4 Moms talk about you-know-what

Today we’re going to talk about sex – or rather, we’re going to talk about talking about sex.  If you’re a mom, I feel safe in assuming that you are both a product of and a participant in sex.  We can also assume that our children are now in one category and will someday join the other as well.

In all seriousness, sex is an important part of the Gospel, where marriage presents a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church.  After all, God gave us an entire book about marital love in the Bible.

So it’s good for them to know at least a little about it.  The question, then, is how much?  when? and who’s gonna tell them???

Everyone is going to have different comfort levels and I don’t think there’s one right way about this.  In some families, the mom may do most of the talking; in others, the dad will be more comfortable answering these questions.  Maybe your kids aim their questions at the parent of the same gender.  However it happens, be prepared.  If you are flustered, embarrassed and uncomfortable when the questions start, your children will pick up your attitude and become hesitant to ask further questions.  That’s a shame, because I really believe parents need to take an active part in molding their children’s view of sex and the body rather than letting children pick up the info from media, friends, and the world at large.

Having said that, here’s how it tends to work in our own household.  First of all, we don’t have The Anatomy Discussion.  We’re far more casual about the subject.  Everyone changes diapers in our house, and the little ones often take baths together.  I talk a lot during potty training, when formerly diapered parts become frequently exposed, the topics of natural conversation.  We don’t necessarily use all the correct anatomical terms, but we all know that some of us have “girl stuff” and some of us have “boy stuff,” and we don’t object to the anatomical terms unless they’re being used for vulgar humor.

We also don’t teach that nakedness is bad. We teach that it’s immodest, or inappropriate for the present circumstances.  Nakedness is perfectly appropriate under the right circumstances.  Right now we have a newly potty trained 2yo who spends a lot of time sans bottoms.  For the sake of modesty (both on her part and her 4yo brother’s) we usually try to keep her visually covered with a shirt that’s longer than usual, but I think it’s perfectly appropriate and therefore modest for her to go about with no bottoms right now.

On the other hand, when her hands go that direction, we’re quick to correct.  That behavior is most certainly not modest in a public setting, even within the home.  I don’t want to teach her that parts of her body are bad, but she does need to understand that they are reserved for a certain time and purpose.

We take a similar approach to the birds and the bees.  We breed dogs and chickens.  We used to breed gerbils and even rabbits, for goodness sake!  There’s plenty of procreation around here.  Hubby and I smooch freely in front of the kids.  Our kids have a pretty good idea of how reproduction takes place, and they understand (on their various levels) that sex is a great blessing and a lot of fun – inside marriage.

We answer questions freely and frankly as they arise, providing just as much detail as necessary and appropriate, taking into account the inquirer’s age.  Sometimes it’s good to clarify exactly what they’re asking (“But how does the baby get out?“).  Some questions are a little embarrassing to me and I don’t see the need to hide it.  Instead, I lower my voice and tell them the answer is a little embarrassing, but here goes…and we giggle together.  Rarely, the answer is simply, “I don’t think you need to know that yet.  You can ask again when you’re older.”

We have found that our kids have a good sense of what goes on behind closed doors from a young age, and we’ve always been rather frank and unashamed about it. They learn enough about the mechanics from seeing animals breed, and they learn how it fits into a marriage by seeing how we cherish our time together.  They don’t know or need to know all the details, but sex is not a taboo topic.

And if we miss anything important, they can learn together with their spouse.  Learning is fun, and you don’t need to be an expert to take up this sport.  🙂

The other moms are talking about it too:


Upcoming topics:

  • May 12: Hospitality tips and food ideas.
  • May 19: Do you all have any other “large family goes to church” topics? Otherwise losing baby weight. Let me know!
  • May 26: Q & A – leave your questions in the comments on my last Q&A.

Recent topics:

  • April 28 – 4 Moms Q&A: sleep, exercise, and making do with one bathroom
  • April 21 – Large families & church, part 2: keeping them quiet
  • April 14 – Eating inexpensively on the road
  • April 7 – 4 Moms teach history
  • March 24 – Large families & church, part 1: getting there on time
  • March 17 – Bread baking linky
  • March 10 – Spring cleaning
  • March 3 – Books for early readers
  • February 24 – 4 Moms Q&A: my first audio blog on potty training and more
  • February 17 – Individual time with children: scary stuff here.  Just kidding.  Let go of the guilt.
  • February 10Cooking with little ones without losing your sanity
  • February 3 –Teaching reading, because it’s so much easier than teaching them to use the toilet.  Do not request a 4 Moms post about potty training, do you hear me?
  • January 27 – Q&A: Must-have baby equipment and other nitty gritty stuff
  • January 20 – Top 10 Books for Preschoolers
  • January 13 – Soups and Stews
  • January 6 – Teaching Bible
  •  

    Comments

    1. Chandra says:

      I loved this. Neither of us grew up in a house where “you-know-what” was discussed and it was very taboo which led to heartache for both of us.

      We have chosen the same approach for many years now. We want our children to see what God has intended for good! …well maybe not SEE but you know what I mean!

    2. I saw that an upcoming topic was “losing baby weight” if you couldn’t think of something else. Although I think “losing baby weight” would be an interesting topic, it’d be neat too to hear about how you and husband met and how old you were when you met and eventually married! 😀 If you care to share all or any of that!

    3. We are all so looking forward to tomorrow: Mother’s Day! Yay!
      Why?
      Because, surely, all of Kim’s children will be with her, all together, at one time tomorrow and she can whip out her little camera and take a picture of them all and… “Voila!”…new header!
      I hope I didn’t spoil the surprise which you had planned for us…your mother readers…
      : )

    4. My Boaz's Ruth says:

      Or use a collage of pictures. Eventually your oldest are going to start moving away from home anyway…

    5. Sheila says:

      Do you’all ever eat supper together at the table? Take a picture of THAT! Or capture everyone in their natural habitat… make everyone stop what they’re doing for 5 seconds and gather them wherever they will fit and snap that shot. I know we’re demanding, but we don’t need hair combed or teeth brushed or even people looking in the same direction – we just want to see how everyone has changed and what they look like on any given regular day. See? While you’re waiting for that perfect picture opportunity months… years could go by…

      Even though it was never a header, I thought the human pyramid pictures were really fun!

      Sheila in MO

    6. Thanks for a great post!

      “If you are flustered, embarrassed and uncomfortable when the questions start, your children will pick up your attitude and become hesitant to ask further questions. ”

      That is exactly what happened to me. I didn’t want to cause my mom to be uncomfortable (something I knew she was when talking about sex) so because I loved her, I didn’t ask her my questions.

      I have found that the more I slowly talk about it (a little info here, a little info there…) with the kids the easier it gets.

    7. Haha! I love this post and your approach. (Also the above comment about the family photo needing to be taken on the way to church.)

    8. Love the post! My husband and I are taking an approach similar to what you posted. Very different than the approach my parents took, which was sitting me and my sibilings down when I was in high school, telling us our 17 year old cousin got his girlfriend pregnant, then reminding us that so long as we lived in my parents’ house sex was to be saved for marriage. I still giggle at this being the only conversation on the topic I had growing up.

    9. This was excellent, Kim. I agree with you on all of your points. Your closing statement of missing anything and learning with your spouse is right on. You have a great way of being a mother and obviously Perry has a great sense of fatherhood and husbandry. : )
      …you do need a new blog picture….

    10. maryjo says:

      PS I think you need a new blog picture 😉

      • Yes, we need a new header. But you try to get 12 people together during daylight hours, all with their hair brushed, let alone have them wearing presentable clothes and looking in the same direction.
        Maybe we should just get a shot of everyone in the van on our way to church.

    11. maryjo says:

      well written the only thing I disagree with is that at a certain age I do think they need to know everything. I think its very important to now exactly how a baby is made, even though we preach abstenance and to wait until marriage we cannot control what goes on outside our homes. The more educated kids are the better. Also every child is differant. I have 2 children my daughter will talk about everything and anything in detail. My son will NOT, so with him I went to the Christian book store and got him a book that was very descriptive and detailed about every aspect of puberty and sex. It was an important tool in his education so for those of us who need help I wanted to add that there are some really good books out there.

    Trackbacks

    1. 4 Moms Q&A says:

      […] own comfort level with the subject, but I’m very open with our children about puberty and sex.  If our kids are old enough to ask questions, I just try to give them answers they will […]

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