Last week I had a few hours alone with Addie, a lot of it in the car where she was forced to listen to whatever I had to say and answer whatever I asked.

I took a deep breath and had the swear word, sex, molestation, touching, and your body is your wonderland talk.

Part of it was to find out how much she knew, while the other part of it was to have her hear most of this stuff from me first.

Also to make sure she knew she could ask me about rough stuff and not have to be shy or embarrassed by it.

They're reading Spider-Man. #LookForTheLovely

At the suggestion of a friend I bought her The Care and Keeping of You book and it’s been a treasure trove of information for her. Aside from her chasing Cody around the house with her book open to the different stages of breast bud development I’d say it’s gone really well.

I know this raising girls thing is going to get a whole lot harder before it gets easier. But with this first big conversation out of the way (and knowing that no one has approached her about touching, seeing or other terribly inappropriate things) there is a weight of my shoulders. The conversation has been started, it’s up to me to keep it going and up to her to keep listening.

The best part is was when I spelled sh*t out for her and after a long pause, she asked “Now, is this said with a long i or a short i?”

How have big/awkward/weird/uncomfortable talks gone in your family?

 

Comments

  1. I often picked quite inappropriate, public places to ask my mom the most embarrassing of questions. Like the line at the grocery store or in a movie theatre…loudly. Still, my mom encouraged me to always ask whatever was on my mind.

    I was 18 and heard some people laughing about “69.” I had no clue what that was, but I suspected it was something naughty. I called my mom up from my college dorm. She was having dinner and nearly choked when her daughter said, “mom, what’s 69?”

  2. now i wish you would share your wisdom.
    i think i’m gonna need a cheat sheet for these conversations!
    especially when we start the “period” convo.

  3. Long I or short i. Precious.

    I had a few talks briefly with random family members growing up since I didn’t have parents per say. I was given the molestation/rape talk very young, but unfortunately they failed to mention that it could happen by people you know. Also, what to do if it happens was left off the table.

    As far as sex was concerned, my sister and I figured everything out thanks to our friends, school and television so by the time our “sex talk” came around it basically went like this, “Are you having sex?” “Yes.” “Alright, let’s put you on the pill.”

    The real awkward conversation was with my future MIL when I was sixteen who took it upon herself to give me the talk she assumed I’d never gotten since I didn’t have a mother. I had to play stupid the whole time and since I was awkward I decided to make her awkward too by asking her really inappropriate questions as though I didn’t understand. She trapped me in the car, she had it coming LOL.

  4. My daughter’s only a couple months older than Addie. Since I developed a little later than most of my classmates, I expected to have more time before having to discuss the Wonders of Womanhood. Nope. First week of 4th grade. She’s the youngest in her grade and among the first to be looking at bras. And needing pads. I am so, SOOOO glad I’d worked out–and *had*–most of those talks already so that when it came time I knew how to explain everything.

  5. J is 9 years old and in 4th grade. We did the whole private area talk in a simple form back in kindergarten. It has just gone into more detail each year from there. The sex talk started out as where do babies come from. She knows the ins and outs and science of it all now. Sex, adoption, IVF, etc. SHe got her first body book last month when school started and now she is comparing breast bud sizes and it’c cracking me up. She knows in the car she can say or ask anything. It’s a safe zone.

    Hang in there – we can do this!!

  6. You are so SMART!!! I started talking early with my son and my daughter and the payoff was huge. They are 20 and 18 now and we can talk about anything. :-)

  7. I don’t know why a mortified Cody hiding from cartoon drawings of boobies makes me happy. But it does.
    And I think the first talk is the hardest. Once you get that one under your belt the next ones aren’t that bad.

  8. My mom didn’t talk to me…I guess it was too uncomfortable. I watched a video with her about my changing body and learned the basics of sex from a lesson from the nurse at school. I never talked to her about anything and was too embarrassed to say when I needed pads. I bled through my clothes in 7th grade because we were all out at home. When I got to college is when I learned about sex, mostly from Sex and the City and loud mouth roommates. I wish my mom would’ve made it a comfortable, open, caring, and mostly importantly ON GOING discussion.

    And I wish 100x over and over that the information would have been given in conjunction with that of God’s love, purpose, and faith.

  9. Thanks for the link to the book! I got the older girl version for my daughter! Just because I know there will be questions I can’t answer ;)

  10. The Care and Keeping of you freaked me OUT! GIRLS HAD HAIR?! WTF. also I was terrified my b**bs would be pointy like in the book so I squished them down after I showered every night.

  11. Given my history with being molested as a child and other things that have gone on within my own family it wasn’t hard to bring up any of those words.

    It’s different, and easier to talk about all those things you mentioned with your child at a young age when you have experienced it…and i wasn’t afraid.

    If they are eight and have a mentality of a 12 year old they will understand it better than you.

    If they are 13 and have the maturity of a 16 year old, they are empathetic, and will be very aware.

    It’s important to not sugarcoat words or shelter them from any experience or “the world” in any way because if we don’t discuss it with them they are going to find out the hard way either on their own, and/or with bad influences.

    That’s something my mom didn’t do, and I learned the hard way, but I thank God I was spared and that I continue to teach my kids, even an 18 year old about sex, drugs, and anything that can get us in trouble.

    Communication is key!

  12. My family NEVER talked about sex. All I learned about it was from a few “guy” friends and that’s just because they wanted to get in my pants.

    The first awkward thing I ever remember saying to my mother was when I was about 13. I asked her if she wanted to know what I thought about my birth father. She said yes. So, this is what I said (and I will edit the best I can), “He’s a Mother F***er, T!++y Sucker, Two-B@ll3d B!+ch”. Her mouth just dropped. She didn’t yell. She didn’t respond at all. She just looked shocked.

  13. OMG! The reference to that book made me laugh! One visit to an American Girl Store and my then 7 year old wanted that book. I said “sure, why not”, without EVER glancing inside. Fast forward to when she was about 8, she runs to me with said book and asks “what is this girl doing with THAT?” referring to the section on tampons…lol! Too funny! I’ve talked to her about molestation since I was molested before, I have told her everything about periods and puberty since she has always walked in on me during bathroom breaks and showers! With so many girls developing so much sooner than me and my friends did, you definitely have to speed up the talks.

  14. Three other amazing resources for both girls and boys are (in age appropriate order)

    It’s Not the Stork
    It’s So Amazing
    It’s Perfectly Normal

    All by Robie Harris

    We use these books all the time. The little cartoons are hilarious. Definitely worth an adult read before handing over but they are really great resources.

  15. Same book. It’s a great opener. My 9 year old decided to talk to Grandma about what boobie stage she was versus everyone else at camp this year while in the car. Grandpa was morfitied :) So then we had to have the “Please don’t embarrass your grandpa” talk

  16. “Now, is this said with a long i or a short i?” — This is LITERALLY the best thing I’ve heard all day :) Thank you. That cheered me up so much.

    Also… Body is a Wonderland? I’m not sure I ever had that part of the talk….

  17. It’s a short i! I know that!

    My mother did our chats in the car too. She said she picked it because we couldn’t escape, but we also didn’t have to make eye contact. She’s a brilliant woman, like you.

  18. Amanda Ryan says:

    Olivia is 2 so that means we havent had any ‘talks’ yet. Other thank me telling her that yes, I have boobies and no, they dont need to be poked, pointed at or grabbed in public.

    James on the other hand…almost 12… we have had a couple little talks. recently I walked in the bathroom unaware he was in there and he was getting out of the shower and I noticed hair, down there. I cried and cried and cried to my husband. I felt so bad that James was going through this change and didnt want to ask me all about it.

    My husband told me that most likely James was never going to talk to me about that.

    sad.

  19. just wait. :)
    when you need an ear…or a shoulder…i’ll be here

  20. Wow, my girl is only 6 months old and I know these talks will undoubtedly be coming and I am terrified. Thank you for sharing your bravery and an honest moment in your child’s life

  21. My girls are older, 10 and 12. I had “the talk” with the oldest when she was 7 or so and had already started developing breasts (I do not want to discuss how now, at 12, her breasts are larger than mine at 39. That ****/****e is just wrong). We have the same book. My 10-year-old is in it constantly. One day I wasn’t there but there was a question she had to ask SOMEONE. Her sister was asleep so that left daddy. He did pretty well seeing how this is also the man who damn near fainted when the oldest was 5 and yelled in the grocery store, “Daddy, my VAGINA IS A-ITCHIN’.” As she dug into the front of her jeans. Of course.

    I commend you for talking to your girls before they start to hear rumors and lies and half truths from friends or media/tv. My mother told me hickeys give you neck cancer. I believed her until I was in 10th grade and um, found out otherwise. Ahem. I never want my children to wonder about something or be misinformed.

  22. The talks have started in our house too. I have dreaded these talks.

    I just ordered the book. :)