, but it’s very hard.  Plus, your Daddy and I believe God’s given us a plan, an order for how things work best.”

So, I pulled out the book.   And I opened it v-e-r-y  s-lo-w-l-y.  

I read it to her.  I didn’t laugh or cry once.  There was an excessive amount of gulping, though, and blushing-lots of blushing.

My daughter was mature and only giggled twice. 

And as I closed the book she listened intently when I said this:

“One day God will send you someone special to your share life with.  He will be the daddy to your children. God put certain steps in order, so we can avoid mistakes. If those steps are out of order, you won’t have as many choices.  Mommy and Daddy love you and we will always love you no matter what choices you make, okay?”

 

And that’s exactly how I plan for The Talk to go.

 

When I get up the nerve, to tackle it, that is.

One day I’ll order the rest of the books.  When I’m more grown up.

More amazing tackles at 5 Minutes for Mom.


Food for the Soul:

Mark 10:6-9  ”But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER,  AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.  “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” 


Comments

  1. says

    Oh no, I’m dreading the day I have to have that talk with LP. I don’t it’s something you can ever be ready for, your baby isn’t supposed to be old enough to know those things.

  2. says

    This was a really great post. Thank you for sharing it with us. It makes me heartsick to think that we are having to have the discussions at such an earlier age! Good luck when the time actually comes ~ it’s evident that you are relying on God to get you through it, and He will bless that!

  3. says

    A very thoughtful post about a difficult topic. Thanks for sharing. I’m glad I have all boys – somehow it seems like it will be easier. But maybe I’ll find I’m wrong when the time gets closer. Good luck and thanks for being resolute about the order of things God has planned for us.

  4. says

    This particular topic is why the Lifetime Movie channel was created.

    I didn’t get to have “the talk” with my girls. My mother took it upon herself to have this discussion with them while I was in the hospital having Madison. I am bitter about this, she took something precious (albeit uncomfortable) from us.

  5. says

    I loved it. Thanks for sharing this! You did awesome Mom! Really, it may not feel like it but you done great!!!! After all, we do our best and God does the rest right!?

  6. says

    Thanks for this post. Almost 19 years ago, when I was just 15, I gave birth to my first child. My parents had explained “it” to me, but I had no idea the spiritual aspect of it. While we grew up in a “Christian” home, we never really had “Christian” talks.

    By the time I was 19, I had two children, worked full time, managed to take some college courses part time – but I struggled. Thankfully, God had prepaired a wonderful, Godly man for me and my children (who now number 4), as my older two’s father wasn’t.

    I have had many talks with ALL of my children. With many in the public life (my 9 year old has had a crush on Jamie Lynn Spears for years) having children young and out of wedlock, it is important for them to know first hand not only how hard it is, but also what having sex before marraige takes away from you.

    I wish my parent had had that talk with me twenty years ago.

  7. says

    I had the talk with both my girls a few years ago.

    My oldest daughter listened and took it in and didn’t ask questions.

    My youngest daughter said, “how long does he have to leave it in for?”, and “Oh, Mommy, I’m sorry you had to go through that, but at least you got me!” (obviously I hadn’t explained it right).

    Then she’d ask other things, like, “how come people don’t have babies every time? Why do some families have more babies than others?”. And it only got worse from there.

    The questions don’t stop. Have fun!

    Visit To Love, Honor and Vacuum today!

  8. says

    That was a great post! I hope than when you do tacckle it, everything goes according to plan!
    Have a nice day, and thx for sharing this!

  9. says

    My daughter is also 8. I hoped to avoid the question and did up until about a month ago.

    She is naturally very inquisitive and rather intelligent (as all us mothers think)…so I’m kind of surprised that she didn’t pursue the whole issue sooner. Well whenever she’d ask a lead-in question I’d just say “we’ll talk about that when you are older” and she’d never press me.

    Then out of the blue recently she said “Well since babies look like both parents, then something from the dad must get into the baby too”…I avoided the question with my standard answer.

    But she must have continued to think about it b/c about a week later – again out of the blue she said “I know how it works. Since God knew who the parents were going to be He just made the baby look like both parents.”

    At that point I realized she was really wanting to know from a scientific point of view. I couldn’t find any good “talk ideas” on the internet – so I got out a biology book and gave her a quick overview w/out many details and without making “it” sound like fun (but not purposely making “it” sound awful either).

    She didn’t have much to say – when I asked her she just said she felt like it probably wasn’t stuff she should know about. So hopefully it all meant I did ok with “the talk”. Enough info to satisfy their curiosity but not too many details.

    Bad part is little brother (soon to be 6) was secretly listening in b/c he thought we were making secret plans for his birthday! Uh oh.

  10. says

    I find myself using “What do you think?” more and more these days.

    I think a lot of people’s lives would be different had they had a caring and bravely upfront mother like you. You’ll tackle it when the time is right for y’all…but you might not want to wait until after boys stop being gross! ;o)

  11. says

    How hard! I don’t know how I will handle THE talk! It was hard back in February, when Luke our oldest asked why does Daddy have to have surgery for mommy to have a baby…. We used technical terms and changed the subject, really smooth.

    How do I contact you, do you give out your e-mail? I can’t find it here…
    I wanted to talk about my order and if you are willing to give me your email, you can leave it in the form of a comment and I won’t post it.

  12. says

    Having had my first at 17, the hardest thing I think for me to do was have “the talk”. I wasn’t sure what to say becasue I was afraid she would think that she was a mistake. One day God told me to tell her that what her Daddy and I did was a mistake, but that God doesn’t make mistakes and God made her. :)

  13. says

    Congratulations!
    YOu did a wonderful job.
    I have believed since the day my daughter was born that communication is the key to everything. We never had “the talk” in one sitting. Whenever she had a question I would explain what she asked on her level and no more. I have watched tv shows with her about teenage pregnancy, drugs, alcohol and date rape. Not great topics but definitely a part of our world today. Listening, trying not to react and explaining my view point has made her comfortable enough to ask me anything. My daughter is now in Junior High and hormones are raging. More questions are on the horizon but I am proud in how we have raised our daughter…she isn’t afraid to express her views and her friends accept and respect her for it.

    Good luck with all that is to come.

  14. says

    Oh yeah that is a huge tackle and I think you handled it pretty well. My oldest (14) has already had the talk of course and I so vividly remember the talk from my mother. Oh boy…

    Good job Mom! :)

  15. says

    I think you did great. The post if fabulous as well.

    While the conversation is one that all parents dread, it is such an important one. I never had “the talk” with my parents, and I know if I had it would have changed my choices down the line.

    My hubby has already had the conversation with my step son, and as uncomfortable as it was for all parties, they both appreciated it even more. They went fishing, and talked on the side of the lake. It allowed them to be free in thoughts, without worrying I would be around.

    I dread the conversation, but also look forward to teaching my daughter another life lesson.

    Thanks for sharing this!!

  16. says

    Thanks for posting about these books; I’ve been looking for a series like this for my oldest who is six-and-a-half.

    From the start, I’ve been very truthful with her about names of body parts, why we’re different, and even how babies are made. I want her to learn from me first, not some kid at school (although, as she’s at Catholic school, they’re more concerned with Four-Square than the birds and bees).

    But it’s a different talk when it’s about her – her making good choices, her values, her body and, her destiny. Much more emotional for everyone.

    The other thing I’ve learned is that it has to be a constant dialogue; you can’t talk just “once” and let it go. For one, they won’t always remember, and two, it should be an open door subject, not a fearsome taboo.

    I’m getting these books!

  17. says

    Wonderful post and *gulp* captures what all of us are dreading for…”THAT DAY”.

    We wonder how far we can keep the kids thinking that everyone is “icky, gross and have cooties and need to stay away from until they are at least 1500 years old” is going to last.

    Okay. We live in a dream world.

    It’s hard and it’s harder when they have celebrities getting pregnant and unwed at that, at young ages and we have a culture that says women can do anything including being unwed (Still not to thrill about “Juno”).

    *Hugs* God bless You for tackling a tough chore and you did great.

    Didn’t pass out (or you would have posted it..lol).

    Didn’t look for a craft box….Did good momma. LOL

    With all that said….think it’s still too late to take our kids to a deserted island, far far far away?

  18. says

    Thanks for sharing…I was just speaking with a neighbor friend about trying to find a book like that. My 5th grader came home yesterday with a permission slip for the “movie” at school. I’m scared…so so scared!

  19. says

    Yes – great post!

    And thanks for the link to that book series. I started to go into details about my 3-yr-old and what he’s discovering right now, but it included waaay too much information! I’ll definitely check it out!

  20. says

    I bought a couple books about babies but haven’t shared them with my boys yet. My older one has lots of questions and I’m thinking the books will only bring up more. That’s a tough tackle. Thanks for sharing.

  21. says

    Wow! You are a great mother. By the time my boys got to highschool, I had the talk with them several times, and told them the importance of condoms. Well, they would come home from highschool and say, “Hey mom! Guess who’s pregnant!” and the end of the conversation I would say, well you know why she’s pregnant right! And the answer wasn’t sex, it was “I know, I know, because the boy didn’t use a condom.”

    I bought my daughter a book called, “What’s up with my body” when she was 10. She actually read it, asked me questions, and when she started at the ripe ‘ole age of 11, she knew all about it, and the best thing? She isn’t afraid to talk about it, not with me, her dad, or her stepdad. Me? I NEVER told my mom when I started and I would ride my bike to the store to get my own stuff.

    Yup, you are a great mother.

  22. says

    I enjoy your blog, love not seeing the bad words, love seeing the realities of life, and thankful I am past that with my own children. Sometimes I wish I could have “do-overs”, but since that is not possible I have to hope that my children will make good choices in life and survive it. So far, money has been the biggest issue, 24 year old daughter said, there should be a law no one under 25 should be allowed to get a credit card. She’s growing up!

  23. says

    Great post about a very sensitive subject! I have 2 little girls that have been inquisitive since they were young about their body parts and what makes them different than their boy cousins (we are very close to my sister and her kids). We have always been very honest about what they are called and what is private, but I have always wanted to find a great book to help me explain things a little further while still being accurate and Biblically sound. Thanks for the great advice!

  24. says

    Great Post! What a difficult, but important topic. This summer, when I was pregnant with my third, my then 3.5 yr old son, had some very specific and persistent questions about how the baby was coming out. Luckily, we were able to divert the “how the baby got in there” questions for when he is older. Don’t know how much older, but so far we seem safe.I gotta blog about those talks sometime though… what an adventure!

  25. says

    WOW!!!!!!!! That is most definitely the HARDEST tackle I’ve ever seen. Good for you! I think you handled it fine. There is no book for how to handle life, but I’m glad you know what books to look to for how to help! Good luck!

  26. says

    You mean you didn’t say “You know that boogeyman in the closet…he’ll stay in there as long as you don’t go out with boys until you’re 30…”? Just kidding; nice post.

  27. says

    I think you handled (or will handle) it with much aplomb and absolutely smashingly. It’s a nice way to broach a difficult topic. And I think it’s made much more difficult by the way fact that we have to have this “talk” so much earlier in our daughter’s lives these days.

    I cannot fathom having a child at FOURTEEN! I am just gobsmacked that it happens, yet I know it does because more and more junior and senior high schools are implementing daycares within the school walls. Sad. Pathetic. Heartbreaking.

    One thing I admire the most about what you are planning on saying to her, about how there is a certain order to the steps we take in building our families in order to avoid mistakes which can lead to fewere choices, is wonderful.

    I missed “the talk” with my 18 year old daughter, but I don’t plan to miss it with the little imp…I just hope I am not having it at a such an early age.

    Great post.

  28. says

    Great tackle… I have tackled it once and have 2 more to go. My husband gets the boys. When I attempted to talk to my oldest daughter she told me she would rather talk to her dad, because he is a nurse, and he would probably know all the correct terms!
    You did a great job with your daughter.

  29. says

    Careful… I was 8 when my parents tried to tell me and I cried… well, bawled because my mom was using “naughty words”. She hauled out The Book again when I was 10 and it went much better, only crying that time, not wailing.

  30. Ok, Where Was I? says

    Yikes! I like how you made it about choices–that she’d have fewer choices as a 14 year old mom. I can’t imagine!

  31. says

    Ok…here is my STORY for the day….sounds like parallel universes…we were at the dentist, which happens to be in the MALL…weird I know…but INSURANCE…anyway…sitting there waiting on the girls…on in, one done…2 ladies from down the street pop in and say…”WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE…” why the dentist of course….
    One proceeds to tell me that her daughter is having a baby…no mention of a wedding….a bit awkward…soooooooooooo…on the way home…we continued the conversation…”mom is it GOOD that Heather is having a baby?” DEEP BREATH….well…..she is going to live in the basement, she is not married….on and on….we had a TALK all the way home about what God wants, our choices, the choices we make that effect others…on and on and on…..

    This is NOT the first time we have had to do this…but I am learning to seize the TEACHABLE moments…praying that they will make a difference!!!

    We are in the throws of THE TALK…13 and 10 will do that to you…BIG GULPS…and DEEP BREATHS…but I know it’s a gift we are giving them….open and HONEST communication…it’s going on AROUND them…
    mom, YOU DONE GOOD!!!!
    keep it up!

    hugs!
    lori

  32. says

    Well done! And thanks for sharing. I hope I don’t have to have that conversation for some time, but I will remember your style and manner of handling it!

  33. says

    Wow, you handled that beautifully actually. I would have had a very hard time. I have seen those books and now will be on the look out. My daughter is 7 and has a very keen sense of what is going on with an older cousin and boys. I get a lot of questions.

    Great tackle and advice!!

  34. says

    K, is it just me or am I having another “don’t they know they missed the concert?” moment??!?

    You DID type:
    ‘And that’s exactly how I plan for The Talk to go.
    When I get up the nerve, to tackle it, that is.’ Right?

    I.need.sleep.

  35. says

    My oldest son is almost 8, but he has been asking very detailed questions since he was 4. I’d try to put him off, but they kept coming. So I ordered the first two books in this series. I had no problem reading him the first one. And then I almost wrecked the van when we were driving to soccer practice and he asked, “Mom, does it hurt when the guy puts his p. in the v.?” Four. years. old. Yep! I put all his interest in that he has a very mechanical mind. He likes to know how everything works. I have to completely take myself out of the equation when I talk to him about this sensitive stuff and make it all about the Lord. Otherwise, I trip up on everything. We read the second book once, a couple years later, and put it up for a bit. We pulled it out a few weeks ago because he was asking questions again. Now, my other two, 5-year-old boy/girl twins, have never asked the things my oldest asks. We’ve read the first book once. They still aren’t asking for more details. Just reminds me that each child grows at his own pace, and they are so different.

  36. says

    This is such an important yet hard subject to deal with. Lil’ Bum at just 4 is asking questions. She has often wondered how she and her brother came out but it wasn’t until a classmate recently had a new sibling and he shared that his brother was cut out of mom’s tummy that she really got curious.

    I hate to keep blowing her off but at the same time don’t want to scare the poo out of her. I’m going to look into these books.

    Good luck with the talk. When I was about 8 I came home and asked my mother what “screw” meant because some of the boys at school had said it. I got it all explained to me with a book about chickens. Yeah, I know, go ahead and laugh.

  37. says

    Love how you worded all of this. Coming from someone who did things a little OUT of order, it hard for me to think about how to explain that one to my daughter when she’s old enough …

  38. says

    DD is 14. We started having “talks” when she was aorund 8 or so. Maybe 7 or 9, I don’t remember. I think I blocked it out. But, as I am sure you know, I think it is best and easiest to only tell them what they ask about at first. i did a lot of, “do you have any questions?” and talked about the “adult things” that married people do. Yeah. When she was about 10 she came home and told me that her friends mom was a lesbian. and she wanted to know what it was.

    We had “the talk” that night.

    I have never been so embarassed in my life.

    Have fun.

    btw…. my word verification on this comment starts with “sx”. How does it know???? LOL

  39. says

    The Talk… I had to tackle misinformation when my daughter was about 5 because my exhusband decided to sit her down and explain it all. She was entirely grossed out.

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