Little Laundry Talks
There must be some kind of unspoken rule that when Mom is folding laundry (or using the bathroom, but I won’t go there), the kids are ready to have serious talks. I remember some of my most in-depth conversations growing up happened while folding towels with my mom.
It really must be a psychological thing, because every time I fold laundry, one of my kids wants to talk.
Laundry is a 24/7 task at our house, meaning we have lots of talks while folding laundry. Our laundry folding talks have ranged from details about their day at school, to a weird dream they had, to the normal kid questions about life and death.
When Laundry Talk Turns Toward THE Talk
One particular day, it was business as usual folding laundry. Just like clockwork, my son was ready to talk. He awkwardly blurted out, “I know what sexy is . . . do you know what that is?”
His out-of-nowhere question surprised me. Before I could even answer, he started telling me what he heard at school. Of course, he had it all wrong. He was actually describing sex, but in the most child-like fashion.
I corrected him and explained the meaning of sexy. After all, he asked me what sexy was . . . not sex. However, I knew in my gut that conversation was coming very soon.
All our laundry talks end with big hugs and kisses, but this time I made sure he understood he could always come to me. I wanted him to know that no matter what, I would always be truthful.
Shortly after our previous conversation, my son had more questions. Wouldn’t you know it, I was folding towels when he asked me the question: “Mommy, what is sex?”
Internally I panicked, thinking to myself, “I’m not prepared enough. The timing isn’t right. He’s too young. Plus his little sisters are present. Nope, this is not happening today.”
In hopes of holding his inquisitive mind off for just a bit longer, I told him we could talk privately about it later. It was a failed attempt on my part, but he finally came to my husband and me later. With such bewilderment he said, “Mommy, you promised to tell me. Please tell me! What is sex?”
I won’t tell you the hilariously vivid description he gave us while trying to explain what he heard. I’ll just say that it falls into the category of “highly inappropriate”. Upon finishing his version of what sex is, my husband and I began to explain to him what sex actually is.
Because of his age, we had to be careful. We didn’t focus on the pleasures of sex. We primarily focused on its purpose: creating life. Next we discussed the changes that will eventually occur in his body and gave him plenty of time to ask the hows and whys of it all.
“Mommy, You Did This Three Times?!”
Of course, he thought it was weird and gross. He expressed his sincere disappointment in me by asking, “Mommy, you did this three times?!” He shook his head at me with such shame! But he thanked us for telling him the truth, and before we knew it, we were watching him demonstrate the latest Fortnite dance move.
And just like that, it was over! Hallelujah, we did it!
Surprisingly, it wasn’t that traumatic. No one was sweating bullets or nervously fumbling around questions. Yes, it was a bit uncomfortable at first, but we all managed to remain calm and relaxed. This resulted in an open, honest conversation. I didn’t want his first talk to be like my first talk (where no stone was left unturned). I tried to keep all the nitty-gritty details to a minimum.
Moderation is Key
Moderation is key while having the sex talk, especially for a kid still in elementary school. Does my nine year old need to know the biological workings of the female reproductive system? Probably not, but one day he will. And we will be ready when he starts asking more questions. Our goal was to make him feel at ease so that he will continue coming to us with his questions. I believe we achieved that.
I will always encourage my kids to talk and ask me questions. Sometimes their questions and comments throw me for a major loop or can be considered inappropriate. My responses can either open them up or shut them down. I want them to always feel comfortable coming to me with any- and everything on their minds.
Keeping Communication Open
Keeping that open door of communication between you and your kids is so important. It not only brings you closer as a family, but it gives your kids the opportunity to be heard and feel understood.
This way their curiosities and questions are ultimately answered in a protected and safe environment. As parents, we try to shield their innocence for as long as possible, but unfortunately we live in a sex-driven society. Our kids are being exposed to sex-related topics at very early ages. We have to be prepared for the sex talk sooner rather than later. Whether your kids are ready for “the talk” or just learning their first words, start paving the way now for them to have a comfortable, safe place to talk.
What about you? Have you had the talk with your kids yet? How did that go? Let me know in the comments!